BMW invests in lithium producer Mangrove Lithium

BMW Group has become the most important investor in Mangrove Lithium through its venture capital arm, BMW i Ventures. The Canadian company has developed a process to transform virgin and recycled raw lithium into battery-grade material.

“Mangrove’s modular, feedstock-flexible technology has attracted serious investors who see that our technology gets global refining capacity much closer to projected demand,” said Mangrove CEO Saad Dara. “Corporate customers will need resilient lithium supplies with fiscally viable and responsible refining operations. We provide both, so these investors see us as positioned to take a central role in global EV scaling.”

Lowest-energy solution

In the face of volatile prices and supply uncertainty, major EV manufacturers seek to minimize battery supply chain risks. According to Mangrove, their technology is the lowest-energy solution on the market, so it is not only the least expensive solution but also the greenest. Sites with renewable energy sources could nearly eliminate their carbon footprint and most of the harmful chemical inputs used in today’s lithium refining.

For BMW i Ventures, the Canadian company’s technology will be critical to the necessary expansion of e-mobility supply chains. “There is a substantial need for technologies that enable more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective lithium production, as lithium is a key component in most battery chemistries relevant for EVs,” said Kasper Sage, Managing Partner at BMW i Ventures.

“Bringing Mangrove’s core technology to market will be a step function improvement in environmental impact, cost, performance, and flexibility over existing processes today.”

Commercial-scale plant

Mangrove will use these funds to accelerate the launch of a commercial-scale plant deploying its proprietary, patent-pending technology to refine lithium from various sources. “The plant will boost existing lithium refining operations in the Western Hemisphere and lower lithium refining’s environmental impact. It will also enable new refining capacity by unlocking untapped resources and converting them to viable reserves,” Mangrove explained.

BMW did not disclose the amount of the investment in its press release. Additional capital was also contributed by existing investor Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The exact repartition is not new, but this round brings the total funds raised by Mangrove’s executive team to $ 25 million.

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