KoBold Metals widens lithium hunt across four continents

KoBold Metals is searching for lithium deposits across four continents, widening…

KoBold Metals is searching for lithium deposits across four continents, widening its hunt for metals the world needs for cleaner energy and electric vehicles.

The Silicon Valley startup, which uses artificial intelligence to search for critical metals, will deploy the latest technology to search for lithium in South Korea, Quebec in Canada, the United States, Australia and Africa, said CEO Kurt House.

House said KoBold was adding lithium to the suite of minerals it wants to mine following successes in exploring for nickel and copper in Quebec and Zambia.


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In Africa, KoBold is also searching for lithium in Namibia and plans to start exploring for the mineral in the Democratic Republic of Congo – the world’s top cobalt supplier.

“Our plan is to develop the mines ourselves and ultimately in the next 10 to maybe 15 years from now, we want to be the largest supplier of critical metals,” House said.



KoBold was previously focused on searching for nickel and copper, and in Africa it is working on plans to build a mine in Zambia within the next 10 years.

The startup is backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund whose other backers include Virgin Group’s Richard Branson and Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio.

The company also searches for critical metals with BHP Group and Rio Tinto at projects in Australia and Canada. It is stepping up exploration for the metals as the U.S. is increasingly looking for alternative sources of supply for critical metals.

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