THE ECONOMIST: Mission critical Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security

Cut deep into the desert rock of southern California are the jagged tiers of an open-pit mine. Mountain Pass is North America’s only mine of rare-earth metals, used in everything from fighter jets to the drive-trains of electric cars. In 2015 Mountain Pass shut, unable to compete with rare-earth producers in China. But it has begun a new chapter. mp Materials, which bought the mine in 2017, said on March 18th that production in 2020 jumped by 40%. More expansion is planned. With grants awarded by America’s defence department last year, mp Materials will build facilities to process rare earths, part of an effort to secure supply independent from China.


US VANADIUM: U.S. Vanadium Successfully Recycles Electrolyte From Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries At A 97% Recovery Rate

Technology Advance Promises to Help Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries Deliver More Value to Renewable Energy Power Producers and Industrial Users
Successful VRFB Recycling Moves the World One Step Closer to Relying on 100% Renewable Energy Power Generation

HOT SPRINGS, AR – (March 16, 2021) – U.S. Vanadium is pleased to announce that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to recycle the liquid electrolyte used in Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (“VRFB”), a rapidly growing commercial technology that promises to enable intermittent renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind to provide power on a round-the-clock basis.

Because of their nearly unlimited energy storage capacity, high efficiency, zero emissions, very long cycle lives, and relatively low cost of available electricity on a lifecycle basis, VRFB energy storage systems are enabling consumers to utilize renewable energy systems for 100% of their actual power needs without having to rely on renewable energy credits and other accounting offsets.


BRAZILIAN NICKEL: PLC Announces Board Changes

Brazilian Nickel (BRN), the private UK company developing its nickel laterite heap leach project in Brazil, is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Menell as Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Paul Lush who will now become Deputy Chairman.

Mr Menell joined the Board in December 2020 following a US$25 million investment from TechMet Limited, of which he is Chairman and Chief Executive.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Mike and Anne Oxley as we have developed Brazilian Nickel to this stage. However, the company has now reached the stage where a new set of skills and relationships is needed to help guide the company through the next phase of its evolution. I am delighted that Brian Menell has agreed to take up the role and I look forward to working with him to deliver on our plans.” said Paul Lush, Deputy Chairman

Mike Oxley, Chief Executive Officer said, “I want to thank Paul Lush for his many years of service to the company as Chairman of the Board and I am very glad that he will remain an executive director and continue to develop BRN with us as Deputy Chairman.


BERNSTEIN EV CONFERENCE: TechMet – Chairman & CEO, Brian Menell

AllianceBernstein EV Conference

Good morning or good afternoon, wherever you're calling from I'm Mark Newman from Bernstein, and this is electric revolution US Summit. And we're joined today with our next special guest is Brian Menell. He is the CEO of TechMet. 

Covering global metals and mining is going to be joining this session to help me on the Q and A with Brian and just a brief introduction of Brian. Brian is CEO tech Matt has been in the mining industry for over 25 years as an expert in this area and TechMet, which is the CEO of is a company that is investing in technology metals.

Excerpt from Mark Newman during the conference.

Sourced from the Bernstein EV Conference and you read more here. And use the passcode 43121025 to gain access to the minutes and archive.


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TechMet receives investment from US International Development Finance Corporation

  • US International Development Finance Corporation (“DFC” – a US Government agency) makes a ground-breaking investment into technology metals company, TechMet Limited.
  • The $25M investment is part of TechMet’s Round 2 equity raising; $50M has now been raised of the $80M target.
  • The funds enable TechMet to increase its investment in Brazilian Nickel PLC, which owns a nickel and cobalt project in the state of Piauí. The investment will be used for the development of the first phase of commercial production, creating jobs in one of the country’s most underdeveloped regions, while ensuring high environmental and social standards.
  • The investment by DFC demonstrates a heightened US focus on countering China’s control over the supply chains of metals critical to the energy revolution.

5th October 2020, Dublin / Washington DC: The US International Development Finance Corporation has made a $25 million investment into TechMet Ltd, a private investment company with a portfolio of projects that produce, process and recycle the metals critical to the production of electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy systems and energy storage.

