TechMet closes $120M tech metals backing
Provides funds to grow critical metal operations, portfolio Metal Tech News – April 21, 2021
Last updated 4/27/2021 at 3:48pm
TechMet Ltd. continues to build strong financial support for its vision of building a portfolio of world-class projects that produce, process, and recycle technology metals critical to electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, and energy storage.
"TechMet's mission is to build ethical, independent, and environmentally sound supply chains for the metals that are needed to ensure the success of this 21st-century clean energy and EV revolution," said TechMet Chairman and CEO Brian Menell.
Toward this mission, the private tech metals company recently closed a $120 million financing. This financing was originally set at $50 million and then was increased to $80 million in October. This larger financing was oversubscribed by 50%. Investors also paid a 32% higher price for the final $60 million, compared to the original pricing for this second round of TechMet financing.
"The closure of this funding round marks a significant milestone for TechMet and its oversubscription is a clear reflection of our great projects and of the value, the team has created in a short time. These funds give us a significant amount of firepower to expand our operations and add to our portfolio," Menell said.
From a mining family that has been a major player in South African mining for 80 years, Menell founded TechMet in 2017 to develop assets that produce metals for which global demand will vastly outweigh supply as the world moves to clean energy technologies. This imbalance is expected to cause geopolitical tensions as countries scramble to secure adequate supplies of critical minerals and metals.
"I applaud TechMet's achievement in closing this round of funding – it is a testament to the team's foresight, positioning, and ability," said Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and current chairman of TechMet's advisory board. "As the world adopts new technologies, the supply of critical metals becomes a more pressing national security challenge for the US and its allies. TechMet's achievements and credibility now firmly position it to help to deal with these challenges."
The TechMet family of companies currently includes:
• Brazilian Nickel – A United Kingdom-based private company focused on producing nickel and cobalt, two key lithium-ion battery metals, at its Piauí mine project in Brazil.
• Li-Cycle Corp. – A Canada-based lithium-ion battery recycling company with a producing plant in Ontario, a plant under construction in New York, and plans for a third in Arizona
• U.S. Vanadium LLC – An Arkansas-based producer of high-purity vanadium pentoxide, a critical metal used in aerospace-grade alloys and grid-scale redox flow batteries.
• Tinco – A UK-based mining company that is the largest tin and tungsten producer in Rwanda.
TechMet also has an interest in a currently producing rare earths metals project and is developing TechMet Ventures to invest in new opportunities across the supply chain.
Brazilian Nickel attracted $25 million to the larger TechMet financing from U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, which sees this investment as both supporting economic growth in one of Brazil's most underdeveloped areas and securing minerals that are critical to the U.S.
Market analysts forecast that global automakers will be producing at least 55 million electric vehicles per year by 2040, more than 25 times the roughly 2 million being produced this year. This is going to put a strain on the supplies of cobalt, graphite, lithium, nickel, and manganese needed for the batteries that power these EVs.
"We are fortunate to be at an inflection point in history of both enormous opportunity and enormous challenge," said Menell. "We are at the beginning of an epic supply-demand dislocation for the metals that go into EVs and renewable energy systems, and our industry must completely transform itself in order to supply these strategic materials in the quantities necessary, and with the required high environmental, social and governance standards and low carbon footprint, to ensure the success of a clean energy future."
To expand its current operations and add new tech metals projects to its portfolio, TechMet is planning a roughly $250 million third round of financing that is expected to close around mid-year.