Chinese Companies Are Flocking to Indonesia for Its Nickel – by Yudith Ho and Eko Listiyorini (Bloomberg News – December 15, 2022)

Over a decade, they’ve poured upwards of $14 billion into two ore-rich islands to lock in supplies for battery production.

ABOUT 3,000 miles south of Beijing, Chinese mining companies have set up operations in the heart of the world’s largest known nickel reserves. On the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi and Halmahera, they’ve built refineries, smelters, a new metallurgy school-even a nickel museum.

Together, they’ve plowed US$3.2 billion into the remote islands this year alone, bringing the total to US$14.2 billion in investment over the past 10 years-enough to secure their nickel supply into the next decade.

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Turquoise Hill shareholders back Rio Tinto takeover, signalling end to a long saga – by Naimul Karim (Financial Times – December 9, 2022)

Mining giant keen to gain control of one of the world’s largest new copper and gold mines

Turquoise Hill Resources Ltd.‘s shareholders voted in favour of Rio Tinto Ltd.’s US$3.3 billion proposal to take full control of the Montreal-based miner on Dec. 9, signalling an end to a rocky journey that included the postponement of three previous votes, multiple takeover offers from Rio, and side deals with minority owners that were abruptly terminated.

The deal will, however, need the final approval of the Supreme Court of Yukon where a hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14, the companies said. About 86.6 per cent of all votes cast and 60.5 per cent of the votes by Turquoise’s minority shareholders approved the takeover, the company said in a press release.

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Mass Protests in Mongolia Decry ‘Coal Mafia,’ Corruption – by Julian Dierkes (The Diplomat – December 6, 2022)

For the second time this year, Mongolians are protesting against the government in significant numbers. In April, protests seemed to primarily grow out of younger Mongolians’ disappointed expectations with the government.

Today’s protests were sparked by apparent revelations about grand corruption, involving coal deliveries by state-owned Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi, one of the country’s largest mining companies, to China.

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Chinese Carmaker BYD Eyes Chilean Lithium Deals in Search for EV Fuel – by James Attwood, Yvonne Yue Li and Danny Lee (Bloomberg News – December 6, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Chinese electric-car juggernaut BYD Co. is looking to get into the lithium business in Latin America and Africa after prices of the key battery component surged to “unreasonable” and “not healthy” levels.

BYD is scouring the world for lithium supplies, Executive Vice President Stella Li said in an interview Tuesday. In Chile, it’s in talks to enter into a mining project and is applying for permits to process the raw material into cathode for batteries. The automaker is also looking to invest in African lithium projects, although it’s detected infrastructure shortfalls there.

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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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