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EP&T - January 19, 2022
Semiconductors, critical minerals to become key geopolitical battlegrounds

Nations will wish to favour competition over cooperation as the global economy recovers from COVID-19, according to a recent report by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. The report indicates that some sectors — including 5G, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and batteries — will remain a volatile space for geopolitics for years to come…The report reveals that semiconductors and critical minerals will remain key geopolitical battlegrounds in 2022, with the US and China intensifying their fight for dominance over many of the core tech industries and mineral resources that support them. These industries will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades to come and so the countries that lead in them will own the twenty-first century…“China’s dominance of critical minerals, especially those used in clean energy technologies, is akin to the kind of stranglehold that OPEC has had over oil in the past. As the minerals grow in importance due to the necessity of the climate transition, the need to develop a resilient and secure supply chain will become impossible to ignore,” says Clarke…Consequently, Clarke states that we will see Western countries intensify efforts in 2022 to reduce their reliance on China for critical minerals used in the tech, renewables, and military sectors by seeking alternate sources. Investment in state-sponsored and private sector initiatives to build regional and national supply chains will become more frequent…“Quite simply, developing a critical minerals supply chain is fundamental in safeguarding national security, achieving sustainable development, and driving technological prosperity,” Clarke states. “China, long before the West, realized which minerals and metals are key to the future, and their ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ has consolidated the country’s lead in controlling these resources. Next year will see Western state-sponsored research and investment into building resilient critical mineral supply chains of their own.”

S&P Global Platts - January 19, 2022
Mutoshi may produce 50,000 mt/yr copper, 16,000 mt/yr cobalt
has been associated since 2018, will switch to industrial mining from responsible artisanal mining: potentially upgrading the DRC's image as

The Mutoshi mine, with the potential to become one of the largest cobalt and copper producers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is set to start production in 2023 as a result of a financing and marketing accord set up with Trafigura, the global trader said Jan.19…The $600 million financing accord with Shalina Resources and its subsidiary Chemaf, a vertically-integrated DRC copper and cobalt producer, will facilitate a new supply of high-grade cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode at a time of growing global demand, Trafigura said in a statement…The financing will enable completion of a fully mechanized mine operation at Mutoshi in Kolwezi, a solvent extraction-electrowinning processing plant also in Kolwezi and the expansion of the Etoile SX-EW processing plant in Lubumbashi to progress without delay, according to the statement. Trafigura intends to syndicate the majority of the financing to international banks. The agreements also provide for the marketing by Trafigura of all the cobalt hydroxide produced from these assets operated by Chemaf, which is expected to continue until the end of 2027…A source close to the company said Mutoshi is expected to eventually produce 50,000 mt/year of copper and 16,000 mt/year cobalt…Etoile, in its phase 2, will produce 30,000 mt/year copper and 4,000 mt/year cobalt, the source told S&P Global Platts…The DRC holds around 70% of the world's reserves of cobalt, now widely used in production of batteries for electric vehicles. Surging demand in recent years as interest in e-mobility has grown has brought considerable volatility to cobalt prices. Some battery and carmakers have made moves to source cobalt from outside the DRC, or reduce their dependence on cobalt supplies overall due to fears of purchasing material from the DRC that may be linked with child labor or other practices no longer acceptable to supply chains increasingly governed by environment, social and governance issues…Artisanal mining accounts for between 20% and 40% of the DRC's cobalt production, Trafigura has estimated. Most of the rest of the country's supplies are produced by major miners including Glencore and China Molybdenum.

EVs & Energy Storage - January 20, 2022
For now, it's just a concept, though.
towing vehicle. It can help either a combustion-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle and reduce its fuel or energy consumption. Simply put

The recreational vehicle business, though, seems to be lagging behind the passenger cars sector. However, just a few days ago, Winnebago unveiled its 125-mile electric Ford Transit-based RV, and today we are happy to share something very different with you…Meet the Airstream eStream Concept - Thor’s first electrified trailer camper, which, for now, is just a one-off prototype but surely looks like something to be excited for in the near future…The EStream concept is built on top of Thor’s own electrified architecture and features a battery-powered electric drivetrain that can support the towing vehicle. It can help either a combustion-powered vehicle or an electric vehicle and reduce its fuel or energy consumption. Simply put, it’s a towable electric camper that can be powered by its own electric drivetrain…While supporting the towing vehicle is smart and everything, we are more impressed by the concept’s capability to be remotely parked without the tow vehicle being involved. This eliminates the need to back into a campsite and makes it easier to maneuver around the place you want to spend the night at…Wait, that’s not everything. The battery pack installed in the trailer’s floor also provides electric energy for the days and nights off the grid. 

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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