KoBold Metals, founded in 2018, uses artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to find new deposits of critical metals previously hidden due to exploration limitations. The start-up thrives on technological innovation, as it uses vast archives of historical and scientific data to detect potential deposits. Its artificial technology sorts and streamlines over 20 million pages of documents in the public domain, including two centuries of mining rights agreements. KoBold Metals has taken the world by storm, creating a unique AI technology to find critical metals, such as lithium and cobalt. These metals are crucial for the future of the electric vehicle (EV) and renewable energy industries. KoBold Metals, backed by Bill Gates, is set to dominate because of its innovative AI technology, high operating efficiency and enormous 192 million USD backing by the tech sector.
The global mining industry is valued at over 1.6 trillion USD and is forecasted to become increasingly concentrated around the previously mentioned critical metals. Moreover, KoBold Metals estimate that there will be a need for more than 10 trillion USD of critical metals because of the rising demand for electric vehicles and electric components for renewable energy over the next two decades. Mining discoveries have been getting slower and more costly over time, and in the last 30 years, the discovery per dollar of exploration capital has declined by six times. Much of the surface critical metals already claimed, with a larger supply believed to be deeper within the earth’s core which is hard to detect with present exploration methods.
AI is allowing KoBold Metals to build a ‘Google Maps’ of the earth’s crust, and when areas with potential have been found, KoBold Metals sends a team in to collect more data. The collection of this data includes manning a helicopter equipped with a large metal detector that sends out electromagnetic pulses a third of a mile into the earth. This makes the process more cost-efficient and sustainable. Recently, KoBold Metals were able to successfully predict the existence of minerals in an area of northern Quebec, regardless of being previously ruled out by conventional processes.
As a result of this exploration success, KoBold Metals has excelled in its financial backing and has partnered with multiple renewable energy and mining companies. The start-up has gained significant investments from leaders of the tech industry. BHP, the world’s largest miner, has recently partnered with KoBold Metals. The partnership will combine the capabilities and datasets of BHP with the powerful platform of KoBold Metals to dominate the market. Furthermore, KoBold Metals have partnered with Norway’s state-backed energy company Equinor ASA, which will invest over 10 million USD into Kobold for a stake of less than 10%. This will give Equinor expertise in using artificial intelligence and machine learning to hunt for oil and gas.
As a result of Kobold Metals’ vast network, the company is not letting international borders slow them down. Kobold Metals has explored in Canada, Australia and several African countries, and last month, KoBold Metals signed a joint venture agreement with BlueJay Mining PLC to discover metals in Greenland. KoBold Metals uses real estate play to maximise their revenue, buying the mining rights and then forming partnerships with mining majors to split the revenue.
Tesla plays a massive role in the rising demand and prices of critical metals such as Cobalt. Before Tesla’s EV business expanded rapidly, Cobalt was as common as Tin because there was no financial incentive to explore it. Tesla wasted no time in dominating the Lithium industry, backed by China’s Ganfeng Lithium Co Ltd, which is the world’s largest Lithium producer, as well as other Lithium markets. KoBold Metals, with its new technology, will compete against Tesla’s suppliers, leading to the expansion of the market and a lowering price of critical metals.
KoBold Metals is here to change the mining industry, lowing the price of critical metals and setting a positive path for the future of the electric vehicles and renewable energy business. KoBold Metals’ technology and AI will only get more advanced with its extremely large funding and backing by companies that want in on its revolution as KoBold Metals becomes more dominant.
By: Joel Muir
Sector Head: Eric Hardy