REUTERS -- The five nations in the world's leading intelligence-sharing network have been exchanging classified information on China's foreign activities with other like-minded countries since the start of the year, seven officials in four capitals said.
The increased cooperation by the Five Eyes alliance - grouping Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States - with countries such as Germany and Japan is a sign of a broadening international front against Chinese influence operations and investments.
REUTERS -- China's unwrought copper imports surged to their highest in 2-1/2 years in September, while copper concentrate imports climbed an all-time high as the world's top copper consumer's crackdown on scrap leaves it needing other forms of the metal.
China's imports of copper, which include anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products, rose 24 percent from August to 521,000 tonnes last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.
REUTERS -- A Chilean court on Thursday suspended the sale of a coveted stake in lithium producer SQM SQMa.SN, SQM_pb.SN to China's Tianqi Lithium Corp 002466.SZ, saying it will consider a lawsuit filed by the Chilean company's controlling shareholders, who oppose the deal.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, alleges a previous anti-trust court decision did not give shareholders adequate time to review the agreement between Tianqi and regulators, allowing the Chinese miner to purchase a 24 percent stake in the world's No. 2 producer of lithium, a metal used to make batteries for electric vehicles.
REUTERS -- China's imports of copper fell 6.7 percent from month ago to 420,000 tonnes in August, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Copper imports to China, the world's leading copper and aluminium consumer, include anode, refined, alloy and semi-finished copper products.
The country exported 517,000 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, including primary, alloy and semi-finished aluminium products, in August, up from July's 510,000 tonnes.
REUTERS -- Chilean anti-trust regulator FNE said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Tianqi Lithium Corp 002466.SZ that would allow the Chinese miner to purchase a stake in top lithium producer SQM SQMa.SN, pending court approval.
The settlement stipulates that Tianqi can not name one of its executives or employees to SQM's board, and requires that the Chinese miner notify regulators of any future, lithium-related deal struck with either SQM or top-competitor Albemarle ALB.N.
"The measures agreed upon...are intended to limit Tianqi's access to commercially sensitive information held by SQM," the FNE said in a statement.
Recent research suggests that there were five sources of cobalt common to traditional Chinese ceramics. Imported cobalt is distinguished by a high proportion of lead (the ratio of FE2O3 to CoO is between 2.21 and 3.02) and low manganese content (the ratio of MnO to CoO is 0.01 to 0.06) which yields a rich blue with obvious iron-rust spots.
Xiu Ban (oxide spots on surface) and Yun San (faint evasion) are observed features of the decoration which can help identify cobalt sources and to give support in dating. The cause for these effects are under debate.
For cobalt, there were several kinds and all carried different characteristic and reactions in the firing process. I do not think its possible to date a piece just by the "rust compositions" and "faint evasions", rather all things have to be considered. Short summary up to my present understanding (will be expanded).
FORTUNE -- Most of his neighbors are still sound asleep at 5 a.m., when Lukasa rises to begin his 12-hour workday. The slender 15-year-old, with an oval face and piercing stare, slips out of his family’s mud-brick home before dawn six days a week. Then he makes the two-hour walk from his tiny village in the southern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a government-owned mining site. (Fortune is withholding the name of the village in order to protect Lukasa and other children.) Once at the mine, Lukasa spends eight hours hacking away in a hole to accumulate chunks of a mineral that is crucial to keeping our modern lives moving: cobalt.
By about 3 p.m., Lukasa has filled a sack with his day’s haul. He hoists the load, which can weigh up to 22 pounds, on his back and lugs it for an hour by foot to a trading depot. “I sell it to Chinese people,” he says, referring to the buyers from Chinese commodity trading companies who dominate the market in the area. Lukasa is wearing a T-shirt with “Prada” written on the front and sitting under a shade tree in his village on a recent Sunday, his one day off, as he explains his routine. With a hint of pride he says, “On good days I can earn 15,000 francs.” That adds up to about $9.
NEXT BIG FUTURE -- China’s largest lithium battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) plans to begin producing in 2019 next-generation nickel-rich batteries, which are cheaper to make and have longer life-spans.
Cobalt stabilizes and extends the life of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Cobalt prices more than doubled in 2017 and peaked at a record high of $95,250 a tonne in March, 2018.
FASTMARKETS -- After a consultation period, Metal Bulletin has launched a price assessment to cover the Chinese cobalt sulfate market. Cobalt sulfate, of which China is the largest producer in the world, is one of the key materials used to produce lithium-ion nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) and nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs).
Therefore, Metal Bulletin aims to provide a regular tracker of Chinese cobalt sulfate prices on a spot basis and capture the evolution of the cobalt sulfate market in the country.
The newly launched China cobalt sulfate price assessment will enhance Metal Bulletin’s coverage of the battery raw materials supply chain in response to the looming EV boom.
THE EPOCH TIMES -- A new source of energy can be found at the forefront of electric-vehicle development in the 21st century, and China is beginning to dominate in controlling the world’s supply of this so-called new petroleum: the mineral cobalt.
Cobalt is one of the key components of the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs).
While Japanese electric carmakers are struggling to acquire the mineral and called for government assistance during a July 24 industry meeting in Tokyo, Chinese companies have been able to control one of the world’s key sources: mines in the central African nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is one of the world’s poorest countries.