London-listed crypto stock Argo surges 20% on Texas mining deal


Mining rig for cryptocurrency. Photo: Getty Images

Shares in London-listed Argo Blockchain (ARB.L) climbed 20% on Wednesday after it announced plans for a new cryptocurrency mining facility in West Texas.

Argo said it would work with Navier, a specialist in the design and construction of cryptocurrency mining facilities, on the new site, which forms part of its clean energy strategy.

Navier “will provide a range of consulting services related to the design and construction of the new Argo facility, including the co-design of a best-in-class electrical infrastructure capable of supporting 200MW of mining,” Argo said in a statement.

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Navier will also install next-generation immersion technology designed to boost mining productivity, control heat, and increase the lifespan of installed mining rigs.

Argo will pay Navier a monthly retainer and will issue a warrant allowing Navier to purchase up to 223,821 Argo shares at a price of 135p each.

Shares in Argo were trading at £175 ($243) at 10.30am in London.

Argo's stock rallied on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

Argo’s stock rallied on Wednesday morning. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

“We are delighted to have Navier on the team to help us develop our new mining facility in West Texas,” Argo CEO Peter Wall said. “Argo intends to build state-of-the-art mining infrastructure which will not only provide greater control over our operations but also meaningfully expands our mining capacity.

“At this facility we believe we will have access to some of cheapest renewable energy worldwide.”

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The focus on renewable energy comes amid growing scrutiny of the environmental impact of bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin mining is a process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithms. The work is essential to maintaining the network that runs the cryptocurrency.

However, the energy usage of mining computers produces huge amounts of carbon emissions. Bank of America said in a recent survey of the issue that bitcoin carried an “enormous environmental costs”.

Last month, Argo signed a preliminary deal with Canada’s DMG Blockchain Solutions (DMGI.V) to launch “the first bitcoin mining pool powered exclusively by clean energy.”

Argo listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 as a vehicle to allow investors to tap into cryptocurrency mining. It has become one of London’s hottest stocks thanks to the recent surge in cryptocurrency prices. Argo’s share price has risen almost 2,500% since last October.

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