AI-Powered Mining: KoBold Metals Invests $150M in Zambian Copper Mine
California-based company, KoBold Metals, known for its use of artificial intelligence (AI), has announced plans to establish its first copper mine in Zambia. The American start-up, which has been relatively quiet in the mining sector, revealed in December an investment of $150 million for the copper project in Mingomba, Zambia. The mine is set to be developed over a ten-year period, from 2023 to 2033.
Revolutionizing Exploration with AI: Securing Support from Tech Titans
KoBold Metals utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify potential deposits of battery metals, such as copper and cobalt. This innovative approach to mining exploration aims to optimize the discovery and extraction of these key resources, essential for the production of green technologies like electric vehicle batteries.
In their pursuit of revolutionizing the mining sector, KoBold Metals has garnered the support of globally renowned entrepreneurs, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, through their subsidiary Breakthrough Energy Ventures. This climate and technology fund has pledged to back the major project, signaling a vote of confidence in the company’s innovative approach and the long-term potential of this venture.
The Potential of the Mingomba Deposit
While the copper project in Mingomba takes center stage, KoBold Metals has expressed an interest in exploring copper and cobalt opportunities in other African countries. The start-up has identified Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as potential territories for further exploration and resource extraction.
The Mingomba deposit, the focus of KoBold’s investment, currently holds an estimated 247 million tonnes of ore, with an average copper content of 3.64%. This translates to approximately 9 million tonnes of copper, making it a valuable resource for the start-up’s foray into the mining sector.
Boosting Zambia’s Copper Production
This project comes as a significant boost for Zambia, the second-largest producer of copper in Africa. The Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, has set an ambitious target of increasing the country’s copper production to 3 million tonnes a year by 2032, from the current output of around 850,000 tonnes. This investment by KoBold Metals is a significant step towards achieving this goal and underscores the country’s open-for-business stance.
KoBold Metals’ innovative approach, utilizing AI and machine learning in mining exploration, signals the beginning of a new era in the mining industry. With the backing of technology giants and the support of the Zambian government, the start-up is poised to make significant strides in revolutionizing the sector and contributing to the global green energy shift.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.