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Financial Times - April 21, 2019
In the 1890s, a revolution in transport in the US and Europe set off a commodity boom in the Congo. The pneumatic bicycle tyre was an...

The DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, a critical raw material for the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles, phones, and many other applications, but life for millions in the country is grindingly difficult despite its mineral wealth. Although manufacturers are working to reduce their reliance on cobalt, they seem unlikely to be able to dispense with it altogether any time soon. Plans for the continued rapid growth of electric vehicle and battery production imply that world demand for cobalt could grow fourfold by 2028, according to Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence…Electric vehicle manufacturers have started to address concerns about their sourcing of their raw materials. Tesla this week published its first ever report on its social and environmental impact, following pressure from investors…BMW, in an alliance with Samsung and BASF, last year launched a pilot programme intended to improve conditions at one mine in the DRC, in an attempt to make small-scale mining safer.

Unknown - April 22, 2019
Toronto, Ontario — Apple today announced a major expansion of its recycling programs, quadrupling the number of locations US customers can send their iPhone to be disassembled by Daisy, its recycling robot. Daisy will disassemble and recycle select used iPhones returned to Best Buy stores

Customers can also turn in their eligible devices to be recycled at any Apple Store or through as part of the Apple Trade In program…Apple has received nearly 1 million devices through Apple programs and each Daisy can disassemble 1.2 million devices per year…Daisy is now able to disassemble 15 different iPhone models at the rate of 200 per hour, recovering even more important materials for re-use. Once materials have been recovered from Daisy, they are recycled back into the manufacturing process. For cobalt, which is a key battery material, Apple sends iPhone batteries recovered by Daisy upstream in its supply chain. They are then combined with scrap from select manufacturing sites and, for the first time, cobalt recovered through this process is now being used to make brand-new Apple batteries — a true closed loop for this precious material.

EVs & Energy Storage
Unknown - April 22, 2019
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s economy ministry wants to extend subsidies for new electric cars until the end of 2020 in an effort to increase sales, draft guidelines seen by Reuters on Thursday showed.

Incentives worth 4,000 euros ($4,500) on the purchase of a new electric car in Germany were introduced in June 2016 and are due to end in June. The draft envisages an extension until Dec. 31, 2020 in largely its current form…The government and carmakers shared the financing but the 1.2 billion euros earmarked have not yet been used. Some estimates show that less than 500 million euros have been taken up…The subsidies have helped lift sales but even so, electric cars made up only about 1 percent of new car registrations last year, the KBA motor vehicle authority has said.

BNN Bloomberg - April 21, 2019
supplier: Panasonic Corp., the company that makes all of the lithium-ion battery cells that power Tesla Inc.’s electric vehicles. The rift

Tesla and Panasonic have been joined at the hip since the gigafactory agreement was first announced in July 2014, even if on paper they’re a bit of an odd couple. One is a 16-year-old maker of electric vehicles run by an impetuous boss, the other a century-old conservative Japanese manufacturer…Tesla manages the gigafactory but Panasonic is the principal partner, responsible for churning out cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells that Tesla buys and then packages into battery packs for the Model 3 sedan. The goal was to produce 35 gigawatt hours, or GWh, of cells per year by 2020, enough for roughly 400,000 Model 3s…Musk said that Panasonic’s cell lines have actually constrained Model 3 assembly because they are operating at just two-thirds capacity, or 24GWh…Panasonic did not directly respond to that assertion. But it said in a statement this week that as of the end of March the plant does have capacity for 35GWh. Both companies are in agreement that the gigafactory is far from running at full production. What’s less clear is why and how they will proceed in the future…“Tesla won’t spend money on more capacity until existing lines get closer to 35GWh theoretical,”…While it is currently Tesla’s only supplier of automotive-grade batteries, Tesla is building another factory -- known as Gigafactory Shanghai -- and has talked with several Chinese-based suppliers, including CATL…“Tesla is starting to flirt with other battery makers in China, and Panasonic doesn’t like that,” said Sam Jaffe

BNN Bloomberg - April 20, 2019
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Moise Katumbi had his prison sentence overturned, clearing the way for his possible return to the country after three years in exile, his lawyer said. Katumbi, the former governor of the cobalt-rich Katanga region, left Congo in May 2016

Katumbi, the former governor of the cobalt-rich Katanga region, left Congo in May 2016, soon after splitting with the country’s ex-head of state, Joseph Kabila, and announcing his intention to seek the presidency. A month later he was convicted in absentia and sentenced to three years in prison for illegally selling a property. Katumbi, 54, has always claimed the charge was bogus and politically motivated…Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of Congo’s oldest opposition party, was sworn in as president in January after Kabila’s preferred successor finished third in the national election. Katumbi was an ally of Tshisekedi during much of his exile but ended up backing rival opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who finished second…Tshisekedi last month said he would “work actively to create the conditions for the quick return of compatriots who are currently outside the country for political reasons.” 

For further information about the NICO Project and its Mineral Reserves, please refer to the Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for NICO, entitled "Technical Report on the Feasibility Study for the NICO-Gold-Cobalt-Bismuth-Copper Project, Northwest Territories, Canada", dated April 2, 2014 and prepared by Micon, which has been filed on SEDAR and is available under the Company's profile at


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