November Newsletter – 23.11.2021
- Greenland strips Chinese mining firm of licence to iron ore deposit
- Portugal becomes fourth EU country to stop using coal plants
- Elon Musk asked companies to ‘please mine more nickel’ for Tesla batteries. Now he may be getting his wish—in Tanzania
- Hunter Biden’s private equity firm helped Chinese conglomerate buy American-owned cobalt mine in $3.8 billion deal: Purchase helped China company gain world’s largest deposit of precious metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles
- China’s ‘unhappy’ magnetite marriage to Clive Palmer to face ultimate test
- The $5 billion hoard of metal the world wants but can’t have
- China’s coal support continues with $31bn finance promise
- Polluting metals may be greener than you think, Citigroup says
Greenland strips Chinese mining firm of licence to iron ore deposit
COPENHAGEN, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Greenland said on Monday it has stripped a Chinese mining company of its licence to an iron ore deposit near the capital Nuuk, dealing a blow to attempts by Chinese companies to gain a foothold on the resource-rich Arctic island.
General Nice, a Chinese coal and iron ore importer, took control of the Isua mine project in 2015, replacing previous owner London Mining, which went bankrupt.
It was the first Chinese firm to have the right to exploit minerals in Greenland, which has attracted international interest as climate change has opened up waterways and access to the vast Arctic island’s mineral resources.
The licence was withdrawn because of inactivity at the site, the government said in a statement, adding it will be offered to new interested companies once it has formally been handed back.
Portugal becomes fourth EU country to stop using coal plants
LISBON, Portugal: Environmental activists are welcoming the end of electricity generation from coal in Portugal, though they said Monday the possible conversion of the country’s last coal-fired power plant into one that burns wood pellets would be a step in the wrong direction.
The Pego plant located 150 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of the Portuguese capital Lisbon stopped generating over the weekend, as Portugal became the fourth European Union country to stop burning coal to produce electricity.
Elon Musk asked companies to ‘please mine more nickel’ for Tesla batteries. Now he may be getting his wish—in Tanzania
Kabanga Nickel Ltd. is seeking to raise $1.3 billion for a massive mining project in Tanzania that the company says could help ease electric-vehicle manufacturers’ insatiable demand for nickel.
“We are accelerating these kind of discussions as quickly as possible,” Chief Executive Officer Chris Showalter, a former investment banker, said in an interview. “Because of the quality of the project, we have developed substantial interest.”
Kabanga is trying to secure funding for a $950 million mine and $350 million refinery that would be developed simultaneously in the northwest part of the country. The project would eventually produce as much as 50,000 tons of nickel cathodes a year, as well as smaller amounts of copper and cobalt. The company plans to bring it online by 2024, with an additional year to reach a steady state of production.
Nickel, traditionally used to make stainless steel, is also a key component in lithium-ion batteries, allowing vehicle manufacturers to reduce the use of cobalt, which is more expensive and has a less transparent supply chain. Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has asked companies to “please mine more nickel.”
Hunter Biden’s private equity firm helped Chinese conglomerate buy American-owned cobalt mine in $3.8 billion deal: Purchase helped China company gain world’s largest deposit of precious metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles
- Hunter Biden’s investment firm partnered with a Chinese company to buy the world’s larges cobalt mine from an American company in 2016
- Biden was one of three Americans who founded the BHR private equity firm with Chinese partners in 2013
- The firm helped buy out a minor stakeholder in the Congo’s Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine to help China Molybdenum buy it from Freeport-McMoRan
- The $3.8 billion deal helped secure China’s dominance over the previous metal, which is one of the key components of the batteries used for electric vehicles
- Earlier this year, Biden had warned that America’s electric car development could be threatened by China’s control over cobalt
An investment firm founded by Hunter Biden assisted a Chinese company in purchasing one of the world’s richest cobalt mines from an American company for $3.8 billion – helping the conglomerate gain a massive share of the key metal used to make electric car batteries.
The president’s son was one of three Americans who joined Chinese partners in establishing the Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Company, or BHR, in 2013.
