Impossible Metals has a more sustainable way to harvest nickel and cobalt, but experts worry it could still disrupt vital ecosystems. On a recent weekday afternoon, a team of engineers watched as a small robot hovered in the clear water of Canada’s Georgian Bay, gently picking up rocks off the sandy bottom. Impossible Metals, the startup that designed the robot, wants to prove that it can sustainably harvest deep-sea metals like the cobalt and nickel needed for electric vehicle...


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