The company KoBold, backed by billionaire investors including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, has found what it says is the largest copper discovery in the country for a century. It may also be a geopolitical stroke of luck for the United States.
The mining company KoBold Metals, which is financially backed by billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, among others, announced at the beginning of February that it had discovered a huge copper deposit in Zambia. The company announced that the Mingomba mine in northern Zambia contains the largest deposit found in the African country for a century. Zambia is Africa's second-largest copper producer, and the metal is central to the country's economy.
KoBold Metals had been searching for copper in Zambia for a year. Founded in 2014 and based in California, the company is a kind of tech startup among mining companies. KoBold Metals uses artificial intelligence to search for copper, cobalt, lithium and other «green» metals needed for the global energy transition.
The company uses various data sources to find metal deposits. Among other things, it employs algorithms to evaluate satellite data and old, hand-painted maps. KoBold Metals claims that thanks to this method, they are better able to identify geological features and thus also find deposits that conventional exploration projects overlook.