The 228-meter-long former drillship Vitoria 10000, now renamed Hidden Gem, has this week arrived in Rotterdam, The Netherlands to start its conversion into a subsea mining vessel.
The news of the vessel's arrival was shared by The Metals Company (formerly DeepGreen Metals Inc.) whose strategic partner Allseas acquired the Vitoria 10000 in March of 2020, as its configuration is well-suited for modifications that will enable the deployment at sea of a 4.5 kilometer-long riser to bring polymetallic nodules up from the seafloor.
In partnership with The Metals Company, Allseas is developing 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.
“We are very happy to see the Hidden Gem over here in Europe and to see Allseas making such tremendous progress with her,” said Gerard Barron, Chairman and CEO of The Metals Company. “The vessel has successfully embarked on the dry dock maintenance phase, which bodes well for a smooth and timely conversion in advance of our pilot mining project in 2022.”
TMC and Allseas expect the vessel to be operational for pilot nodule collection tests by mid-2022.
The Hidden Gem is 228 meters long, 42 meters wide, and can accommodate 200 people