Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates back mining project for electric car components in Greenland
Lowering carbon dioxide emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is one of the major challenges of our century. For this, one of the main axes is to phase out fossil fuel cars (gasoline and diesel) and replace them with electric vehicles. It’s an ambitious, ongoing process requiring time and effort on the part of manufacturers, authorities and consumers. One of the main obstacles is related to the mining of the materials needed to make batteries.
KoBold Metals is looking to deposits in Greenland to solve this issue. Indeed, an area located in the west of the country has notable similarities with the Russian region of Norilsk, known to produce nickel and palladium in large quantities. KoBold Metals is supported by billionaires Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg via a climate fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
The California-based company has entered into an agreement with Bluejay Mining to mine the area where it hopes to find metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum. To do this, KoBold Metals hopes to use a new technique based on artificial intelligence and deep learning to find the best drilling locations. The AI is trained to examine 80-year-old maps and combine them with satellite data to find potential sites.
KoBold’s Machine Prospector technology makes predictions about where the ore is concentrated and then collects additional data that helps minimize uncertainty. The idea is to quickly eliminate places where the chances of success are low, so that when they drill, they have a much better chance of finding the right spot.
What they are looking for are “compositional anomalies,” which are large chunks of mineable rock. These anomalies make it much more economical to mine and process the ore. The demand for such materials is likely to continue to grow, and the processes of exploring, identifying and mining them need to meet sustainability standards.