Car maker BMW’s Silicon Valley VC fund has placed a bet on Jetti Resources to be part of a solution to any looming bottleneck in “green” copper supply, saying the US technology company might “improve the environmental footprint and integrity of [BMW’s] supply chain” even as miners race to meet a surge in copper demand.
BMW, which claims half its global car sales could be electric vehicles as early as 2030, says its BMW I Ventures fund has invested in privately-owned Jetti “to foster responsible and resource-conserving copper extraction”. BMW Group, including BMW, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, sold more than 2.5 million passenger vehicles last year.
Jetti’s catalytic leaching technology could allow economic production of copper from sulphide ores said to account for about 70% of the world’s known resources.
Producing more copper from previously uneconomic sources can reduce reliance on new mines and expansions to meet forecast higher copper use in a global transition to renewable power generation and distribution, and EVs.
“By investing in Jetti, we are supporting technological progress in the field of copper extraction, with a focus on responsible and resource-conserving methods,” BMW raw materials boss, Wolfgang Obermaier said.
BMWiV launched a US$525 million fund in 2016. A second, $300m fund was announced in mid-2021.
Fund I focused on autonomous and digital vehicle, manufacturing and service technology. Fund II is reportedly focused primarily on sustainability and zero emissions in the supply chain.