Bill Gates’ KoBold may spend $2.3bn building Zambia copper mine

07 May 2024, Berlin: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, entrepreneur, programmer and patron of the arts, meets with representatives of the "Young Global Changers" programme, international youth delegates and representatives of the youth organizations of four German political parties at the Global Solutions Summit at the ESMT (European School of Management and Technology). The Global Solutions Summit is a forum for translating research results into political action. The forum has set itself the goal of promoting global economic, ecological and social prosperity. Photo: Annette Riedl/dpa (Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images)

A MINING exploration company in which Bill Gates has a stake could spend $2.3bn building a new major copper mine in Zambia, said Bloomberg News.

KoBold Metals aims to produce more than 300,000 tons per year at Mingomba making the operation the country’s biggest copper producer. Shaft sinking will begin in the first half of 2026, said the newswire.

Zambia is seeking to become one of the world’s largest producers of copper, which is crucial for green technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines, said Bloomberg News.

The world faces predicted shortages of the metal in the coming decades amid the shift away from fossil fuels. Hichilema has previously said the Mingomba project could ultimately become one of the three-biggest copper mines globally.

A meeting between Zambia president Hakainde Hichilema and KoBold officials was broadcast over state television last week.

Officials from KoBold, based in the San Francisco Bay area, met with Hichilema and a group of heavyweight investors visiting Zambia this week to tour the firm’s activities in the country.

They included senior representatives from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Standard Industries, Equinor Ventures, Bond Capital and T. Rowe Price, said Bloomberg News.

Hichilema, a former economist, has brought the feel-good factor back to Zambian mining. In December, the country agreed to sell its Mopani Copper to International Resources Holdings, a United Arab Emirates company which has promised to invest in Mopani. The government bought the mine from Glencore for $1.5bn.