Urban miner strikes gold with NAB and ABGF

National Australia Bank

An “urban mining” company which recovers commodities such as steel, copper and precious metals from old electrical equipment, or e-waste, has just secured $7.5 million in funding.

NAB has supported the Australian company, Scipher, in securing $7.5 million from the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF). ABGF was established in 2020 with NAB as one of its founding shareholders and will enable Scipher to invest further in cutting-edge e-waste processing technology.

Entrepreneur and finance professional, Chris Sayers, founded Scipher in Australia in 2019 after spending many years in Europe, working with one of the continent’s largest e-waste recyclers and compliance schemes. The company has gained substantial market share, securing clients and customers across Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Chris Sayers, Chief Executive Officer at Scipher

Chris believes the untapped potential of urban mining is enormous. “One tonne of mobile phones contains approximately 100 times more gold than a tonne of primary extracted gold ore,” he said.

“When you look at the rate at which TVs, PCs, mobile phones, and other electronic goods become obsolete, there is not only a commercial opportunity here to recover precious materials but also an ethical imperative for us all to reduce landfill.”

Andrew Irvine, NAB Group Executive for Business and Private Banking said, as Australia’s biggest business bank, NAB was proud to be a founding shareholder of ABGF.

“The Australian Business Growth Fund is a brilliant initiative to support small and medium businesses accessing long-term growth capital while retaining control of their company.

“Access to capital is critical to help businesses reach the next level of growth and I know from my experience with the Canadian Business Growth Fund that initiatives like this are a powerful way to support entrepreneurs.”

Patrick Verlaine, Co-Head of ABGF’s Investments said, “Through this investment, we are supporting a growing business that is focused on investing in leading technology to maximise recovery rates of valuable products that would otherwise be diverted to landfill as environmentally harmful waste. We are delighted to be investing in and working alongside such an experienced and industry-leading management team.”

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