China’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth – For Rare Minerals – by Ariel Cohen (Forbes Magazine – June 2, 2021)

The recent $3 billion sale of Chile’s Compañía General de Electricidad to China’s State Grid Corporation brought total Chinese control of electricity transmission in Chile up to 57%.

Similar PRC acquisitions and projects are currently being advanced in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, and Columbia, where corporations are building hydropower, wind, and solar power stations. But China’s energy push into Latin America is not limited to infrastructure.

This is fast becoming a multi-pronged approach that also includes the securing of critical minerals, particularly rare earth elements (REEs). The United States, meanwhile, is mum.

Beijing has invested over $180 million into Venezuelan nickel mining, and an additional $580 million into more general mining services. Similar deals are underway in Chile and Peru, which account for 55% of China’s copper.

Chinese state-owned company Chinalco has a controlling interest in the Peruvian Toromocho and La Bambas copper mines, with another Chinese-backed mine in Ecuador.
China’s Xinjiang TBEA has acquired a 49% stake in Bolivia’s lithium industry as well, and while lithium, like copper and nickel, is not a rare earth, it remains a key component of many electric vehicle batteries.

For the rest of this article: