BHP partners with billionaire-backed AI-powered mineral exploration company KoBold to find mineral deposits in Western Australia.
World's biggest miner, BHP, has decided to partner up with KoBold Metals, an AI-powered mineral exploration company backed by Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and several other billionaires. This jointly funded exploration will be using data processing technology to find and locate potential mineral deposits below the Earth's surface in an area of 500,000 square kilometers in Western Australia, roughly the size of the entire country of Thailand.
The vice president of BHP Metal Exploration, Keenan Jennings, has said that the partnership between BHP and KoBold Metals would combine historical data, artificial intelligence, and geoscience expertise to search for previously inaccessible ore deposits. With most of the world's shallow ores already discovered, finding new mineral deposits around the world has become much harder.
BHP had sold off its oil and gas business earlier this month and had pledged to focus on 'Future-facing commodities' such as lithium and nickel. BHP is the largest lithium supplier for Tesla, which uses lithium to make batteries for their electric vehicles.
KoBold has tied up with nearly 20 other companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, and North America, searching for copper, cobalt, lithium, and nickel. These are metals that will help the automotive industry transition from fossil fuels to green and clean energy.