Hidden Gem is equipped with cutting-edge deep sea polymetallic nodule collection and transport systems engineered and built in-house.
Deployment of 4.5 km riser for nodule transport
Allseas purchased the former ultra-deepwater drill ship “Vitoria 10000” in March 2020 for conversion to a polymetallic nodule collection vessel. She is 228 m long, 42 m wide, and can accommodate 200 people. As a former drill ship, her configuration is well-suited for modifications that will enable the at-sea deployment of a 4.5 km riser to transport nodules from the ocean floor to the surface.
The collected deep-sea polymetallic nodules contain high grades of nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt – key metals required for building electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies.
In-house built collector vehicle
The vessel is equipped with a custom-engineered collector vehicle for the responsible recovery of polymetallic nodules. Designed in-house and built at Allseas fabrication site in Heijingen, the Netherlands, our prototype collector is capable of working at extreme depths and under extreme pressures. The 12-metre robotic collector is deployed over-the-side by means of a launch and recovery system (LARS).
Control and power is provided via a 5000-metre umbilical. The collector is operated from a control cabin on board and moves in parallel motion with the vessel's dynamic positioning system.
Both vessel and its systems underwent extensive offshore trials ahead of the pilot mineral collection tests in 2022.