Billionaire-backed KoBold Metals to invest in Zambia copper mine (Reuters – December 14, 2022)

JOHANNESBURG, Dec 14 (Reuters) – California-based exploration firm KoBold Metals, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify battery metal deposits, is investing $150 million to develop a copper mine in Zambia, the company announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.

KoBold’s investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund founded by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin’s Richard Branson.

The Mingomba project, a win for Zambia’s president who has set an ambitious copper production target, is a joint venture with Australian private equity firm EMR Capital and Zambia’s state-backed miner ZCCM-IH (ZCCM.LZ), with the potential to become “one of the world’s top-tier mines”, KoBold said.

Mingomba contains 247 million tonnes of ore with an average grade of 3.64% copper, according to KoBold.

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