The Americans controlled 30 percent of the company and made successful investments that culminated in aiding China Molybdenum purchase the Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine in the Congo from the American company Freeport-McMoRan in 2016, the New York Times reported.
China’s ‘unhappy’ magnetite marriage to Clive Palmer to face ultimate test
One of the most poisonous commercial relationships in Australian history will soon go on trial, as China’s CITIC and Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy clash over the ‘for better or worse’ elements of their contractual marriage.
Sino Iron’s magnetite iron ore processing plant in Cape Preston in the Pilbara, WA, is run by CITIC Pacific Mining under disputed lease agreements with Mineralogy billionaire Clive Palmer.
As one historic billion-dollar iron ore feud in Western Australia stands aside, another looks set to get under way.
Mineralogy mining magnate Clive Palmer has worn thin the patience of the WA Supreme Court in his clash with Chinese behemoth CITIC Group.
Mr Palmer’s spurious claims and attempted delays over a trial into contracts at the $18 billion Sino Iron project at Cape Preston in the Pilbara have been recently labelled an “abuse of process” by the Supreme Court.
The case judge went as far as awarding special costs against the Queensland billionaire to mark the court’s disapproval over his unreasonable actions.
In stark contrast, Hancock Prospecting magnate Gina Rinehart has largely succeeded in her multifaceted actions across various courts in whittling down and delaying the decades-long case over her lucrative Hope Downs ore mining tenement in the Pilbara. That trial, initially set for April, has now been vacated and pushed back to 2023.
The $5 billion hoard of metal the world wants but can’t have
On an industrial park about an hour’s drive toward the South China Sea coast from Ho Chi Minh City sit giant mounds of raw metal shrouded in black tarpaulin. Stretching a kilometer in length, the much-coveted hoard could be worth about $5 billion at current prices.
In the esoteric world of aluminum, those in the know say the stockpile in Vietnam is the biggest they have ever seen — and that’s in an industry that spends a lot of time building stockpiles while analysts spend a lot of time trying to locate them. But as far as the increasingly under-supplied market is concerned, it’s one that may never be seen again.
Why it’s unlikely to move anytime soon involves Vietnam’s customs authorities. How its existence has become so significant, meanwhile, opens a window on a ubiquitous, yet erratic commodity at a time when makers of everything from car parts to beer cans are competing for more of it as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and China throttles supply.
China’s coal support continues with $31bn finance promise
China continues to set itself apart from global peers when it comes to coal, allocating more than $31 billion (200 billion yuan) in financing at a time when most global banks are shunning the fuel.
The country’s central bank will use its relending program to provide loans to national banks to finance so-called clean coal projects at preferential rates, according to a statement posted on a government website detailing a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
The meeting came days after China helped lead a last-second effort at the COP26 climate summit to weaken language on a global coal phase-out. The loans would support cleaner methods of using the fuel, such as smart mining and more efficient power plants, according to the statement published Wednesday.
Polluting metals may be greener than you think, Citigroup says
Metals — even the dirtiest old-world varieties like steel — can already be considered green if their contribution to climate change mitigation is taken into account, according to a Citigroup Inc. report.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, analysts including Max Layton found that metals like copper, nickel, aluminum and steel can drive down global-warming gases given how much of them will be used to build the wind turbines, electric vehicles and carbon capture technologies needed to electrify economies.
The research offers producers grappling with cleaning up their supply chains another way to retain the growing number of investors with an environmental and social bent. That’s not to say the industry’s decarbonizing efforts should wane, Layton said.
“It’s a delicate subject,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “The results here are factual, but they are narrow in their assessment of the impact on the environment.”
In a rapid electrification scenario, Citigroup found that every metric ton of the 87 billion tons of metal to be used over the next 30 years reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of about 9 tons. That suggests that pollution-fighting efforts to reduce metal production may actually hurt climate change mitigation.
“It is possible to decarbonize the planet using less metals, but that would require power consumption and GDP growth to go down,” Layton said.
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