BMW Group invests in more efficient process for copper extraction

German carmaker takes stake in US start-up Jetti Resources, which has developed a catalytic leaching technology that enables extraction of copper from previously unexploited ores

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 10 Dec 2022 Views icon4631 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The BMW Group has taken a stake in US- (Colorado) based company, Jetti Resources through its venture capital fund BMW i Ventures. The aim, as per the carmaker, is to foster responsible and resource-conserving copper extraction to address rising demand in a more sustainable manner. Founded in 2014, Jetti Resources has developed a pioneering process for copper extraction that utilises previously unused ore from existing copper mines.

“By investing in Jetti, we are supporting technological progress in the field of copper extraction, with a focus on responsible and resource-conserving methods,” said Wolfgang Obermaier, Head of Indirect Goods and Services, Raw Materials, Production Partners of the BMW Group. 'This new process has the potential to improve the environmental footprint and integrity of our supply chain, even with growing demand for resources like copper,” added Obermaier adds.

As copper is a vital raw material to produce electric drivetrains in EVs, demand is forecasted to grow substantially in the coming years. As early as 2030, at least half of BMW Group's global sales will consist of fully electric vehicles.

Using existing resources
As per BMW, Jetti Resources has developed a unique catalytic leaching technology that enables the extraction of copper from previously unexploited ores. Around 70 percent of the world's copper resources are bound up in those primary sulfide ores. Material, previously stored in dumps and considered waste, can now be tapped into with this new form of resource-conserving extraction.

This process enables the recovery of previously trapped copper resources, thus significantly increasing the output and lifespan of existing copper production facilities. This way, copper extraction becomes substantially more efficient and reduces its environmental impact. Jetti Resources’ method allows copper mines to use heap leaching on these ores, which causes around 40% fewer CO2 emissions compared to traditional raw material extraction and uses only approximately 50% of the water.

The technology, according to the company, is already being deployed to great success at industrial scale. Jetti Resources plans to push ahead with global expansion together with its partners.

 

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