United States venture capital heavyweights have backed the $28 million Series B funding round of Australian deep-tech mining company Plotlogic.

Galvanize Climate Solutions, the climate-focused global investment firm founded by Tom Steyer and Katie Hall, and SE Ventures, the investing firm backed by French energy and automation giant Schneider Electric, co-led the round, Plotlogic said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, both firms seek to foster cutting edge technologies that tackle major climate change challenges.

Existing investors Innovation Endeavors, DCVC, Bentley iTwin Ventures and GRIDS Capital also supported the raise, doubling down on their Series A investments.

Australia’s Main Sequence Ventures, the venture capital arm of national science agency the CSIRO, also participated via its newly launched Main Sequence Three fund, which targets technologies that tackle major planetary challenges.

Plotlogic said it has an ambitious growth agenda and is planning to use the Series B funding to broaden its platform across a greater number of touchpoints, bolster commercialization and invest in additional research and development as the company looks to continue to expand into North America.

It said that in the five years since its inception, the firm has fast become a global leader in ore characterization.

The tech helps customers, including BHP, Vale, South32 and leading lithium company Pilbara Minerals, increase output and reduce waste.

Its proprietary OreSense® technology combines a sensor stack and artificial intelligence (AI) to scan core samples, chips and terrain (including mine faces, stockpiles, heavy vehicle loads and plant feed) in real-time, generating highly accurate ore characterization predictions enabling miners to increase extraction of critical minerals and metals.

Plotlogic Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Job is confident the company will see escalation in adoption of OreSense® driven by mounting pressure on the mining industry to confront its most formidable challenge to date: providing the essential critical minerals required for a sustainable future while avoiding the repetition of past environmental harm.

“Recycling alone can only meet a fraction of the demand for essential commodities making continued mining essential,

“And sustainability in mining can be achieved through the increased adoption of advanced technologies like ours,” he said.

He also said that discovering new deposits is a challenging task and the development of mines can take up to 17 years, pushing the firms well into the 2030s before they see any kind of transformation in the supply of minerals required for a net-zero future.

“We developed the OreSense® technology with the firm belief that mining should be able to generate the resources society needs without harming the planet. The feedback from our customers is that we are delivering on that vision,

“They describe using our tech as a game changer – like swapping a hacksaw for a scalpel – enabling them to mine more selectively, efficiently and sustainably, benefiting both their projects and the planet,” he added.

Cliff Ryan, co-head of Galvanize’s venture and growth equity strategy, Innovation + Expansion, said Plotlogic’s technology has transformative potential in the mining industry.

“Critical metals are a crucial enabler of the global transition to net-zero and technology like Plotlogic’s, that enables the more sustainable extraction of those metals, strongly aligns with our mission to support promising solutions that address the pressing challenges of climate change,” he said.

SE Ventures General Partner Grant Allen also recognized Plotlogic’s inherent potential.

“We see Plotlogic’s AI-enabled sensing technology could drastically improve the sustainability of the mining industry, increasing ore recovery and downstream processing efficiencies while reducing energy usage and waste,

“Their OreSense® products have best-in-class accuracy and it’s faster than anything else we’ve seen. We are thrilled to be partnering with Andrew and look forward to bringing the global reach and customer connections of Schneider Electric and AVEVA to Plotlogic,” he added.

Temasek backs $304M first close of Australian deep tech Main Sequence’s third fund