Boston Metal is most of the way to a $60m target for its latest round, thanks to a consortium that included returning backer The Engine.

Boston Metal, a US-based molten metal production technology spinout from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has collected $50m in a round featuring The Engine, a venture fund and incubator aligned with the institute.

The spinout is targeting a $60m final close, according to a regulatory filing.

The round was co-led by BHP Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of mining company BHP, together with Devonshire Investors, the private investment firm affiliated with FMR, and Piva Capital.

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures and OGCI Climate Investments also participated in the round.

Founded in 2012, Boston Metal has developed a process called molten oxide electrolysis to make steel alloys by using electricity rather than a blast furnace.

The spinout’s ultimate goal is to enable emissions-free steel production – though this will also require manufacturers to use clean energy – and thereby help to tackle a significant contributor to climate change.

Boston Metal’s long-term plan is to license its technology and sell components to steel manufacturers and engineering companies. The funding will allow the spinout to operate a semi-industrial cell line by the end of next year and a demonstration plant within three years.

Shyam Kamadolli, a managing director at Devonshire, will take a board seat in conjunction with the round.

Boston Metal previously closed a $20m round in early 2019 led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, with contributions from The Engine and Prelude Ventures.

– This article was updated with investor details on January 11, 2021 following an official press release from Boston Metal. An earlier version of this story was based on a report by TechCrunch.