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S&P Global Platts - December 2, 2021
Diversified miner Glencore has upped its copper and cobalt production forecasts for 2021 and 2022 on the back of strong production at ...
update presentation call that the Katanga operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to perform well in line with production

Diversified miner Glencore has upped its copper and cobalt production forecasts for 2021 and 2022 on the back of strong production at Katanga and the Mutanda mine coming back online, it said Dec. 2…Glencore Head of Assets Peter Freyberg said in an investor update presentation call that the Katanga operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo continued to perform well in line with production achieved in 2022, with the overall copper portfolio operating mostly within plan…On the cobalt side, Freyberg said some volume growth was being seen due to Mutanda in the DRC coming back online, as well as some further growth at Katanga…Cobalt production was forecast at 35,000 mt in 2021, 48,000 mt in 2022, and 50,000 mt/year in 2023 and 2024…Freyberg also gave an update on Mutanda, which was in care and maintenance until recently…"We are in the process of starting this operation up and we did produce our first copper cathode in October," he said, adding that the site and processing plant was in good shape and had come through the care and maintenance period well, with a 20-year mine life expected…"The first phase of that life of asset plan will be the offside phase where we are processing some of the existing stockpiles for the next two to three years while we open up some more oxide reserves in the pit. We are continuing with the sulfide studies," Freyberg said…The miner plans to mine and process sulfide resources from 2028, using additional flotation, an oxygen plant and Glencore's Isamill and Albion Process technologies…He added that Mutanda was a relatively modest project in terms of capex and it was also highly capital efficient, with the first few years of production expected to run at an average capacity of just over 25,00-30,000 mt/year of copper and just over 10,000 mt of cobalt…The average output over the 20-year mine life was expected to be around 76,000 mt/year of copper and just over 20,000 mt/year cobalt, Freyberg added.

The Spectator - December 2, 2021
Britain’s top spy chief Richard Moore warned this week of the growing threat that China poses to the West. Besides the risk of cyber- ...
flight from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had been filled with Chinese passengers, most of them connected to the mining industry.

Britain’s top spy chief Richard Moore warned this week of the growing threat that China poses to the West. Besides the risk of cyber-warfare, the Communist country has been pumping huge sums across the globe as part of its Belt and Road strategy. Now, the EU has hit back: announcing a rival to the initiative to counter Chinese influence in Africa and elsewhere. Brussels' ‘Global Gateway’ looks at how the EU can leverage billions of euros, taken from member states, financial institutions and elsewhere, to rival the Belt and Road initiative. Unfortunately, it's too little, too late…During the years I spent working in Africa, I saw first-hand how widespread and all-encompassing China’s Belt and Road initiative is. Over one million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa over the last two decades. This large-scale movement of people has increased Chinese political and economic influence and has been encouraged by Beijing…The DRC, whose natural resources were a source of Cold War competition, is now the centre of global cobalt production. Last year, 70 per cent of the world's cobalt came from the DRC. The element is used to keep lithium-ion batteries from catching fire. These batteries power everything from cell phones to electric cars. Some 40 per cent of the mining in the DRC is controlled by Chinese companies…The West who, until very recently, allowed the Chinese intimate access to some of its most sensitive industries, is guilty of taking its eyes off the ball. And a shoddy EU initiative doesn't make up for lost time. As part of the Belt and Road scheme, between 2006-2017, Chinese mineral investments in Africa hit $33 billion (£25 billion), dwarfing investments from Western companies…In countries where China is securing mineral deals, they are delivering infrastructure projects to support the extraction of raw materials and the importation of Chinese goods. This includes the airports that I passed through, thousands of miles of highways, railways in Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia which connect inland mineral deposits with ports, and mega-ports in Tanzania and Djibouti. It also includes more than 40 national stadiums, presidential places and government buildings which stand as highly visible reminders of Chinese benevolence. These projects are paid for by Chinese loans and delivered by Chinese companies…Xi needs Africa to deliver this vision. The continent's raw material extraction is vital for fuelling the fourth industrial revolution, and access to Africa's markets will keep China's economy growing and its people well-off. Xi also seeks recognition for China and to erase the memory of the humiliation of European colonisation…Although China portrays its Belt and Road initiative as a win-win, the reality is rather different. The quality of some of the infrastructure projects it funds leaves much to be desired. And the vast debts built up to deliver the projects (China holds more than 70 per cent of Djibouti's national debt) has the appearance of a 'debt-trap' aimed at ensuring the grip of Chinese influence…To counter this image, China is using its soft power to win hearts and minds. During the pandemic, China sold and donated vaccines to 13 African countries, mostly those where they had existing economic ties. China has also been investing in African media. Since moving its regional office to Nairobi, the Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency has built one of the largest correspondent networks on the continent. Chinese state TV, radio and China Daily’s Africa edition now have offices in Nairobi…As a response to the Belt and Road initiative, the EU’s Global Gateway is naïve. It underestimates the scale of China’s investment and exaggerates the lure of Western democratic values. 

