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Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos-Backed Firm Discovers Massive Copper Deposit in Zambia

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KoBold Metals, a California-based metals exploration company backed by billionaires like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, has discovered a substantial copper deposit in Zambia.

Following the finding, a KoBold Metals spokesperson told CNBC that KoBold’s Mingomba copper project in Zambia “will be one of the world’s biggest high-grade large copper mines.”

By using artificial intelligence to create “Google Maps” of the Earth’s crust, the company is able to locate new deposits of copper, lithium, cobalt and nickel. Their discovery of a large copper deposit in Zambia is of global significance because copper is in high demand for its applications in renewable energy and electric vehicles.

KoBold Metals President Josh Goldman stated that the Mingomba copper project is comparable in size and grade to the Kakula-scale, a reference to the colossal Kamoa-Kakula copper mine located just across Zambia’s northern border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Zambia, already a key player in global copper production, stands to benefit economically from this discovery. Copper constitutes 70% of Zambia’s total export earnings, and the country is responsible for about 20% of the world’s emerald production.

In Africa, Zambia is second only to Congo in copper production. The country produced 837,996 tonnes in 2020. The figure fell to 800,696 tonnes in 2021 and further decreased to 763,287 metric tons of copper in 2022.

This decline in production might be related to why Jito Kayumba, special assistant to the Zambian president on economic, investment, and development affairs, expressed optimism about the project’s potential.

“What they’ve discovered is quite phenomenal. There is a lot that we as Zambians can look forward to in terms of the announcement of their mine development which should be coming on stream”, he said.

KoBold Metals says it will commence copper production at the Zambian mine within a decade.

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