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Mining firm TechMet gets S2G's backing in $300M raise

Brazilian Nickel's Piauí Project in northeast Brazil. Photo courtesy of TechMet

S2G Ventures has backed mining firm TechMet's $300 million financing it's raising.

Why it matters: Investors see that the demand for critical minerals, like lithium and nickel, is growing dramatically as electric vehicles and clean energy take off worldwide.

Details: S2G Ventures — the direct investment team of Builders Vision, an impact platform founded by Lukas Walton, the grandson of Sam Walton — has now committed $50 million to TechMet across two investments. TechMet raised $200 million in August.

  • The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) put $50 million into the latest, $300 million round.
  • TechMet CEO and founder Brian Menell told Axios that two-thirds of the funding will go to TechMet's current 10 mineral projects and companies, and the remainder will be invested in a couple of new projects.
  • When this latest round has closed the company will have raised north of $720 million, said Menell. Its current valuation is now over $1 billion.

Catch up quick: TechMet is a permanent capital vehicle that invests in critical mineral companies and projects from mining to recycling to battery component manufacturing.

  • The Dublin-based firm closed another $200 million just in August and has now deployed more than $250 million into critical metals projects across 2022 and 2o23.
  • Some of TechMet's investments include EnergySource Minerals, which is developing lithium mining in California's Salton Sea, battery component maker Xerion Advanced Battery Corp, and Brazil Nickel's Piauí Project in northeast Brazil (see photo).

Of note: TechMet is the rare metals and mining company to have a direct U.S. government equity investment via DFC.

  • Menell's said DFC's interest in TechMet aligns with the "US government strategy to encourage and build critical mineral supply chains that are in alignment with US interests and that are independent of China."
  • Four of TechMet's 10 operating company investments are in the U.S., and close to half of TechMet's value is in its U.S. projects, Menell said.

Big picture: The U.S. has been investing heavily to try to boost its position and compete with China in the mineral supply chain for electric vehicles.

  • The Inflation Reduction Act has steered billions of dollars toward new domestic critical mineral projects, EV battery manufacturing and clean energy deployment.
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