Vale Creates $100M Venture Capital Arm to Boost Mining Innovation

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“We will be part of a pool of investors working for the success of these startups,” Viktor Moszkowicz, director of Vale Ventures, said in an interview.

Vale’s spending will be enough to build an initial portfolio of investments in about five years, generating a financial and strategic return, he said. The first in Vale’s portfolio is Boston Metal, a company focused on steel decarbonization technology that is backed by cleantech venture capital funds, mining companies and steel users. Vale invested $6 million in the US company in February 2021.

Vale’s venture capital push follows similar moves by rivals including BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group. The Brazilian mining giant is seeking access to business opportunities and innovative technologies that can be used in its operations as part of an effort to meet its environmental goals.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company has four main themes guiding Vale Ventures’ portfolio selection: decarbonization, waste-free mining, technology that changes mining operations, and energy transition metals.

The final theme aims to stimulate supply and demand for the key metals needed to support the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. Startups that develop batteries that use metals produced by Vale are on the radar, as is technology that creates “urban mines” — places where discarded metals can be recycled, Moszkowicz said.

(By Mariana Durao)

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