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This week, Vancouver’s Mangrove Lithium, a developer of cost-effective battery grade lithium hydroxide and carbonate products, announced a new investment round led by BMW i Ventures (BiV), the venture capital arm of automaker BMW and traditional backer of Series A/B rounds. Existing investor Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), the energy and climate technology fund started by Bill Gates, extended its participation in the round.

Mangrove says it plans to use the new funds to accelerate the launch of a commercial-scale plant deploying its patent-pending technology to refine lithium from a variety of 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.

This round brings Mangrove’s total market capital raised to $25 million.

Demand for lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate continues to rise as the world transitions to electric vehicles (EVs). The International Energy Agency is tracking exponential growth in demand for EVs but says supply chain challenges – especially for battery-grade lithium – hobble car manufacturers and constrain market growth.

“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, which is why these investors see us as positioned to take a central role in global EV scaling.”

Facing volatile prices and supply uncertainty, Mangrove notes, many major EV manufacturers are seeking to minimize battery supply chain risks. The company says its technology is the lowest-energy solution on the market, making it the least expensive solution, and also the greenest. Sites with renewable energy sources could nearly eliminate their carbon footprint, as well as most of the harmful chemical inputs used in today’s lithium refining.

“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 BiV Managing Partner Kasper Sage. “Recent supply chain disruptions and soaring prices have highlighted the importance of investing in this field to make the energy transition a reality. Bringing Mangrove’s core technology to market will be a step function improvement in environmental impact, cost, performance, and flexibility over existing processes today.”

Mangrove Lithium says it is positioned to offer the best solution to facilitate a resilient supply chain with its mobile plants, ability to process both chloride and sulfate feedstocks, and output battery-grade lithium hydroxide or carbonate. Its technology can be placed anywhere along the battery manufacturing chain: at refining operations where they’re needed most, at the point of extraction, or point of manufacturing. It is also scalable and able to meet tailored product specifications.

BiV’s investment represents the third major sector to invest in Mangrove’s platform. Joining major financial investors such as BEV, BDC Capital, and Federal and Provincial Canadian governments, Mangrove says the inclusion of the auto industry is a testament to the importance of lithium in the world’s clean energy future. Mangrove says it will work hand-and-glove with the public sector and private industries to ensure there is sufficient supply of battery-grade lithium to accelerate and accomplish widely shared clean energy goals.

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