(Corrects 5th paragraph to reflect that Breakthrough Energy Ventures is an investor in KoBold, not an owner)
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Mineral exploration company KoBold Metals, backed by billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, has signed an agreement with London-listed Bluejay Mining to search in Greenland for critical materials used in electric vehicles.
KoBold, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to hunt for raw materials, will pay $15 million in exploration funding for the Disko-Nuussuaq project on Greenland’s west coast in exchange for a 51% stake in the project, Bluejay said in a statement.
Shares in BlueJay traded 26% higher on the news.
The license holds metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum and the funding will cover evaluation and initial drilling.
KoBold is a privately-held company whose principal investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Bloomberg founder Michael Bloomberg, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.
Other KoBold investors include Silicon Valley venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz and Norwegian state-controlled energy company Equinor.
BlueJay said previous studies found the area in western Greenland has similarities to the geology of Russia’s Norilsk region, a main producer of nickel and palladium.
“This agreement is transformative for Bluejay,” said the comany’s CEO Bo Steensgaard. “We are delighted to have a partner at the pinnacle of technical innovation for new exploration methods, backed by some of the most successful investors in the world.”
(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-PedersenEditing by David Holmes)