The dirty road to clean energy: how China’s electric vehicle boom is ravaging the environment – by Antonia Timmerman ( – November 28, 2022)

In neighboring Indonesia, nickel extraction is causing environmental and social devastation.

This March, a group of women gathered under the roof of a modest wooden shop in the Kurisa fishing village on Sulawesi, an Indonesian island east of Borneo. They held iced drinks in their hands and babies to their breasts.

It was a hot, dusty afternoon, and some of the older children were playing tag. The women were gossiping, but mostly, they talked about how there were no fish for their husbands to catch these days. “Making a living from the sea isn’t enough anymore,” said one woman. “Kurisa is dying.”

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Global nickel cartel off the table as Canada’s trade minister rebuffs Indonesia’s approach – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – November 28, 2022)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is keen to strengthen Canada’s relationship with Indonesia, but not so much so that it’s willing to join the nickel cartel that the emerging Asian power is trying to get off the ground.

“It’s an idea that Indonesia has proposed to us, but we are not looking at that particular model in the way that they have proposed,” Trade Minister Mary Ng said after she and three fellow cabinet ministers released the government’s first ever Indo-Pacific Strategy in Vancouver on Nov. 27.

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Nickel processing goes on – by Editorial (Jakarta Post – November 25, 2022)

The recent decision of the panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body against Indonesia’s policy of banning raw nickel export should not in any way distract the government’s focus on its well-designed strategy to develop the processing of nickel and other minerals in the country.

The government should instead appeal against the verdict of the panel which ruled in favor of the European Union’s complaint that the Indonesian raw nickel export ban imposed since January 2020 violated WTO rules.

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Plans for OPEC of Nickel Finds Doubters in Australia, Canada – by James Fernyhough (Bloomberg News – November 17, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — An Indonesian proposal to create an OPEC-like group of nickel suppliers has raised eyebrows among Australian miners.

Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia floated the idea of an alliance that he said would help to unite government policies on the in-demand battery metal — and push the development of the downstream industry — at the Group of 20 Summit in Bali this week. The plan has been discussed with both Canada and Australia.

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Rio to pursue Turquoise bid after ending talks with minority shareholders – by Melanie Burton (Reuters – November 18, 2022)

MELBOURNE, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) said on Friday it would plough ahead with a $3.3 billion bid to buy the 49% of Canada’s Turquoise Hill Resources (TRQ.TO) that it does not already own, after it ended separate talks with dissenting minority shareholders.

The Anglo-Australian miner is seeking to simplify its management of the giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia that it operates, but shares ownership through Turquoise Hill and the Mongolian government.

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Indonesia proposes to Canada setting up OPEC-like group for nickel – by Staff (Reuters – November 16, 2022)

JAKARTA, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Indonesia has proposed in talks with Canada establishing an OPEC-like organisation for nickel producing countries, the Southeast Asian nation’s investment ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Indonesia and Canada are the first and sixth biggest nickel producers in the world, respectively. The proposal was made when Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia met Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng on Tuesday on the sideline of the G20 summit in Bali.

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Wealthiest nations offer Indonesia $20 billion to wean off coal – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – November 15, 2022)

Rich nations led by the US and Japan have pledged to give Indonesia a $20 billion package to help the coal-dependent country shift to renewable energy and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The deal put forward by the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which includes the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, and several European countries in the EU and Norway, has been more than a year in the making.

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Turquoise Hill delays vote on Rio Tinto acquisition indefinitely, as Quebec regulator studies side deal with dissidents – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 10, 2022)

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is indefinitely postponing the shareholder vote on the proposed $4.2-billion takeover of the company by Rio Tinto PLC as Quebec’s top securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financier (AMF), studies whether a backdoor deal Rio cut with dissident shareholders is legal.

“The AMF considers the transaction as currently structured to raise public interest concerns,” Montreal-based Turquoise Hill said in a release on Wednesday.

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Canada deals itself a blow in cutting China out of critical minerals – by David Olive (Toronto Star – November 10, 2022)

Ottawa has just shown tangible resolve in declaring Canada off-limits to Chinese ownership of Canadian critical minerals. These are minerals essential to the production of electric vehicles (EVs), cellphones, laptop computers, and power from alternative energy technologies.

It’s by no means certain that this recent prohibition is in Canada’s interests. More on that later. Last week, Ottawa ordered Chinese companies to divest their ownership in three junior mining firms based in Canada. The firms plan to develop lithium deposits in Canada, Argentina and Chile.

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Juniors consider legal options after Chinese divestment order – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – November 7, 2022)

Lithium exploration companies react to Canada ordering Chinese investors out

A junior exploration company in the critical minerals space says it is considering its legal options in response to the Canadian government ordering one of its investors to divest from the company.

Ultra Lithium Inc. (TSX-V: ULT) is one of two B.C.-headquartered companies that has Chinese investors ordered to divest their equity positions in the Canadian companies, based on national security concerns over control over critical minerals.

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Rio Tinto’s Turquoise Hill takeover in doubt as Quebec’s securities regulator studies fairness of side deal negotiated with dissidents – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 7, 2022)

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd. is postponing its shareholder vote on Rio Tinto PLC’s proposed takeover of the Canadian copper company yet again, as Quebec’s securities regulator considers whether a side deal negotiated with dissident shareholders is legal, injecting even more uncertainty into the market.

London-based Rio last week said it had reached an agreement with Pentwater Capital Management LP and SailingStone Capital Partners LLC, under which they would be paid out 80 per cent of the takeover amount being offered to all Turquoise Hill shareholders and, after a ruling from an arbitrator, the remaining 20 per cent, plus interest, and potentially much more.

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Column-Canada slams the door on China in critical minerals race – by Andy Home (Reuters – November 4, 2022)

The Canadian government this week ordered Chinese companies to divest their holdings in three Canadian-listed junior mining companies planning to develop lithium deposits.

The ban comes within days of Canada announcing a tougher policy on investment in the minerals sector by state-owned entities, particularly those from China, which dominates the processing of key energy transition metals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earths.

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Beijing accuses Canada of ‘suppressing Chinese companies’ – by Steve Chase and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 4, 2022)

Beijing is accusing Canada of “suppressing Chinese companies” by forcing three of its state-controlled corporations to sell their stakes in Canadian critical minerals businesses.

On Wednesday, Ottawa ordered Chinese state-owned companies to immediately divest their interests in three Canadian critical minerals companies. The federal government had faced an avalanche of criticism earlier this year for allowing too much investment from the Asian superpower in Canada’s domestic mining sector.

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Federal government moves to cut China out of Canadian critical mineral industry – by Mia Rabson (Canadian Press/CBC News Politics – November 2, 2022)

China a dominant player in critical minerals refining and processing battery cell components

After a national security review, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne is ordering three Chinese resource companies to sell their interests in Canadian critical mineral firms. Champagne’s order comes less than a week after he said Canada would be limiting the involvement of foreign state-owned companies in the industry.

Critical minerals and metals, such as lithium, cadmium, nickel and cobalt, are essential components of everything from wind turbines and electric cars to laptops, solar panels and rechargeable batteries.

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China’s Rare Earth Metals Monopoly Could Be Coming to an End – by John Feng (Newsweek – November 2, 2022)

After decades of geopolitical tensions over access to oil, the transition to clean energy is setting up a global competition over another natural resource: rare earth elements.

The 17 metals, which aren’t scarce but are hard to find in economically viable concentrations, are significant to greening economies of the future and the defense industrial base of the United States and others.

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