EVs & Energy Storage
The Guardian - December 3, 2021
Electric cars will make up just 4% of American sales in 2021, compared with 9% in China and 14% in Europe
.” Joe Biden has sought to throw his weight behind electric cars, recently taking the new electric Hummer for a test drive at a GM plant in

The Biden administration, in the midst of a major push to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles, has been provided a sobering reminder of how badly the US is lagging in the adoption of zero-emission cars…The White House has set a goal for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all new car sales by the end of this decade in order to slash planet-heating emissions and help avert disastrous climate change…But a new report has found that electric cars will make up just 4% of American sales in 2021, compared with 9% in China and 14% of new sales in Europe…This is in line with a distinct recent trend – while electric vehicles are on the rise in the US, with sales climbing at an annual rate of 28% between 2015 and 2020, the other major car markets have pulled significantly ahead. The electric vehicle fleet grew at 51% a year in China over the same five-year period, while Europe has seen a 41% annual increase…“What happened is that Europe set new carbon dioxide limits for cars while Donald Trump took the US backwards,” said Margo Oge, who previously oversaw vehicle regulation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in reference to the former president’s decision to weaken pollution standards for new vehicles. “The policies of the Trump administration are reflecting the US being behind. But the US can catch up if it does the right things.”…The administration is pinning its hopes on a vast $1.75tn reconciliation bill, which has yet to pass an evenly divided Senate, to drive uptake. The legislation provides tax credits of up to $12,500 for car buyers if they choose an electric vehicle. A separate infrastructure bill passed last month provided billions of dollars towards a Biden goal of installing 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country…Meanwhile, the EPA is preparing to issue new regulations, set to be unveiled before Christmas, that will require more stringent fuel efficiency standards for new cars. The EPA is also expected to act upon an executive order signed by Biden that demands the 50% electric vehicle target is met…The legislative and regulatory actions will, Oge said, help push carmakers such as Ford and GM, which have already set their own goals to phase out gasoline and diesel cars, to follow through with their promises. “If the White House gives that strong message I think companies will start really moving on this,” she said.

BNN Bloomberg - December 2, 2021

Saudi Arabia and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group are in talks to form a joint venture to make electric vehicles, a move that could help accelerate plans by the oil-dependent kingdom to diversify its economy, according to people familiar with the matter. ..Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which manages about $450 billion of assets, will create a new entity named Velocity to be the majority stakeholder of the joint venture, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the effort is not yet public. Foxconn will provide software, electronics and the electrical architecture for the new EVs and will be a minority stakeholder in the collaboration, according to one of people. The arrangement will help the country gain experience in manufacturing cars, another person said. The joint venture is looking to assemble EVs on a chassis licensed from BMW AG, two people said. The parties aim to sign a deal by the end of this year, according to one of the people, although no final decisions have been made and the plans could still change…Saudi Arabia has had ambitions for years to develop a domestic carmaking industry as part of its attempts to wean the economy off a reliance on oil sales. Those efforts have mostly failed. Now the kingdom is trying a different tactic, with the PIF leading investments into the industry. It took a majority stake in EV startup Lucid Motors Inc. in 2018 to encourage the firm to develop a manufacturing site inside the kingdom. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia hired advisers including Boston Consulting Group to explore establishing its own domestic electric carmaker, Bloomberg News has reported…The sovereign wealth fund is also looking to develop a battery manufacturing plant with a target of producing 15GWh storage capacity per year by 2028, some of the people said…Foxconn, a key Apple Inc. assembly partner, has been branching out into EV development and production over the past year, seeing the rising interest in the category as a potent growth driver.

