The IEA estimates that the world will add as much renewable power in the coming 5 years as it did in the past 20 years. Nickel – the IEA estimates that to meet decarbonization goals the world will need to be producing 48 million tonnes of Nickel every year by 2040, totally around 20 times what its doing today. This implies a total of 300 mn – 400 mn tonnes cumulative between 2023 & 2040. Indonesia has ramped up production from 17% of the worlds nickel to today 54% or 1.6 mn tonnes per year.

In the Pacific Ocean there is a CCZone which has large quantities of lumps of nickel, cobalt, manganes and copper – which are battery minerals. They are estimated to hold 340 mn tonnes of Nickel – more than 3 times the US Geological Services estimate of the worlds land based reserves.

Many companies are looking to address these reserves. The Metals Company, Chinese firms—Beijing Pioneer, China Merchants and China Minmetals

Mining the seabed is environmentally friendlier than mining on the land in Indonesia. Companies like TMC can be required to choose locations where energy comes with low emissions. Indonesian nickel ore, in contrast, is profitable only when it is processed near the mines from which it was extracted. That implies using electricity generated by burning coal, & diesel generators.

Alex Laugharne, an analyst at CRU, estimates Indonesian nickel production emits about 60 tonnes of planet-heating carbon dioxide for each tonne of nickel. Compared to TheMetalCompany’s plans carried out by Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, a firm based in London, found that each tonne of nickel harvested from the seabed would produce about 6 tonnes of CO2, 1/10th in comparison.

Battery production is growing extremely fast and both land based and sea based sources will be used as much as possible.


papers from which the reporting is drawn:

starting point for abyssal biomass calcs –…

abyssal biomass-

plant biomass per hectare in Sulawesi –…

nickel assessment in nori-d for per hectare numbers…

Kris van Nijen, Gerard Barron, Nathan Eastwood, Adrian Glover, François Mosnier, Pia Heidak, Peter Tom Jones, Mervyn Stevens, Alex Laugharne