BHP Xplor, an accelerator program introduced by BHP in August 2022, has announced its first cohort of seven companies focused on discovering the copper, nickel and other critical minerals needed to support the energy transition.
These seven have been selected out of hundreds of applications received from all around the world, BHP said, adding that they will receive funding and support under the BHP Xplor accelerator program.
This program is designed to help provide participants with the opportunity to accelerate their growth and the potential to establish a long-term partnership with BHP and its global network of partners. The program will offer candidates funding, in-kind services, mentorship and coaching, and opportunities with BHP’s network of suppliers and service providers, according to BHP.
BHP Xplor Vice President, Sonia Scarselli, Vice President, said: “We are amazed by the diversity and quality of the submissions we reviewed and selected. We are confident that the BHP Xplor program will support the seven companies chosen to accelerate their concepts and ideas, to help take it to the next level.”
BHP Xplor will also provide BHP the opportunity to access some of the most exciting exploration prospects globally, including new geographies and geologic concepts beyond what is seen today, helping to drive its pipeline of new opportunities to shape its future asset portfolio, the company said.
BHP Chief Development Officer, Johan van Jaarsveld, said: “Through this program, we hope to create disruptive results in copper and nickel exploration by identifying new concepts, leveraging new data and testing opportunities at a much faster pace than discoveries to date.”
Each company will receive an up to $500,000 cash payment from BHP, together with access to a network of internal and external experts to help guide development across technical, business and operational aspects of the company.
The seven companies selected to join the BHP Xplor accelerator program are:
- Tutume Metals – a private, junior exploration company with secured ground searching for critical minerals in Botswana;
- Impact Minerals – a junior explorer listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with a variety of battery metals projects across Australia;
- Asian Battery Metals – a junior exploration company focused on finding economic deposits of critical minerals in the Asia Pacific region;
- Red Ox Copper – a private minerals exploration group in Australia, specialising in generating grassroots, greenfield conceptual plays with potential for Tier 1 ore deposits;
- Bronzite Exploration Corp – an early-stage exploration for copper in northern Canada, spearheaded by Professor James Mungall, an experienced field and economic geologist at Carleton University, Ottawa;
- Nordic Nickel – a brand new nickel sulphide explorer, listed on the ASX and focused on two projects in northern Finland, in the Central Lapland Greenstone Belt; and
- Kingsrose Mining – a junior exploration company listed on the ASX with regional projects in Norway and Finland targeting nickel, copper and platinum group elements.