Reuters - December 2, 2021
Summary Toyota's new China-only EV sedan to hit market late 2022 New EV set to join Toyota's 'bZ series' electric range Car will use BYD ...

Toyota Motor Corp will launch an all-electric small sedan in China late next year, having turned to local partner BYD for key technology to finally make an affordable yet roomy runaround, four sources told Reuters…Two of the four people with knowledge of the matter described the car as an electric holy grail for Toyota which has struggled for years to come up with a small EV that is both competitive on cost in China and doesn't compromise on comfort…The sources said the breakthrough was chiefly down to BYD's less bulky lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) Blade batteries and its lower-cost engineering know-how - a turning of the tables for a Chinese company whose popular F3 saloon was inspired by Toyota's Corolla back in 2005…Toyota's new EV will be slightly bigger than its compact Corolla, the world's best-selling car of all time. One source said think of it as "a Corolla with bigger back-seat section"…It will be unveiled as a concept car at the Beijing auto show in April and will then most likely be launched as the second model in Toyota's new bZ series of all-electric cars, even though it will only be on sale in China for now…It will be pitched below premium EVs such as Tesla's Model Y or the Nio ES6 but above the ultra-cheap Hong Guang Mini EV, which starts at just $4,500 and is now China's best-selling electric vehicle…One said it would likely sell for under 200,000 yuan ($30,000), aiming for a segment of the Chinese market Tesla is expected to target with a small car within the next two years…The fact Toyota has been compelled to turn to BYD to solve its low-cost EV conundrum shows how far the competitive balance of the global auto industry has tipped in the past decade…When the quality of Chinese vehicles was considered below par, global automakers were not too concerned that they couldn't compete on price and left Chinese companies to control the domestic market for cheap, no-frills cars…But times have changed…Toyota executives started to worry back in 2015 when BYD launched its Tang plug-in hybrid, with significant improvements in styling, quality and performance. Most worrying was that fact it was still about 30% cheaper than comparable Toyota models…Toyota's new EV comes at a time it is under fire from environmental groups that maintain it is not committed to zero emissions. They say Toyota is more interested in prolonging the commercial usefulness of its successful hybrid technology.

CNBC - December 3, 2021
Chinese electric car start-up Hycan hasn’t delivered many vehicles yet, but it claims it’s on the verge of a large fundraise as investors pour more money into a hot sector.

The news of more capital looking at other players in China’s electric car market comes as more established start-ups like Nio and Xpeng have already delivered more than 10,000 cars each in November alone. Unofficial figures — which Hycan declined to confirm – indicate sales of a few hundred vehicles during the first ten months of this year…“In January, we raised more than 2 billion yuan ($312.5 million), which is a recognition from our big investors. Next, the new round of financing overall will not be less than this figure,” Yang Ying, CEO of Hycan, said in Mandarin on Dec. 1 at CNBC’s annual East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China…The start-up was founded in 2018 under the name GAC-Nio, referring to its investors: state-owned automaker GAC and U.S.-listed electric carmaker Nio…The company launched its second model in October, an electric SUV called the Z03 with a price range of 132,800 yuan to 168,800 yuan. That’s a lower price range than models from Nio and Tesla…Hycan has focused its strategy on attracting young consumers, primarily born after 1995. The start-up has played up its partnership with Chinese e-sports team EDG, which beat a South Korean team in a widely followed championship in November…Yang said the company plans to partner with two or three international fashion brands next year, although he said he could not yet disclose their names.