The funds will be used to bring into initial commercial production one of TechMet’s core investments, Brazilian Nickel PLC, which will be a low-cost nickel-cobalt producer in Piaui in north-eastern Brazil. The project will create new jobs and bolster economic growth and social development in one of the country’s most underdeveloped regions.

Nickel and cobalt are two key ingredients in the production of Li-ion batteries that power EVs and provide renewable energy storage. As battery technologies transform the global mobility and energy landscape, the demand growth for these metals will be unprecedented. While China has built a position of overwhelming supply-chain dominance, the United States’ continued reliance on imports for the supply of critical metals represents a significant threat to the long-term competitiveness of American industry. TechMet, aligned with US interests, is committed to developing an independent supply of these critical metals.

Brian Menell, Chairman & CEO of TechMet said: “We are very pleased to have secured this funding and support from DFC, which enables Brazilian Nickel PLC to begin the commercial production of nickel and cobalt products used in the production of EV batteries. Having this level of US support is a great endorsement of TechMet’s team and strategy.

Through DFC’s investment process we have demonstrated our commitment to achieving positive environmental and social impact across our projects. With the development of the Piauí Nickel Project together with Brazilian Nickel’s world-class management team, we can make a meaningful and lasting impact on the local Piauí economy.

TechMet represents a real opportunity for its investors not only to profit from the impending supply-demand dislocation for critical metals, but also to invest into ethical sources of supply that are aligned with US interests, thereby playing a part in redressing the supply-chain imbalance.”

Adam Boehler, CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation said, “This important financing will support economic growth in one of Brazil’s most underdeveloped areas. Investments in critical materials for advanced technology support development and advance U.S. foreign policy.”

About TechMet

TechMet is a private company building world class projects that produce, process and re-cycle “technology metals” critical to EVs, renewable energy systems and energy storage. TechMet’s target metals include: lithium, cobalt, nickel, rare earth metals, tin, tungsten, and vanadium. TechMet has been operational for three years and its core investments include:

  • Brazilian Nickel PLC – nickel and cobalt production in Brazil
  • Li-Cycle – lithium-ion battery recycling with a producing plant in Canada and a plant under construction in Rochester, NY.
  • US Vanadium – vanadium specialty chemicals production in Arkansas (USA).
  • Tinco – the largest tin and tungsten mines in Rwanda

TechMet also has an interest in a producing Rare Earths metals project and is developing TechMet Ventures to invest in new opportunities across the supply-chain.

Delphos International Ltd., a leading emerging markets advisory boutique, served as sole financial advisor to TechMet on this transaction.

Media Contacts

The PR Office: Marc Cohen & Tom Gilby

Tel: +44 (0) 7741 052 506 or +44 (0) 7979 083 456

WALL STREET JOURNAL: U.S. Steps Up Efforts to Counter China’s Dominance of Minerals Key to Electric Cars, Phones

The U.S. government is ramping up efforts to secure minerals critical to modern technology but whose supply is dominated by China—a stranglehold that miners warn could take years to break.

In recent years, the U.S. and other Western nations have invested in projects and approved licenses to mine these resources—essential for the production of electric vehicles, cellphones and wind turbines—an effort these countries are now accelerating given how far they still trail China.

Last week President Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency and authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act to speed the development of mines. The law was used earlier this year to speed production of medical supplies amid the pandemic.


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BLOOMBERG: U.S. Takes Stake in Battery-Metals Firm to Wean Itself Off China

The U.S. government has taken an equity stake in a battery-metals company in a move that undercuts dependence on China for a key material used in electric vehicles.

TechMet Ltd. received a $25 million investment from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to help develop a Brazilian nickel and cobalt mine, the Dublin-based company said Monday in a statement. Cobalt is an important ingredient in cathodes of most electric-vehicle batteries and its refining capacity is largely under China’s control.


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FINANCIAL TIMES: TechMet wins US backing for Brazilian mining project

The US government development bank is to invest $25m in London-based mining investment company TechMet, as part of a push by President Donald Trump to reduce reliance on supply chains dominated by China.

The money from the $60bn US International Development Finance Corporation will help TechMet develop a Brazilian nickel and cobalt project that aims to supply the electric car industry.

The investment is part of Mr Trump’s strategy to break China’s hold over raw material supply chains. Last week the president said the US’s reliance on foreign supplies of critical minerals was a “national emergency” and a security threat.


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