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White House Issues Report On How to Disentangle Critical Materials Supply Chains From China, Just as Apple is Reportedly in Talks With Chinese Battery Makers

Securing reliable supplies of cobalt and other strategic materials from places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo featured prominently in a new White House report that aims to counter China's dominance in this area. The timing of the report, however, comes just as Apple is reported ...

The Stuff That Goes Into Making a Battery For Electric Vehicles is Getting a Lot More Expensive

Prices for the key commodities needed to produce electric vehicle batteries have been rallying all year on stronger demand for new energy vehicles. They spiked in recent days, following the U.S.-led summit on climate change that took place online last week. ...

Despite Lots of M&A Activity in the Cobalt Mining Sector, Chinese Imports of the Precious Metal Fell Sharply in 2020

Chinese cobalt imports fell 41.8% last year compared to the volumes shipped from the DRC in 2019, according to the mining news website Argus Media. The lockdowns in response to COVID-19 at the mines in the DRC and at South African ports, from where the precious metal ...

Cobalt Prices Slump Even as China Ramps Up Imports and the U.S. Declares National Emergency Over Critical Materials Supply Chains

Neither China's recent cobalt buying binge nor a declaration of a state of emergency by U.S. President Donald Trump about securing the supply chains for strategic minerals, including cobalt, have been enough to boost the price of the chemical element, which is used to make batteries for ...

Africa’s Strategic Mineral Deposits Now at the Center of an Increasingly Fraught Great Power Competition

Iron ore, tantalum, cobalt, coltan, and a handful of other strategically important minerals and elements are at the center of an increasingly heated battle for the control of global supply chains among the world's largest economies. Leaders in Europe and the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Sanctions and Anti-Sanctions

For those tracking the development (and high-level normalization) of ‘the new cold war,’ this week has been a doozy. U.S. President Joe Biden departed for the G7 summit in Cornwall with a rare bipartisan win in his pocket. His U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, a $250 billion bill aimed at countering Chinese competition in a number of hi-tech areas like semiconductors and robotics, passed with a 68-32 majority. Some predict that it could ...

U.S., Europe Becoming Increasingly Worried Over China’s Dominance of the World’s Cobalt Supply Chain

With ties between China and the U.S. and Europe becoming increasingly strained, there's growing concern in Washington, Brussels, and other European capitals about China's dominance over the supply for strategically vital metals and minerals, especially cobalt. Cobalt is widely used in ...

Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe Gets Into Media Spat Over the Return of a Controversial Diamond Mine

In a highly unusual move, the Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe published a detailed rebuttal on the Bulawayo24.com website against allegations that they were involved in the return of the controversial Anjin diamond mine. The spat began on Sunday when ...

China to Stockpile Massive Amounts of Cobalt, Further Boosting the Price of this DRC, SA-sourced Strategic Mineral

The Chinese government will add 2,000 tons of cobalt to its strategic commodity reserve in a move that is expected to further bolster prices of this vitally important mineral that largely comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa, according to ...

Video Released of This Week’s Police Raid of Alleged Illegal Chinese Gold Mining Operation in Nigeria

There's new video available that shows Nigerian authorities in Zamfara state raiding the home of two Chinese nationals who allegedly ran an illegal gold mining operation. They were arrested and have been transferred to a detention facility in Abuja. Authorities say ...

Chinese Galamsey and the Illegal Lure of China’s Gold Rush

Some 50,000 Chinese migrants are said to have flocked to Ghana to stake a claim in the country’s illegal gold mining rush, with dire environmental, economic and social consequences. Ghana’s tradition of artisanal gold mining and the gold price boom ...
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