HQ: Paris, France
A tension at the heart of the movement to electrify our cars, homes, and grids is that mining the materials needed is extremely slow and pollutive. As a whole, the mining sector emits 4-7% of global greenhouse gas and generates devastating levels of water and soil contamination. And yet, to meet electrification goals, overall metal output will need to grow by 6x and nickel output will need to grow by 19x. Yet, opening a new mine can take up to 15 years just to become operational.
How it Works
Genomines genetically edits hyperaccumulator plants–plants capable of concentrating extremely high levels of metal from soils in their tissues–to enhance their metal-accumulating abilities by 10-15x. They plant on soils with metal concentrations too low to be extracted economically with conventional methods. Once harvested, metals are recovered from the biomass by combining environmentally-friendly techniques like bioleaching and electrolysis.
Genomines unlocks high volumes of untapped nickel supply at below-market prices without any soil and water contamination. The low-energy, low-footprint approach simplifies the nickel mining value chain and accelerates novel extraction from many years to as fast as the plant’s leaves can grow. By extracting value from soils with toxic levels of nickel and other heavy metals, Genomines can transform a cost center into a source of high-margin revenue and create value for local communities.
tons of CO2e
avoided per ton of metal
FABIEN KOUTCHEKIAN CEO & CO-FOUNDER
Fabien holds a Master’s in Mining Engineering from Ecole des Mines, with a stint in Brazil, and another in Corporate Strategy from Sciences Po. In a prior life, Fabien was a strategy consultant.
DALI RASHID CTO & CO-FOUNDER
Dali holds a PhD in Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from Paris Saclay. Dali’s work on plant sex determination has been featured in several high-impact journals.
Scientists are mining metals from an unusual source – plantsGrist
Nickel mining: the hidden environmental cost of electric cars”The Guardian