JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Platinum group metals (PGMs) mining and marketing company Impala Platinum (Implats) announced on Monday that it would be joining a high-flying venture capital fund that supports technologies making use of PGMs, which are helping the world to combat climate change.
Existing investors in the London-headquartered AP Ventures, which this year established a South African presence, include South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, Anglo American Platinum, the Toyota-linked Mirai Creation Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation, Plastic Omnium and the Sumitomo Corporation.
AP Ventures’ investment strategy is focused on companies developing technologies which are capable of sustainably solving global challenges such as renewable energy integration and resource scarcity. A key area of focus is the decarbonisation of transport, mining and heavy industry, by the only fund of its kind offering investors access to these innovative, fast-growing companies built on the PGM properties.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Implats CE Nico Muller said: “We are pleased to be joining some of our peers as a limited partner in AP Ventures. Our multi-year investment in Fund II increases Implats’ focused market development spend on key evolving end-uses for PGMs including hydrogen, fuel cell mobility and energy storage. AP Ventures’ core linkages and strong developmental commitment to South Africa will help harness the benefits of PGM demand growth for all our stakeholders.”
Interestingly, Implats on Friday also featured as a support entity at the 2020 International PGMs Development Summit held in China, where the strategic importance of PGMs in new-energy development were highlighted. Among the guest speakers were Minerals Council South Africa CEO Roger Baxter as well as AP Ventures managing partner Kevin Eggers.
Earlier this month, AP Ventures announced an investment in HPNow, which bodes well for South Africa, as the Copenhagen innovator is also looking to support the deployment through licensing of its autonomous on-site hydrogen peroxide technology solution. HPNow has introduced a new environmentally-protective way of producing the chemical, which is used in wastewater treatment and purification, paper bleaching, chemical production, electronics, detergents, cosmetics and biocide.
AP Ventures has for some time also been invested in innovating companies that include Hydrogenious Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier Technologies, Altergy Systems, Ergosup, Greyrock Energy, HyET, Insplorion, Plug Power and ZEG Power, all of which either use or enable the use of PGMs.
A big part of AP Ventures’ investing focus has been around hydrogen, which is being considered by more than 70 countries as a future universal energy carrier and which is also a significant user of PGMs in many applications.
AP Ventures managing partner Andrew Hinkly welcomed Implats as a strong partner which supported the strategy of market development for hydrogen technologies using PGMs.
“We look forward to working with the Implats team and combining our efforts to decarbonise mining activities and bring value to communities in South Africa,” said Hinkly in a release to Mining Weekly.
Implats has six mining operations in South Africa’s Bushveld Complex and Zimbabwe, as well as Impala Refining Services.