Critical minerals investment company TechMet has secured an additional $50m investment from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to ramp up the critical metals supply chains.

The additional commitment from the US government’s development finance institution, made at the COP28 summit in Dubai, UAE, increases its total investment in TechMet to $105m. DFC made its initial investment in the company in 2020.

Its latest investment coincides with a new $300m equity funding round opened by TechMet.

Currently, the critical minerals investment company has a valuation of more than $1bn.

Established in 2017, TechMet is focused on developing businesses across the critical metals value chain, from extraction and processing to recycling and supply-chain management.

The company has invested over $250m into critical metals projects across North and South America, Europe, and Africa during 2022 and 2023.

TechMet founder, chairman, and CEO Brian Menell said: “The U.S. Government backing puts TechMet at the forefront of this global effort to responsibly scale production of these metals, which are essential for clean energy technologies such as EVs and renewable energy storage.

“We are grateful to all of our investors and shareholders – current and future – as we deliver on our mission to build environmentally and socially responsible supply chains needed for the electric vehicle revolution, and the clean energy transition.”

TechMet intends to utilise the latest tranche of the DFC funding to exercise the option to deploy $50m directly into the Phalaborwa rare earths project in South Africa.

The Phalaborwa project is being developed by rare earth minerals producer Rainbow Rare Earths. TechMet is a significant shareholder in the rare earth minerals firm.

Besides, the funds from the round will be used to develop and expand production, refining, and recycling projects building responsible supply chains to feed the clean energy transition.

US DFC CEO Scott Nathan said: “Today’s announcement builds upon existing DFC support for TechMet to develop more diverse, resilient, and sustainable critical mineral supply chains.

“DFC’s investment, at the same time, supports the transition to clean energy technology while growing economic opportunity and upholding high labor and environmental standards.”

TechMet closed its previous $200m equity investment round earlier this year.

The funds were deployed across its existing portfolio of assets including Rainbow, Brazilian Nickel, US Vanadium, TechMet-Mercuria, REEtec, Xerion Advanced Battery, Energy Source Minerals, Momentum Technologies, and Trinity Metals.