Impossible Metals Successfully Demonstrates Eureka 1 in Shallow Water Test
Impossible Metals has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of their novel Eureka 1 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) at a demonstration on May 17. This is a key milestone on the road to developing a full-scale, artificially intelligent deep sea mineral harvesting system that can pick up mineral-rich deep sea nodules while avoiding macrofauna, with an aim of preserving biodiversity and habitat function.
Deep sea polymetallic nodules contain metals that are critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy including nickel, copper, cobalt, and manganese, plus lower concentrations of other materials such as rare earth elements.
The system invented by Impossible Metals relies on their patent-pending technology, including a buoyancy engine, a fast underwater robotic arm, and an AI-driven computer vision system to detect collectible nodules—eventually avoiding nodules with marine life. The success of Eureka 1 demonstrates that the selective harvesting approach for collecting polymetallic nodules from the seafloor is technically feasible, and the concept economics are promising.
In attendance at the Eureka 1 demonstration was Bob Galyen, retired CTO of CATL, the world’s largest battery company, who said, “The Eureka 1 demo clearly substantiates the potential for responsible underwater mining, which is unequaled by any other company that I am aware of in the world today. An ability to harvest the critical minerals within nodules recovered from the seafloor will provide enough minerals for high energy density batteries for generations to come. It was a privilege to witness history being made with this new underwater technology, and with refinement via ongoing research, I believe this technology will help create a better world using environmentally friendly mining techniques.”
This milestone propels Impossible Metals towards the ultimate goal of producing Responsible Metals and the electric vehicle market towards successful green economy initiatives. “Our goal is to have the lowest environmental impacts and the lowest costs of any deep sea mining technology. Our economic model shows that our costs per ton of nodules to port are forecast to be half of competing dredging solutions”, said Oliver Gunasekara, Impossible Metals CEO.
Public Data & Upcoming Webinar
Presentations, videos, demonstration data, and the concept economic model are publicly available. Impossible Metals will be holding a webinar on Monday, June 19 from 2:30-3:30 pm Eastern Time to review the demonstration results and show attendees how to navigate the available data. Click here to register for the webinar.