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Zimbabwe Commissions Chinese-Built Lithium Plant

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa officially opened a new lithium processing facility aimed at moving the country up the mineral value chain. The $300 million plant, run by Bikita Minerals, a subsidiary of China’s state-owned Sinomine, will produce 480,000 tonnes of petalite and 300,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrates annually. ...

Why Rock Bottom Prices for EV Battery Metals Bolsters China’s Longterm Strategy to Dominate Critical Minerals

South Africa's Impala Platinum announced voluntary buyouts this week in a bid to cut costs as the mining company grapples with persistently low metal prices. With the price of palladium down 40% this year and platinum off 14%, the challenge facing Impala ...

China Limits Exports of Graphite to Counter U.S. Technology Restrictions

The Chinese government announced it will soon restrict the export of three grades of graphite, a key ingredient in EV batteries and nuclear power plants, in retaliation for U.S.-led restrictions on technology sales to Chinese companies. China's Ministry of Commerce ...

Reality Now Dawning Western Countries Probably Can’t Catch-Up With China in the Critical Minerals Race

There's been a noticeable shift in recent weeks in the European and North American discourse about China's dominance of critical resources used to manufacture electric vehicle batteries. Officials on both sides of the Atlantic are no longer boasting about rivaling China's ...

Japan Moves to Build China-Free EV Battery Supply Chain

Nishimura Yasutoshi, Japan's economy and industry minister, spent last week crisscrossing southern Africa on a five-nation tour at the behest of his country's auto industry that is looking for new supplies of the raw materials needed to power electric vehicles. Japan, like ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Japanese Minister’s Africa Tour Riles China as Tokyo Looks to Build Its Own EV Battery Metal Supply Chain

Japan's Economy and Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi arrived in Namibia on Sunday for the first leg of a five-nation Africa tour that focuses specifically on securing new supplies of critical resources needed to power electric vehicles. Nishimura will also visit Angola, the DR ...

It Worked For Nickel, So Why Not Tin? Indonesia Wants to Move Up the Value Chain by Blocking Exports of Raw Commodities

The Indonesian government plans to add tin bars to the growing list of commodities that it will ban for export as part of an ambitious effort to have more of these resources processed domestically. A similar ban that was ...

Chinese Battery Giant CATL Bets on the Future of Cobalt By Buying a Big Chunk of CMOC

Strong demand for electric vehicles around the world helped to triple profits at Chinese battery giant CATL, the world's largest battery maker. The company is reporting that third-quarter profits for the year will reach $1.23 billion. CATL is going to use ...

Chinese-Built Plant to Turn Zimbabwe into Africa’s Biggest Steel Producer

A new Chinese-led plant could turn Zimbabwe into Africa’s largest producer of iron and steel. Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa led the groundbreaking ceremony of the new $1.5 billion project, led by Dinson Iron and Steel, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Tsingshan Holdings. 

Getting China Out of the U.S. Battery Metal Supply Chain Easier Said Than Done

The United States's plan to displace China from global mineral supply chains while simultaneously making them more environmentally, socially and governmentally (ESG) sustainable could be a bigger task than U.S government officials would like to admit.  The UK ...
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