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KoBold Metals is a start-up backed by a group of tycoons, including Bill Gates, which plans to use data-crunching algorithms to search for cobalt near a Canadian nickel mine owned by Glencore.

The company has acquired rights to an area of approximately 1,000 sq kms – roughly the size of New York City – in northern Quebec. The San Francisco Bay Area-based mineral explorations company aims to use machine learning and other scientific computing techniques to increase the ethical supply of critical materials needed to build electric vehicles and personal electronics.

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