Anglo American is in exclusive negotiations with First Mode Holding Inc (“First Mode”), and has agreed non-binding terms, to combine Anglo American’s nuGen™ Zero Emissions Haulage Solution (“ZEHS”) with First Mode, the specialist engineering technology company that partnered with Anglo American to develop the nuGen™ ZEHS (the “Transaction”).
The Transaction would include a capital investment by Anglo American in the combined business and is intended to accelerate the development and commercialisation of Anglo American’s nuGen™ ZEHS. The new combined business would retain the First Mode name as an independent business and prioritise developing nuGen™ ZEHS, building on three years of extensive development by Anglo American and First Mode.
Anglo American launched the prototype of its nuGen™ ZEHS hydrogen-powered mine haul truck at its Mogalakwena PGMs mine in South Africa on 6 May 2022 – the world’s largest designed to operate in everyday mining conditions. The agreement envisages that Anglo American will enter into an agreement with First Mode to decarbonise its global fleet of ultra-class mine haul trucks, of which approximately 400 are currently in operation, as well as provide critical supporting infrastructure such as refuelling, recharging, and facilitation of hydrogen production.
Anglo American also recognises its role in supporting broader decarbonisation objectives outside its own business. The technologies and capabilities that it has been developing as part of the nuGen™ project with First Mode present opportunities beyond Anglo American’s haul truck fleet, including across other industries that rely on heavy duty forms of transport, such as rail.
Anglo American acquired a 10% strategic equity interest in First Mode in 2021. The Transaction would include Anglo American making an additional capital investment in the combined business which, upon completion of the Transaction, would result in a majority shareholding. The balance of the equity interest at that time would be held by a number of First Mode’s founders and employees. In addition to accelerating the development and commercialisation of the ZEHS technology, the new combined business would allow strategic third parties to co-invest alongside Anglo American and First Mode, offering the opportunity to accelerate their own decarbonisation and participate in the potential offered by the clean ZEHS technology.