June 25, 2024

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Bill Gates-backed startup confident it can unearth more battery metals

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Copper plates on wagons ready for onward shipping at the Mufulira refinery, operated by Mopani Copper Mines Plc, in Mufulira, Zambia, on Friday, May 6, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

KoBold Metals, a mining startup backed by billionaires including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is bullish on the discovery potential of some of the most sought-after energy transition metals.

It comes shortly after the Silicon Valley-based metals exploration company announced the rare discovery of a vast copper deposit in Zambia.

Josh Goldman, president of KoBold Metals, told CNBC that the firm’s investors were thrilled by the discovery, particularly at a time when the mining industry is struggling to keep pace with a metals-intensive energy transition.

“They are feeling delighted about this news because this is what we set out to do. The point of the company is to discover, find and develop mineral resources that we need for the energy transition,” Goldman said via videoconference.

“This is the first major win for the company, and it is among the most extraordinary ore bodies in the world,” he added.

KoBold Metals says it uses artificial intelligence to create a “treasure map” to help find new deposits of materials such as copper, lithium, cobalt and nickel. The company currently has more than 60 exploration-stage projects across several countries.

The point of the company is to be serially successful in exploration — and to improve exploration success overall and to decrease the capital intensity of discovery.

Josh Goldman

President of KoBold Metals

The startup’s investors include U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Norwegian energy giant Equinor, the world’s largest mining group BHP, and Breakthrough Energy, a climate and technology fund founded by Bill Gates in 2015.

Breakthrough Energy’s backers include Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio, Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

KoBold Metals is now focusing on advancing its…

2024-03-06 01:15:00

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