There are four macro trends affecting us where Scandinavian Ocean Minerals have a part to play:
First, the environmental challenges we face is one of the major global mega trends. The consequences from global warming and carbon emissions are massive and calls for hasty action. The environmental challenges are high on the political agenda, where policy makers have gone from discussing the problems to focusing on solutions. There is a strong global commitment to find and support solutions, not least by the UN global goals.
In this context it should be mentioned that the Baltic Sea, where we are operating, is one of the world's most polluted oceans. Eutrophication, overfishing, increased shipping, and emissions of environmental toxins have turned the Baltic Sea into an ocean in crisis.
A solution to reach the ambitious UN global goals is through the electric energy transition – the second macro trend. This is a prerequisite for phasing out the use of fossil fuels and limiting climate change. The electrification has been particularly strong when it comes to solar cells and in the transport sector. 99 percent of the raw materials of the batteries in these cars are, according to the European Commission, from outside of Europe.
Due to the massive demand the supply chain has been challenged, which naturally brings us to the third trend – the geopolitical shift from interdependency towards self-sufficiency. The dependence on other countries, not least authoritarian states has been questioned and have led to initiatives where countries look for alternative solution to access necessary materials and technologies.
Over 90 percent of the rare earth metals that the EU imports come from China, which also totally dominates the production of silicon. The green transition risks making Europe as dependent on minerals from non-European countries as it is on gas from Russia. The EU has identified the problem and is now working with the "Critical raw materials act" to enable extraction of important metals in Europe.
The fourth trend is the ongoing green industrial revolution, particularly in the north of Sweden – Norrland. According to the chambers of commerce in Norrbotten and Västerbotten the current planned investments in Norrland sum up to over 1000 Bn SEK and between 25 000 to 100 000 new jobs being created consequently – and most of the investments are green.
On the Bothnia Bay seafloor lies small potato-sized lumps – nodules – that contain minerals. In the Baltic Sea lies sediments.
Via an air-lift technique, developed by Scandinavian Ocean Minerals, the seafloor is gently harvested for nodules or bottom sediment.
On board the ship, nodules are filtered or, if sediment centrifuged
Water and material that is not used is returned directly to the seafloor, which becomes oxygenated in the process.
Nodules and sediment are transported to land where nodules are refined into, among other things, manganese, iron, silicon (used for batteries, solar cells and semiconductors) while sediment becomes biogas, hydrogen gas or green coal (used for fossil-free steel).