Monday, June 24, 2024

Company backed by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos Aims to Start Copper and Cobalt Production in Zambia Within a Decade

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California-based KoBold Metals, supported by prominent figures like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is pursuing ambitious plans to commence copper and cobalt production at the Mingomba project in Zambia within the next ten years. The company is investing approximately $150 million to expedite its quest for additional deposits in this area along the renowned African copper belt.

Additional studies and exploration activities at the Mingomba project are scheduled for completion by 2024, according to Mfikeyi Makayi, the Zambian CEO of the Silicon Valley startup KoBold Metals. Makayi expressed confidence in the project’s potential, stating, “It’s a very attractive project, and we have said within a decade we would want Mingomba to be a producing mine.”

KoBold Metals employs artificial intelligence to search for essential metals such as copper, cobalt, nickel, and lithium, vital for the clean energy transition and the growth of electric vehicles. Backed by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund with support from influential figures like Richard Branson and Ray Dalio, KoBold acknowledges the urgency of securing supplies of these metals.

“It’s basically a crisis,” Makayi noted, emphasizing the critical global need for these materials. The extended timeframes associated with mine development align with the commitment of the company’s unconventional backers.

KoBold Metals also collaborates with industry giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto on projects in Australia. Stakes in the Mingomba project are held by commodity investor EMR Capital and Zambia’s ZCCM-IH.

The United States is exploring alternative sources of critical metals supply, and American investors have enabled KoBold to intensify its exploration efforts. The company aspires to discover deposits in Zambia as substantial as Mingomba and explore opportunities in Botswana, Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Makayi refrained from confirming potential partnerships with BHP and Rio Tinto for the development of the Mingomba project, emphasizing that KoBold’s internal capacity could suffice. Discussions with partners regarding the project’s future direction are yet to take place.

The Mingomba deposit boasts a defined resource of around 247 million tons of ore with an average copper grade of 3.64%, equating to an estimated 9 million tons of copper.

KoBold Metals’ ambitions in Zambia and beyond reflect the growing importance of securing critical metal supplies for the global transition to clean energy and electric vehicles.

Source : Reuters

32 COMMENTS

    • Our minerals are gone mayoooooo!!! I saw on TV where the president was inviting chinese to come and explore our mineral reserves. Ichalo twalusa !!!! These vultures will finish the copper and other minerals before HH vacates office in 2026!!!!

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    • You are the ones under Chiluba who sold everything to the foreigners. You forced Kaunda out, and now you want to share the country. You are the ones who sold KCM to Agrawal, and now you want to blame HH

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  1. Blah blah blah blah and the hallucinating continues……ZAMBIANS SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THE MINES…PERIOD…Dont bring in scavengers….Vedanta…Bill Gates…Bezos etc…these are greedy morons

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    • You mean your tribesmen should share the minerals of Zambia, and since they like mining skills or capital, they will then in their personal capacities bring in Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, but in stead of the money accruing to country, it will go to them personally. You are saying “Zambians”, you are not saying “Zambia”

  2. I have noticed that African leaders have become ” speach specialists” at the UNGA…they just travel to USA and make noise at UNGA and head back to their countries empty handed but with personal shopping and waste of millions of tax payers money

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  3. @Grant Kolala says, “ZAMBIANS SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THE MINES…PERIOD”.
    My question here is, which Zambian has the funds to undertake such projects?
    Not even the government.
    Many of you should refrain from nonsensical statements.
    Then many of you will say, they want to take our minerals, no they don’t, you should be seeing it as we have a money earning commodity that others want and we will be good business people and ensure we make the best deals and earn from.
    That’s what the Arabs had done with their oil
    and look at them now.

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  4. If you have never had first hand experience of neocolonialism, here it is! Our dimwit leaders feel good when they ask big names to come and dominate us. These people don’t have to queue at the Cadastre Department for over 2yrs begging for mining licenses. The buffoon Minister approves them at lightening speed without even checking details

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    • You under Chiluba to Sata are the ones who destroyed parastatals and sold our country to the foreigners. You even went into provinces where you do not come from and sold our natural resources to the same people you claim to oppose. You sold Maamba Collieries to the Indians. You parted ZCCM and auctioned its assets, to the likes of Agrawal. You took the assets of the Zambians government, such as the houses, and shared them among yourselves. So shut up

    • @Mutulangóma, $150 million to expedite its quest for additional deposits and not for good things that start mining operation.

