US, Philippines Eye Partnership to Cut China’s Nickel Dominance – by Peter Martin and Jennifer Jacobs (Bloomberg News – April 30, 2024)

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. and the Philippines are in discussions over ways to prevent China from dominating nickel processing in the Southeast Asian nation, a key supplier of the metal that’s crucial for electric vehicle batteries.

One measure under consideration is a trilateral arrangement through which the Philippines would supply raw nickel material, the U.S. would provide financing, and a third country such as Japan, South Korea or Australia would offer the technology required for smelting and refining, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talks with the Philippines — the world’s second-biggest mined nickel producer — are still in early stages, with key elements of any potential deal still to be worked out, including whether the US could deliver on financing, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

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