‘Clean copper’ driving investment in tech: Jetti CEO

Staff reporter

Top image :
Jetti Resources CEO Mike Outwin. Image: Kitco
‘At some mines you can produce a mine’s worth of copper at an existing asset’

Car maker BMW was investing in Jetti Resources, a mining technology company, to get access to “clean copper”, according to Jetti CEO Mike Outwin.

US-based Jetti has raised more than US$200 million of private equity funding from investors such as Freeport-McMoRan, Teck Resources, Mitsubishi, BHP and BMW, to advance commercialisation of catalytic technology developed to enable economic extraction of copper from low-grade sulphide ores.

“We’re able to unlock this stranded resource that is really considered as waste,” Outwin said.

“[Jetti can] take that legacy material and, for the already spent emissions and water consumption at the mine, bring about a significant additional amount of new copper production.

“We think that currently the Jetti process is the best way to achieve cleaner copper right now.

“So I think you’ve got groups such as BMW that are interested in having cleaner supply chains and access to metals that have a good profile and putting those in their vehicles.”

For the mining and metals companies Jetti has on its ownership register, “turning waste streams into revenue streams” was increasingly attractive as primary copper grades fell and development of major new mines continued to slow.

“The reasons why we’ve got traction is it’s a very low-capex technology, integrates seamlessly with existing operations, we’re able to leverage their already existing leach systems to unlock copper,” Outwin said.

“At some mines you can produce a mine’s worth of copper at an already existing asset, meaning you don’t have to develop a new pit necessarily, so it’s a very exciting proposition for many companies.”

Outwin said on a Kitco webcast from the recent BMO Global Metals, Mining & Critical Minerals Conference in Florida, USA – only posted this week by Jetti – that the company was working on “exciting deployment opportunities … at some of the world’s largest mines” but couldn’t provide details at this stage.

“As a company we’re very focused on executing on the delivery of this technology into the field at these big, very high-quality assets and advancing beyond this initial commercialisation phase that we’ve been in for a few years,” he said.

Outwin said he remained confident Jetti’s “value-sharing” business model would work.

“We’ve got a technology that makes projects happen that otherwise wouldn’t: it’s enabling technology,” he said.

“We think that because of that we deserve to share in the value that’s being created by the technology.

“And so there’s several different methods that we utilise to access that value. We work with our partners in a very open-minded, transparent way to bring about the right mechanisms [for] pricing the technology [and] participating in that value that we’re creating so that both parties do really well.”


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