A climate fund founded by Bill Gates is investing in technology that uses surges of electricity to shatter rocks and mineral ores in a bid to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions at mines.
A European fund tied to Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures invested €12 million ($12.3 million) in the I-ROX pulsed-power venture with Robert Friedland’s I-Pulse Inc.
The technology is based on short, high-intensity bursts of power to streamline crushing and grinding processes that today make up the most energy-intensive and expensive part of mining.
That would help producers of metals like copper and nickel achieve carbon-reduction targets, thereby boosting industry efforts to gain acceptance for expansions to meet growing demand in the transition away from fossil fuels.
(By James Attwood)