Odyssey Marine Exploration Reports Full Year 2021 Results and Provides Updates on Global Portfolio of Ocean Mineral Resource Projects
Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., a global subsea mineral exploration and development company, reported results for the full year ended December 31, 2021, and provided an update on its current projects and a company outlook.
“This past year was productive for the Odyssey team as we laid the foundation for what we believe will be a transformative 2022. During 2021, we diligently advanced our efforts around the NAFTA litigation to prepare for the successful hearing held earlier this year. Additionally, with the help of our partners, we advanced several mineral resource projects to the exploration stage, a critical step that provides investors with increased portfolio diversity at Odyssey,” said Mark Gordon, Odyssey’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. “During the fourth quarter of 2021, we also strengthened our balance sheet and overall financial position, including retiring $14.5 million of indebtedness. We remain focused on continued optimization of our capital structure in the coming months to put us in a prime position to execute our mineral project growth plans.”
“Looking forward into 2022, we expect to see our results accelerate driven by the combination of continued advancement of our mineral projects up the value curve and continued progress in the NAFTA litigation.”
“We believe our expertise and experience in subsea mineral exploration can provide access to critical minerals and metals, specifically those required to make renewable technologies and address increasing food security issues. Recent global events have magnified the pressures on current global supply chains and amplify the need for diverse supply chains that are not dependent on a limited number of sources. The progress we are making on conducting polymetallic nodule research and project development will be critical to addressing these global needs.”
“We are also enhancing our position as a leader in subsea phosphate deposit exploration. Drawing on the experience and knowledge gained from the years developing the ExO Phosphate Deposit, we recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a 75% interest in 19 phosphate exploration licenses in South America. The addition of this new South American Phosphate Project will allow us to leverage our extensive experience in subsea phosphate resource validation, quantification, and development to quickly move these exploration licenses up the value curve. With substantial increases in phosphate prices and demand, our analysis indicates great potential for this South American resource to be strategically significant to the fertilizer markets in the Americas,” concluded Gordon.
“This year we are also excited to add to our team three veteran industry experts, who have consulted on our projects for many years, to form a new Subsea Mineral Advisory Board. They join Odyssey as technical advisors to guide Odyssey’s management and project partners on all aspects of our mineral projects. Marine geologist Dr. James Hein, marine engineer Craig Bryson, and environmental impact and assessment expert Michael Wright are the founding members of the Advisory Board. We plan to appropriately expand this board over time by appointing additional individuals in various fields of expertise related to subsea mineral resource exploration and development,” said John Longley, Odyssey’s President and Chief Operating Officer.”
Information about the careers and background of the Odyssey Subsea Minerals Advisory Board members can be found on our website: https://www.odysseymarine.com/subseamineralsadvisoryboard.
2021 Financial Results
Our consolidated financial statements and Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, are available on the company's web site at www.odysseymarine.com as well as at www.sec.gov.
NAFTA Case Update
The NAFTA case against Mexico related to the ExO Phosphate Project is nearing the end of the evidentiary phase. Our recent hearing in front of the NAFTA Tribunal was a critical step in moving the case toward final resolution, and we remain highly confident in the merits of our case,” continued Mark D. Gordon, Odyssey Chairman and CEO. “While the NAFTA legal team continues to work on final filings prior to the Tribunal’s deliberation, our team can now devote more time to increasing the value of our diversified mineral portfolio.”
- After three years of preparation and multiple written filings including documentary evidence plus reports and statements from 20 experts and witnesses, the Tribunal heard directly from Odyssey, select experts and witnesses during a NAFTA Tribunal hearing in January. During the hearing, Odyssey’s legal team also had the opportunity to cross-examine Mexico’s witnesses. The hearing was not public, which precludes Odyssey from reporting or commenting on them further. Deliberations will begin after the evidentiary phase is closed by the Tribunal. Odyssey cannot predict the length of these deliberations or when a ruling will be issued. The public versions of Odyssey’s filings are available at https://www.odysseymarine.com/nafta.
- Odyssey currently owns 56% of ExO with an option to increase equity ownership to 65% upon conversion of debt.
On February 23, 2022, CIC was awarded a five-year exploration license by the Cook Islands’ Seabed Mineral Authority (SBMA). Environmental research expedition details are being finalized and operations are expected to begin within the second quarter. Odyssey is part of the consortium providing services to CIC and currently has rights to 16% of CIC's non-voting shares.
South America Phosphate Project
Odyssey entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint venture (JV) company in which Odyssey will own a 75% interest. The new company will have exclusive rights to a minimum of 19 areas believed to be highly prospective for phosphorite deposits in a Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of a country in South America. Legacy data and desktop research indicate high-grade phosphate deposits in the concession areas.
- Pending execution of the definitive agreement, Odyssey will manage the overall Phosphate Project development, and the local JV partner will manage business operations. A related party to the JV partner will provide marine operations services supervised by Odyssey.
- The initial 19 licenses to be developed by the JV include 380 km2 of seabed in the EEZ.
- Our planned exploration program will define the geological setting and provide data to refine extraction solutions with the goal of recovering phosphate ore in an environmentally responsible manner without the addition of any chemicals into the sea.
With phosphate prices at decade highs, regional demand growing and reductions in supply, the opportunity within the phosphate space has never been greater. Odyssey has spent years and significant capital to develop technologies and processes that allow for the dredging of phosphate product in a manner that is both environmentally sensitive and economically attractive.
Lihir Subsea Gold
Initial offshore survey and mapping operations were completed as planned in the Papua New Guinea, Lihir license area. Raw multi-beam and sub-bottom profiling data is being processed to produce a report and full analysis. The goals of this work include producing a high-resolution acoustic terrain model of the seafloor in the area, as well as acquiring acoustic images of subseafloor sediments and lithology. These activities will help us to further characterize the value of this project and allow informed decision making on how to proceed with environmentally sensitive direct geologic sampling. Odyssey holds an 85.6% ownership stake in this project. The Lihir Subsea Gold license area is adjacent to Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea, where one of the world’s largest terrestrial gold deposits is currently being mined and processed.