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DRC Take Note: China’s BYD Says It’ll No Longer Used Cobalt in Its Electric Vehicles

Shenzhen-based electric vehicle giant BYD (aka Build Your Dreams), the world's second-largest EV-maker, recently made a stunning announcement that it will no longer use cobalt in any of its vehicles. Instead, the company is going all-in on LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries in place of ...

Africa Benefitting From China’s Determination to Move Away From Australian Commodity Suppliers

China appears willing to pay higher financial and environmental costs if it means ending its dependence on Australian commodities including iron ore and coal. China has been steadily diversifying its sourcing of key commodities that it once depended on Australia to provide, even if new suppliers in ...

In 5 Years, the Battle Over Cobalt is Going to Intensify… a LOT!

There are just five years left before the demand for cobalt, a critical metal used to make the batteries in electric vehicles, is going to outstrip the known supply of this strategically vital resource. And with 60-70% of the world's cobalt reserves located in ...

Two Events in China and the DR Congo Illustrate Why the Race for Cobalt Supplies is So Important

Soaring demand for electric cars and trucks is sparking a buying frenzy for the critical ingredients used to make the batteries in those vehicles, namely cobalt. Prices for the metal are up 65% this year alone, the highest since 2018, at $53,000 a ton. ...

A New Piece of Equipment in Zambia Will “Help China Get Rid of Its Over-Reliance of Imported Australian Iron Ores”

An article in today's Global Times newspaper, one of China's more bombastic nationalist tabloids, provides a glimpse into how determined Chinese officials are to "decouple" their trade with Australia, especially in the hugely valuable iron sector. Sino-Australian relations 

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

What We’ve Lost in the Fire

This weekend was a rough one for South Africa. On Sunday, the country watched as fires around Table Mountain slowly started creeping downhill, towards the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Soon it was confirmed that the university’s African Studies library, which housed a unique collection of African film, and one of the biggest repositories of historical documents related to Southern Africa, was on fire. Librarians are still trying ...

China’s Rapidly Evolving Relations in the DR Congo

Foreign Minister Wang Yi's stopover in Kinshasa on his latest Africa tour highlights the growing importance of the DR Congo in Chinese foreign policy. During his visit, Wang announced a modest debt relief package and that the DRC would become the ...

With New Lockdowns in South Africa Threatening to Slow Cobalt Exports to China, Prices For the Strategically Important Metal Are Going Up

Investors are becoming increasingly worried that South Africa's recent decision to close 20 land ports will adversely impact the flow of cobalt from mines in the DR Congo to customers in China. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a series of new lockdown measures ...

Analyst: China Will Diversify Iron Ore Buys From Australia, Brazil To Guinea in West Africa

Peter O’Connor, a senior analyst of metals and mining at the Australian investment firm Shaw and Partners, said out loud on CNBC what many people have been quietly thinking: that the natural progression of China's steadily deteriorating ties with Australia will prompt Beijing to end its dependence ...

Rapidly Deteriorating China-Australia Ties Provides a Sobering Lesson For African Countries

There's an old Chinese idiom that says "kill a chicken to scare the monkey" (殺雞儆猴). According to the folktale, there was a street performer who made a lot of money from a dancing monkey. One day, that monkey, however, didn't want to perform. The owner became very ...

Construction Begins on New Chinese-Financed Vocational Campus in an Important Congolese Cobalt Mining City

The Chinese embassy in Kinshasa announced that construction will begin soon on a new vocational education campus in Kowlezi, the capital of the southern Lualaba province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new 15,000 square ...
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