US and Australian venture capital climate and sustainability heavyweights have led a $US28 million Series B funding round for deep-tech mining company Plotlogic.
Galvanize Climate Solutions, the climate-focused global investment firm founded by billionaire Tom Steyer and Katie Hall, and SE Ventures, the investing firm backed by French energy and automation giant Schneider Electric, co-led the round. Both firms seek to foster cutting edge technologies that tackle major climate change challenges.
Existing investors Innovation Endeavors, DCVC, Bentley iTwin Ventures and GRIDS Capital also supported the raise, doubling down on their Series A investments.
Main Sequence, the Australian deep-tech VC firm backed by the CSIRO and Australian government, also participated via its newly launched Main Sequence Three fund. The fund invests in companies leveraging research to tackle six major Planetary Challenges. Partner Mike Zimmerman said Plotlogic was a natural fit to be one of its first investments.
“The mining industry will play a essential role in decarbonising our planet, both in terms of the critical minerals and metals that are required for the electrification of industry, as well as the opportunity to move the needle on energy consumed per unit of production through the use of innovative science and technology,” he said. “Plotlogic, our first investment at the intersection of our Decarbonisation and Industrial Productivity Challenges, offers a compelling solution that will help move the industry forward on both fronts.”
In the five years since its inception, Plotlogic has fast become a global leader in ore characterisation. The tech helps customers, including BHP, Vale, South32 and leading lithium company Pilbara Minerals, increase output and reduce waste.
Its proprietary OreSense® technology combines a sensor stack and artificial intelligence (AI) to scan core samples, chips and terrain (including mine faces, stockpiles, heavy vehicle loads and plant feed) in real-time, generating highly accurate ore characterisation predictions enabling miners to increase extraction of critical minerals and metals.
By enhancing grade control methods and identifying problematic ore and deleterious materials as well as optimising plant uptime, Plotlogic's technology effectively reduces costs and energy usage for every tonne mined and processed.
After significant success with its single-application deployments of OreSense®, Plotlogic has an ambitious growth agenda and is planning to use the Series B funding to broaden its platform across a greater number of touchpoints, bolster commercialisation and invest in additional research and development as the company looks to continue to expand into North America.
Founder and CEO Dr Andrew Job is confident the company will see escalation in adoption of OreSense® driven by mounting pressure on the mining industry to confront its most formidable challenge to date: providing the essential critical minerals required for a sustainable future while avoiding the repetition of past environmental harm.
“Recycling alone can only meet a fraction of the demand for essential commodities making continued mining essential. And sustainability in mining can be achieved through the increased adoption of advanced technologies like ours,” Dr Job said. “Discovering new deposits is a challenging task and the development of mines can take up to 17 years, pushing us well into the 2030s before we see any kind of transformation in the supply of minerals required for a net-zero future.”
“Plotlogic is actively contributing to the pursuit of a clean energy future by enabling existing mines to extract every vestige of value right now in an environmentally sensitive way. We developed the OreSense® technology with the firm belief that mining should be able to generate the resources society needs without harming the planet. The feedback from our customers is that we are delivering on that vision. They describe using our tech as a game changer - like swapping a hacksaw for a scalpel - enabling them to mine more selectively, efficiently and sustainably, benefiting both their projects and the planet.”