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Drillship to be converted to ABS-Class subsea mining vessel 

Rotterdam – A former drillship is being converted to an ABS-Classed subsea mining vessel, in an industry first.

Allseas’ 228-meter Hidden Gem is being equipped with a deep-sea mineral collection system to recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and transfer them to the surface for transportation to shore. The nodules contain high grades of nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt—key metals required for building electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies. 

In partnership with The Metals Company, Allseas is developing the pioneering project entirely to their own, unique specifications, including a wholly self-designed subsea vertical transport system, a subsea collection vehicle, and a surface nodule handling and storage system.  The vessel will become the first to be classed as a subsea mining vessel by ABS.

“This is a groundbreaking project that is advancing the frontiers of this emerging industry, which has such a vital role to play in supporting how the global market sources and manufactures sustainable technologies. The seabed is among the richest known sources for these vital metals, and we are proud to be able to support this approach to safely recovering them,” said Matt Tremblay, ABS Vice President, Global Offshore. (photo courtesy of Allseas)

*As described in our Forum by Ian Urbina, nodule mining is under serious scrutiny because of its suspected harmful environmental impacts.