BHP has contributed to a $US50 million ($64 million) investment in Jetti Resources, which has developed a new copper extraction technology.
The technology allows copper to be extracted from low-grade primary sulphide including chalcopyrite.
Existing Jetti Resources investor Mitsubishi also contributed to the investment along with US-based miner Freeport-McMoRan.
BHP chief technical officer Laura Tyler said the technology will allow the company to meet growing copper demand.
“Jetti’s technology has the potential to unlock new copper production safely, productively and responsibly,” Tyler said.
“To support renewable technologies and decarbonisation goals in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees we expect global copper demand could double over the next 30 years, compared to the past 30 years.
“Through our BHP Ventures team, we are delighted to invest in and partner with Jetti, and help create opportunities for its innovative technology to progress a greener future.”
Jetti Resources chief executive officer and co-founder Mike Outwin welcomed BHP and Freeport as new supporters for the company.
“Jetti’s financing round has been backed by two of the world’s largest copper mining companies, a leading global copper trader and mine owner, and a premier institutional investment fund and mining private equity group,” he said.
Outwin said the funding will push the company’s technology into more large scale copper mining operations.
“The funds raised will enable Jetti to further deploy its technology across large-scale copper mining operations,” he said.
“We look forward to working with all investors to accelerate the adoption of Jetti’s technology and deliver much needed ‘green copper’ to meet the world’s needs for a low-carbon electrified future.”
Jetti was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in the United States.
It has raised $US100 million for the development of its technology, which can increase copper yields while remaining cost effective and environmentally friendly.
Commodity analyst CRU has found that Jetti’s technology can address 234 million tonnes of contained copper by 2050, which Jetti estimates is worth $US2.4 trillion.