Clean Energy Transition Fuels TechMet’s Rise as U.S. Government Commits Further $50M

Photo by Shane McLendon

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation plans to invest an additional $50 million in TechMet, a global critical minerals investment company, bringing its total investment to $105 million. The new funds will help TechMet develop projects to expand production, refining and recycling of minerals needed for clean energy technologies.

The development bank’s chief executive, Scott Nathan, participated in a ceremonial contract signing at the United Nations climate conference in Dubai on Sunday.

TechMet, founded in 2017 and now valued at over $1 billion, focuses on building supply chains for lithium, nickel, rare earths and other minerals used in electric vehicles, battery storage and renewable energy. The company has invested more than $250 million over the past two years in mining and processing projects in the Americas, Europe and Africa.

“The U.S. government backing puts TechMet at the forefront of this global effort to responsibly scale production of these metals, which are essential for clean energy technologies such as EVs and renewable energy storage,” said Brian Menell, TechMet’s founder and chief executive.

The International Development Finance Corporation, a U.S. government agency, also invested $50 million in TechMet in 2020. Its new commitment comes as TechMet begins raising $300 million of new private capital.

TechMet said it plans to use the U.S. funds to increase its investment in a rare earths project in South Africa. The project, developed by Rainbow Rare Earths, aims to reprocess mining waste to retrieve rare earths using American technology.

In August, TechMet helped finance a $67 million lithium project in Cornwall, England. It has also invested in mining and processing companies in Brazil, Canada and elsewhere.

“Today’s announcement builds upon existing DFC support for TechMet to develop more diverse, resilient and sustainable critical mineral supply chains,” said Mr. Nathan, the development bank’s chief executive.

The International Development Finance Corporation was created in 2019 to finance private development projects in emerging economies. It has invested over $30 billion to date, including more than $1 billion in climate-related projects.

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