As the popularity and incentives to buy electric vehicles continue to grow, the resources needed to manufacture them also become more in demand. Some analysts believe that in order to electrify the full fleet of light vehicles by mid-century, the world will need $5 trillion worth of copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium beyond known reserves. This is where a major mining deal in Western Greenland comes in.
Western Greenland resembles the geology of Russia’s Norilsk region, a major producer of nickel and palladium. It is also rich in metals such as copper, cobalt, and platinum. These precious metals are widely used and needed in the manufacturing of electric vehicles batteries. To meet these demands, and achieve societies goal of reaching net-zero, billionaires including Michael Bloomberg, Ray Dalio, Richard Branson, as well as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates have invested in KoBold Metals.
NEW – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg team up to form a joint venture to drill for about $1.4 trillion worth of rare natural resources for electric car batteries on Greenland's pristine land.
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 10, 2021
KoBold, a mining exploration startup based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hunt for raw materials. The company’s current suite of proprietary algorithms developed in a partnership with Stanford University is called Machine Prospector and uses geophysical data to map out underground reserves. Its artificial Intelligence agent called Intelligent Prospector helps KoBold in making decisions at the right time in developing a deposit from a claim to a fully operational mine.
According to Jef Caers, geological sciences professor at Stanford University, “KoBold’s approach to bringing the best minds in data science, engineering, and geology to accelerate critical battery metals fieldwork, data collection, and discoveries, is a cornerstone to a clean energy future.” Josh Goldman, co-founder and CTO of KoBold Metals said that”The industry is getting worse at finding deposits because the technology is not keeping up with the difficulty of exploration.”. Goldman noted that KoBold doesn’t plan on simply providing software or information to large mining concerns. Instead, it plans to become an actual partner on the ground.
Related Articles: Large-Scale Lithium Batteries Are The Future Of The Energy Grid | Seven ways new technology will impact the mining sector
Kobold has signed an agreement with London-listed Bluejay Mining to pay $15 million in exploration funding for the Disko-Nuussuaq project on Greenland’s west coast in exchange for a 51% stake in the project.
BlueJay Mining is a United Kingdom-based company, which is engaged in the exploration and development of precious and base metals. The Company has several Greenland properties, including the Disko-Nuussuaq project on Greenland’s west coast. KoBolds partnership with BueJay and other mining companies in the future will help target, mine, and extract needed elements at a much more efficient and accurate rate. This will also help the environment by using their technology to identify where the resources are before destroying parts of the earth and wasting energy on suspected locations where elements may or may not be.
The need for minerals to manufacture electric vehicle batteries to meet net-zero is all part of a modern-day industrial revolution. The pressure to secure rare earth minerals is also being felt at the highest levels of the U.S. government. President Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier this month ordering the unclassified assessment of supply chains in key industries, such as semiconductor manufacturing, medical supplies, and electric car batteries. The goal, according to administration officials, is to make sure the U.S. has access to critical resources and supplies in the case of future emergencies.
As electric vehicles take over from gas-powered vehicles, the security concerns and access to resources is making Western economies move away from once oil-rich regions to mineral-rich regions needed for battery manufacturing.
Because of this, going forward, it may be wise to continue developing other forms of renewable sources of energy, transportation, and power. This will help reduce the chance of nations being dependent and held hostage on a single form of energy like oil in the past. However, the current greatest threat is the heating planet. As long as an electric car is being driven rather than an internal combustion one, it is not emitting CO2 and adding to the current global climate crisis. Insofar as this is the case, it is a good mitigation strategy, while waiting for a more definitive fix.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Town of Paamiut. Featured Photo Credit: Aningaaq Rosing Carlsen.