InProved Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based boutique investment firm that has invested in junior miners in Australia and Canada, has built world-class mining projects such as the Al Jalamid Phosphate concentrate processing plant and Ras Al Khair chemical and fertiliser complex, is launching a US$150 million fund that will invest in the manufacturing of Electrode materials used to make Electric Vehicle batteries. The fund is targeted to closed "by Q1 next year", and will be the first of 3 funds that will invest in the vertical and horizontal chains contributing to manufacture of Electric Vehicles.
Electric Vehicle Fund (EVF) is a partnership between Wengfu Group and InProved Pte Ltd, founded by Huan Johnson Koh, a Qualified Persons (QP), AusIMM member who is also the Singapore representative of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
Mr Koh said: "We view mining and processing as the foundation for raw materials to be supplied to be used to make the Lithium-ion batteries installed in Electric Vehicles. Electric Vehicles is on par to take an even larger share of the automotive industry, with the possibility to replace internal combustion engines vehicles this century."
"Right now, China is leading the way to produce Electric Vehicles, which require "minor metals" such as lithium and cobalt to be used to make the cathode component of the batteries installed in EVs. We see opportunities in mining and processing of these key minerals, to turn them from reserves into pure metals."
"With our technology partner, the Wengfu Group, one of the largest phosphate concentrate producers in China, with the research and development capabilities in flotation, purification and recycling, to separate non-essential minerals and remove impurities from the ore, we intend to enter the mineral processing industry to install processing plants at locations around the world."
InProved is already experienced at deploying funds to be used towards feasibility studies, engineering and construction - its portfolio companies have thus far raised more than US$3mil through private placements arranged by InProved these past two years.
EVF uses a tried-and-test method employed in a by-gone era of doing business, by guaranteeing repayment of principal, followed by margins across the entire vertical chain.
A dedicated fund is important for this space because of the need for highly-specialised knowledge in an emerging industry.
"Investing in minerals is quite hard for the institution, let alone the individual, due to a specialised set of expertise required to analyse, monitor and drive the completion of projects, in order to realise the investment. Many exploration projects have a history of going bust or not realising its full exploration potential. EVF intends to see through production of a mining project, one that produces the key minerals to be used in Electric Vehicle batteries, but more importantly, realise the high selling price of the cathode material (pure metal), and keeping every stakeholder in the vertical chain accountable for their process."
Singapore was chosen because of its recent robust growth in AUM into traditional and alternative assets and as a center for inflows to Asian markets notably China.
"With EVF, we are looking to open up the raw material supply market to both institutions and individuals, providing battery manufacturers with sustainable and reliable supply of metals contributing to Electric Vehicles," said Mr Koh.
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