TMC, SGS Canada create cobalt sulfate from seabed

The Metals Company (TMC) has successfully produced the world’s first cobalt sulfate derived exclusively from seafloor polymetallic nodules. 

The cobalt sulfate was generated during bench-scale testing of TMC’s hydrometallurgical flowsheet design with SGS Canada at the latter’s Metallurgical Centre of Excellence testing facility in Lakefield, Ontario.

“This achievement further demonstrates the potential for seafloor polymetallic nodules as a valuable resource,” said Dr. Jeffrey Donald, TMC head of Onshore Development. 

“Following the success of our first nickel sulfate production in April, production of the world’s first cobalt sulfate from deep-seafloor nodules is another important milestone for TMC and for creating a responsible supply of metals required for human flourishing. SGS continues to execute at a high level and this milestone demonstrates the viability of our process and our dedication to near-zero solid waste nodule processing.”

Based on samples of nickel-cobalt-copper matte first produced by TMC in 2021, the Extractive Metallurgy team at SGS tested TMC’s efficient flowsheet to process high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt matte directly to high-purity cobalt sulfate without making cobalt metal, while producing fertilizer byproducts instead of solid waste or tailings.

“SGS is pleased to support TMC in achieving another milestone towards commercialization of polymetallic nodules suitable for the battery chemicals market,” said Carlos Cordoba, vice president of Natural Resources, SGS North America.

“Our technical expertise in extractive metallurgy is driving innovation in the mining industry and we look forward to continuing to set the benchmark as a trusted service provider at every stage of the mining project lifecycle.”  

Source: TMC

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