PRESS RELEASE: Comstock Mining Inc. (NYSE: LODE) announced its execution of agreements to purchase an additional 5% of its 45%-owned technology development partner, Quantum Generative Materials LLC (“GenMat”), in exchange for $50 million.
The Company will provide an initial $15 million in cash and stock over the next six months, and an additional $35 million upon GenMat’s realization of key development milestones. The proceeds will be used to expand on the development efforts of GenMat’s founders, with the primary goal of commercializing new quantum computing technologies to accelerate material science discovery and development.
Classical computing relies on binary states in order to complete logical operations and that state is either on or off. True or false. One or zero. In contrast, quantum computing is based on physical systems that can be in multiple states simultaneously, with each state having a probability of occurring after measurement. To a quantum computer, that state can simultaneously be black, white, and every shade of grey in between. The distinction is powerful, and it gives quantum computers the potential to process exponentially more operations far more efficiently than classical computers. GenMat is developing a proprietary quantum operating system to exploit that potential and harness emerging quantum computing technologies to develop breakthrough new materials for use in high-impact applications, including batteries, mining and carbon capture and utilization.
“Quantum computing has the profound potential to resolve urgent challenges of our time, such as global resource scarcity and climate change,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock’s Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We have been working for some time on the frontier of new materials development with GenMat’s world-class team and network of quantum computing professionals and material scientists. We believe that their work will make many positive and disruptive contributions, especially in our existing and planned industries. We are honored to participate and provide funding and commercialization support to such an exceptional and growing team of transformational professionals.”
Strategic to Existing Lines of Business
While GenMat’s intended offerings will be industry agnostic when it emerges from stealth mode, Comstock is laser focused on applications that accelerate the development of new clean technologies to address resource scarcity by facilitating climate smart mining, electrification, and decarbonization. Consequently, in addition to its investment, Comstock also secured exclusive rights to use GenMat’s quantum technologies to complement and enhance its existing operations and planned technological and new business developments.
“Comstock’s lithium-ion battery operations provide an excellent example of the application potential of GenMat’s work,” continued De Gasperis. World-wide lithium-ion battery (“LIB”) production capacity has increased tenfold in the past decade. According to a recent report from the International Energy Agency (“IEA”), demand for lithium is expected to increase to about 155 kilotons per year by 2030, in part to fill global demand for electric vehicles (“EVs”). ARK Invest recently concluded that EV sales will increase from about 2 million EVs per year to about 40% of global auto sales within five to six years. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk provided a similar estimate, tweeting his view that the industry could produce 30 million EVs per year by 2027. Hitting that output will require about 1.8 million tons per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (“LCE”), or about five times more than the entire lithium mining industry produces today, and more than fifteen times the total LCE used in producing new EVs in 2020. The mining and battery manufacturing industries can scale up to meet that demand, however, there are only about 80 million tons of identified lithium resources worldwide, and EV batteries are typically rated for eight to ten years of use.
Mr. De Gasperis concluded, “Among other applications, we plan to use GenMat’s platform to enhance our extraction and refining of lithium and other scarce electrification metals, and then to design and produce dramatically improved battery components with those and other metals. Even then, we would be barely scratching the surface of the potential that quantum computing technologies offer. We’re looking forward to supporting GenMat’s development, and using our license rights to systemically maximize financial, natural and social impact for all of our stakeholders.”
Comstock is an emerging leader in the sustainable extraction, valorization, and production of innovation-based, clean, renewable natural resources, with a focus on high-value, cash-generating, strategic materials that are essential to meeting the rapidly increasing global demand for clean energy, carbon-neutrality, and natural products. To learn more, please visit www.comstockmining.com.