Australian mining tech startup Plotlogic has secured $28 million in Series B financing to tackle the increasing demand for clean-energy metals and the environmental impact of their extraction. The funding round was co-led by Galvanize Climate Solutions and SE Ventures, with participation from Schneider Electric.
Plotlogic, founded in 2018, offers technology that helps miners improve the identification and extraction of minerals and metals, thereby increasing output and reducing waste. The Brisbane-based startup plans to utilize the funds to expand its operations in various markets, including North America.
Some of Plotlogic’s current customers include BHP Group, Vale, South32, and Pilbara Minerals. The company’s technology has gained traction as major mining companies seek ways to ramp up production of metals like copper and nickel, which are anticipated to be in high demand as the world shifts towards decarbonization and electrification. In fact, the International Energy Agency predicts that clean energy demand for critical minerals could triple by 2030.
Investors and stakeholders are also pushing for eco-conscious practices in the mining industry, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing mine waste. Plotlogic’s flagship product, OreSense, combines lidar technology with hyperspectral imaging sensors and machine learning algorithms to detect lucrative mineral-rich ore amidst large quantities of rock. This innovative solution has been compared to upgrading from a hacksaw to a scalpel.
SE Ventures’ investment in Plotlogic marks its first foray into the mining sector. General Partner Grant Allen noted that Schneider Electric is likely to pursue a commercial partnership with the startup, as it has done with approximately 60% of its active investments. The aim is to apply technology to mining processes in a smarter and more environmentally friendly manner.
Plotlogic also has plans for expansion in South America and Indonesia, with the latter being the largest source of nickel, a critical component in electric vehicle batteries. However, extensive land clearance is a concern that needs to be addressed in order to mine responsibly.