Reuters - December 3, 2021
Summary Fairphone made 2 million euro profit last year 99% of Fairphones sold to individuals Fairphone has sold more than 300,000 phones ...

What began as an awareness campaign in 2010 has in just over a decade grown into Fairphone, which last year sold thousands of phones made from responsibly sourced and recycled materials…Although about 99% of the phones the Netherlands-based firm makes are sold to individuals, corporates are starting to show interest, its Chief Executive Eva Gouwens told Reuters…Recycling is an important feature of the energy transition where companies, governments and individuals look to cut their carbon footprints and meet stringent emissions targets. And responsible sourcing has for some years been a major theme, particularly in the technology and auto sectors, where the spotlight fell on human rights abuses and child labour at artisanal mines in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)…Fairphone sold 95,000 phones last year…"We have a programme in the DRC where we work with the Fair Cobalt Alliance to improve the situation in artisanal mines," Gouwens said of Fairphone, which sources its cobalt from several countries…The Fair Cobalt Alliance aims to make artisanal mines safer, minimise their environmental impact and create suitable working conditions for the men and women working at these sites…Gouwens said the supply chain was complex and that the cobalt going into the rechargeable batteries used for phones was not "100% traceable"…If you keep the cobalt separate throughout the whole supply chain, it would be super costly and the (artisanal) miners wouldn't benefit from that."…When Fairphone started in 2013, the aim was to appeal to the "darker green" audience, people prepared to compromise on the functionality and contribute to sustainability…It is now aiming to expand into what Gouwens calls the "lighter green" area, consumers interested in sustainability and fairness, but less willing to compromise on functionality…Fairphone made a profit of 2 million euros ($2.27 million)last year.

Fortune Minerals In The Media
NNSL - December 2, 2021
At least three critical minerals companies in the NWT will have huge implications for Hay River in the coming years, attendees of the Yellowknife Geoscience Forum heard on Nov. 25.

Fortune Minerals NICO deposit…Robin Goad, president and CEO of Fortune Minerals, provided an update on NICO’s cobalt deposit 50 km north of Wha Ti. The site would also produce bismuth, copper and gold…He projected average annual production of 1,800 tonnes of cobalt units during the first 14 years of the 20-year mine life…Cobalt is used primarily in rechargeable batteries but also has other diverse purposes including in cellphones, portable computers, electric vehicle batteries, superalloys, pigments and magnets…While the Nov.30 opening of the all-season road to Wha Ti will benefit Fortune Minerals, which plans to build a 50-km spur road to the project site, Goad said the CN Rail line in the South Slave will be important in getting the product to the final refinery stage…Following extraction, the mineral will be separated on site before the concentrate is shipped south…“We then filter and bag our materials for transport to the refinery,” he said. It’s loaded onto gondola cars after trucking to Enterprise probably, but also possibly Hay River and then that material will be conveyed to a refinery site…Goad said that a refinery site is still being finalized in northern Alberta, but he would not elaborate.

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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The materials appearing in this email contain forward-looking information. This forward-looking information includes, or may be based upon, estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management’s expectations with respect to, among other things, the size and quality of the Company’s mineral resources, progress in permitting and development of mineral properties, timing and cost for placing the Company’s mineral projects into production, costs of production, amount and quality of metal products recoverable from the Company’s mineral resources, anticipated revenues, earnings and cash flows from the Company's mineral projects, demand and market outlook for metals and coal and future metal and coal prices. Forward-looking information is based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the information is given, and is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. These factors include the inherent risks involved in the exploration and development of mineral properties, uncertainties with respect to the receipt or timing of required permits and regulatory approvals, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data, fluctuating metal and coal prices, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs and expenses, the possibility that production from the Company's mineral projects may be less than anticipated, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, uncertainties related to metal recoveries and other factors. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred mineral resources are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that mineral resources will be converted into mineral reserves. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information because it is possible that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forms of forward-looking information will not be achieved by the Company. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update them or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.