The British mining company Bluejay Mining and the US exploration company KoBold Metals, backed by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, among others, announced a joint venture on Monday. Together, the two companies want to find out if coarser deposits of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum are present in an area of western Gronland. The raw materials are needed for the production of electric cars.
The area is a roughly 2897-square-kilometer rough land area near Disko-Nuusuaq. Back in 1870, the 28-ton Illukunguaq boulder had been discovered there, with high sulfide-value contents of 7 percent nickel, 3 percent copper, as well as 512 g of cobalt per ton and more than 2 g of platinum group elements per ton.
High occurrences expected
As Bluejay points out, there have been investigations there ever since – over 30 years in total. From the scientific data collected, it appears that a significant accumulation of metals can be expected in the area. Most recently, Bluejay itself conducted geochemical soil analysis there from 2017 to 2020 together with government-required technical partners. About 20 drillable targets have been identified, for which Bluejay has licenses in the area. Seven of the targets are said to be particularly promising, with two of them in a coarse order of 10 kilometers × 1 kilometer and 4.8 kilometers × 0.8 kilometer standing out in particular. There, the rock samples are to be comparable to those of the most productive Russian nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum ore deposit at Norilsk-Talnach in Siberia.
In a comparative analysis, Bluejay estimates that the total value of the ores at 2020 metal prices similar to those in the Norilsk district could be about $1.4 trillion. Where platinum group elements account for 60 percent of the value, it says.
KoBold Metals is now to refine drilling targets using its own technical processes. In an initial phase through the end of December 2022, the company is expected to spend $3.4 million as sole funding for the geological and geophysical assessment of the project. In the second phase until the end of 2024 then invest about $ 11.6 million in drilling expenditures or in 15 pre-agreed wells. For this, Kobold Metals was given a 51 percent stake in the project, Bluejay was retained 49 percent.
The main investor in KoBold Metals is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates” climate and technology fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Other investors in the fund include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and U.S. entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg.
Increasing production of electric cars increases demand for certain raw materials such as graphite, nickel, copper, cobalt, lithium and aluminum for vehicle batteries.
Bluejay Mining’s stock rose about 10 percent to 16 euro cents after announcing the agreement with KoBold Metals. A week earlier, the price per security was 10 cents.