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    • No one is celebrating. We need to know what exactly they are getting for $150 million. Unfortunately, in your zeal to privatise and loot the economy of Zambia, you weakened the rules of accountability. The MPs can only watch as government does what it wants. That is the legacy of Chipuba and MMD, and I hate it now, as I hated it a long time ago, when you praised because it allowed to loot the country. This is your fault. You sold Chilanga, you destroyed, Zanaco, Nitrogen Chemicals, Indeco, the National Milling etc etc, so to hell with you

  5. When kaizar warned you about voting in a western puppet like hh, you called me names. Here we are today. Hh who undervalued our parastatals during privatisation is now bringing the whltes he worships to exploit our resources

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  6. @ Ben
    Remember in the 70s and 80s we had our own fully Zambian owed companies before the Supreme leader Ayatollah Bandit Hakainde Hichilema and his fellow Bandit started Privatization……NIEC STORES…..ZAMBIA NATIONAL WHOLESALE….ZCCM……ROAN ANTELOPE….the list goes on and on….so what makes you think that as Zambians we can’t manage our own natural resources…the same Bill Gates ..Bezos…Vedanta do you know that they go and borrow money from Banks and come to us and steal and repay back their loans…..STOP BEING A BLIND AND GULLIBLE PRAISE SINGER

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    • First start by trying to teach Zambians the basics, like garbage disposal……….

      The same people you want to run mines can’t even organise a garbage disposal system………????

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    • Hakainde did not privatise anything. You are trying to blame him for what Chipuba, Satan, Banda and other looters did. Hakainde never worked a day in the government, and never had the power to privatise anything. You are trying to rewrite history so that you can blame HH for what Satan and Chipuba did

  7. @Spaka
    I agree with you 100% on garbage disposal and keeping our environment clean…look at both UPND and PF secretariat buildings and surroundings….the PF building is an eyesore and garbage everywhere….just like the UPND building….
    My point is we don’t need Bill Gates to go and get loans to come and steal our minerals….am sure you know that these rich bazungu have access to massive loans but as for black individuals its very hard to even get a 10 000 dollar loan from the Bank even if you have a very good business proposal

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  8. @Spaka
    We have Rich Zambians who can buy and manage our mines but you guys are killing fellow black Zambian businesmen with money….why don’t they accuse Bill Gates of being a Satanist….why don’t they accuse Elon Mask or Jeff Bezos of being a Satanist….but you attack and kill a fellow brother with pocket change as being a Satanist…..LACK OF EDUCATION PLUS POVERTY IS A VERY BAD COMBINATION

  9. @Spaka
    “IF YOU CAN COUNT YOUR MILLIONS THEN YOU’RE NOT RICH….” JOHN PAUL GETTY…Bill Gates can count his millions so he is not rich he just wants to come and steal more of our minerals…

    • FYI………..

      bill Gates and bezos probably don’t even know where zambia is……..

      If at all this company has any association with them it is most likely that……….

      They invested some millions on the green credentials of this company to power the none fosil industry………

  10. Grant Kolala,
    In the 70s and 80s oiur glorious Zambian owned mines ran at losses. By the time they were privatised in the 90s they LOST $1,000,000 a day. Miners were given a loaf of bread at the gate rather than being paid. You want that to come back? The mines pay workers and taxes now; sure they could pay more but that is the fault of ZRA. My father worked for the mines in the 80s and he still does so I know these things. There is no stealing, we need someone to extract the minerals and we failed with ZCCM. The reason the economy did well until PF was privatisation and investment. The reason it started to collapse under PF was the thinking you advocate. And it will bite us for decades because money has not been invested in exploration because of PF antics.

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  11. Shame upon you lazy and weak Zambians. A decade is too far away. Then the Americans and the Chinese should have taken away every mineral remains. Why a decade. 50 years after independence. Where are all the graduates from the university of Zambia. You mean they cannot even make batteries?

  12. @MrComment
    I agree with you but are we going to be dependent on foreigners coming to manage our Minerals…cant we as Zambians manage our own natural resources.. Samuel Phiri just mentioned that 50 years after independence and we still giving away our minerals for free

  13. 50 years is not enough for us Africans to reach maturity,
    try 80 years and you may be closer to the mark
    Surely most posts are an indication

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