US-based mineral exploration company KoBold Metals said on Thursday it is ready to start drilling for nickel and other raw materials used in electric vehicles, amid skyrocketing prices brought about by Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia.
The company secured a 51% stake in the Disko-Nuussuaq project on Greenland’s west coast last year, operated by UK-based Bluejay Mining. In their joint venture, the mining firms plan to drill a total of 3,000 meters in 2022 at depths of between 150 to 400 meters to get to where the metals are located.
“The objective is to target massive nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals,” Bluejay CEO Bo Stensgaard told Reuters.
The ambitious project comes as prices for metals, especially nickel, used in electric vehicle batteries more than doubled earlier in March amid Western sanctions imposed on Russia following its military operation in Ukraine. Russia supplies around 10% of the world’s nickel needs, as well as 4% of cobalt. It is also the world’s 8th largest copper producer and 4th largest supplier of platinum.
“The recent unfortunate geopolitical developments clearly show that the Western world needs new deposits of these critical metals,” Stensgaard said.
KoBold is famous for utilizing artificial intelligence and cloud computing techniques to predict the composition of the subsurface in the hunt for raw materials. The firm says its goal is to “fully electrify the global economy” and start an “electric vehicle revolution.” The project is backed by notable billionaires such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates.
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