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The Mining Company
Live Project
2021-22 MA Cohort

The Mining Company  Holds a mirror to its doppelganger The Metals Company (TMC).

By Hijacking The Metals Company’s website, The Mining Company shines a light on the destruction that TMC will wreak. TMC holds exploration rights in the Pacific Ocean’s deep seabed, with ambitions to start exploitation from 2024.

The Mining Company’s spokesperson stated, “We’re holding a mirror up to The Metals Company, refuting their claims and exposing the      problems and consequences they don’t want you to see.”

Governance: Jurisdictions, Financial Commons and Nauru

Like TMC, The Mining Company are in bed with deep sea mining regulators the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to protect their collective reputation when destruction occurs.

“Its  paradoxical mandate to protect ecosystems whilst facilitating extraction means we too can be a low-impact industry” continued The Mining Company spokesperson.

“We are the latest in a long line of proud paternalistic, colonial partners with the Island of Nauru: through our approach of radical transparency, we deconstruct our competitors' claim

to be developing a ‘metal commons’, that hides their accumulation of wealth in the Global North.” 

“Ours is a simpler operation, extract, and profit.”

Mining: The Deep Sea, Byproducts and ‘Used, Recovered, Reused?’

The deep sea might seem a murky place. However The Mining Company state on their website that they are committed to transparency and highlighting possible disastrous impacts.“We acknowledge we are conducting mining of manganese nodules on the deep sea ocean floor without fully understanding the implications. That we treat nature as expendable, but our operations will be limited - until we expand operations”, claimed The Metal Company spokesperson. To gain trust with the public, our potential investors, we show the true impacts  of our machinery on the sea floor compared to our competitors’ imagined equipment that they claim will limit destruction comparable to subsea oil extraction. While our competitors claim that metals can be “used, recovered, and reused again and again”, The Mining Company is focused solely on extraction, the only activity possible, given there is no infrastructure to recycle batteries at a global scale. We meet hollow claims with our unique emphasis on real-world feasibility and actions.

Research: $75 Million, Hollow Science, A Research Commons?

In their contribution to pushing the boundaries of science, The Mining Company have taken an innovative approach compared with the rest of the sector: studying where their research money is spent and what it might be for. “We have mapped out the budget of The Metals Company to reveal that it is over-inflated and focused on technological development for the express purposes of extraction instead of environmental assessment. Further, we found flaws in the legitimacy of our regulator’s (ISA) own research findings.”“Casting our net wider, we mapped the global distribution of research related to deep sea mining. Since the UN have declared the deep sea as the “common heritage of mankind”, we ask if all should benefit from this knowledge production or whether activities should focus on establishing proprietary relations for select investors.”

Investors: Financials, Credit Rating

The Mining Company admits that they are not in pole position to mine the deep sea. However they have learnt from who is: The Metals Company (TMC). “We question if TMC has the ability to mine, as the company is pre-revenue, reliant on forward-looking statements and speculative projections to attract potential investors.”“We have compared TMC to the business model of Nautilus Minerals, which failed to commercialise our sector. Both business models rely on anecdotal evidence of projected growth rather than quantitative and systematic accounting principles.

“We anticipate that TMC will follow Nautilus Minerals into bankruptcy.”

Visit The Mining Company website here

This web platform is the outcome of the MA in Research Architecture students’ Live Project, an intensive collaborative investigation into deep sea mining that took place between 17 January and 19 February 2022, led by Andy Whitmore, Joam Evans Pim, Christina Varvi, Susan Schuppli and Riccardo Badano with additional inputs from Margarida Mendes, Natalia Orendain del Castillo and Nabil Ahmed.

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