Slashing CO2

Founded: 2021

HQ: Paris, France

Metal-mining plants.

Big Picture

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.

Unfair Advantage

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 just a few months. 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.

15

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 d’Alès and a Master’s in Corporate Strategy from Sciences Po. He previously co-founded deep tech startup NanoNap.

DALI RASHID CTO & CO-FOUNDER

Dali holds a PhD in Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from Paris-Sud University. Her work has been featured in several high-impact journals.


Scientists are mining metals from an unusual source – plants

Grist