The mining industry is at a key inflection point. The IEA estimates that in order to meet our climate goals, over the next 20 years demand for nickel will grow by 19%, cobalt by 21%, graphite by 25%, and lithium by 42%.1 This anticipated surge in demand is expected to lift off after a period of prolonged stagnation in mining productivity – over the past 25 years the ten largest mining companies have seen only about 1% growth in productivity, compared to 15% and 25% growth for the ten largest manufacturing and business services companies, respectively.2 And this is all happening amidst increased pressure to decarbonize mining operations.
We believe these pressures and tailwinds are creating a huge opportunity in a historically under-innovated industry. That’s exactly why we are excited about Plotlogic, a company that harnesses hyperspectral imaging and machine learning to optimize mining operations.
Launched in 2018, Plotlogic’s innovative technology is reimagining resource mapping, which helps miners understand the location and quantity of metal inside a rock body. While at the heart of all mining operations, the current data collection methods that the ore-body knowledge resource maps are built on are primitive and inefficient, typically including lab sampling of drill hole scoops and visual inspection by geologists.
In comparison, Plotlogic’s technology relies on a sensor unit roughly the size of a microwave, providing miners with cheaper, more accurate, and more comprehensive information for their resource mapping in real-time. We believe this improvement in technology offers potential for considerable advancements in whole-mine optimization and represents exciting progress in an industry that has long been defined by a stagnant status quo. By enabling greater productivity, we think Plotlogic is positioned to support increased mine profitability and yield of minerals critical for the climate transition, while reducing the associated environmental impact and carbon emissions.
We are equally excited about Plotlogic’s founder and CEO, Andrew Job, someone I’ve had the immense privilege to get to know over the past year. During that time I’ve become convinced that Andrew and his team exemplify the type of companies Galvanize looks to support – people who are seeking to re-envision business and industrial operations in more durable and sustainable formats.
Andrew represents the combination of industry experience and technical expertise. He began his career in the mining industry, spending close to 10 years in mine management with Glencore and Anglo-American. In 2016, Andrew quit his job to pursue a PhD in hyperspectral ore characterization, with the goal of building a company around autonomous mineral characterization. His unique background and perspective is a differentiator as Plotologic partners with industry leaders to optimize their operations. These kinds of partnerships require trust, something we believe Andrew clearly has earned.
At Galvanize, we are proud to co-lead Plotlogic’s Series B along with SE Ventures, joining existing investors Innovation Endeavors, DCVC, Bentley iTwin Ventures, GRIDS Capital, and Main Sequence Ventures. We believe enabling more sustainable extraction of critical metals is key to the global transition to net-zero, and Plotlogic’s technology strongly aligns with our mission to support and scale urgent climate solutions. We look forward to working together to help address one of the most pressing challenges of this century.