Newsletter 13-5-2024

Newsletter – 13.05.2024

13/05/24                                      WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
  • Saudi Arabia to Propose Investment Opportunities in Six Mining Locations
  • Anglo investors tell company to move faster to survive BHP bid
  • India considers incentives for lithium processing
  • Trafigura delivers large amounts of aluminum to LME for lucrative rent deals
  • US court absolves top tech companies in Congo's child labor case
  • Australia’s budget will boost critical minerals, treasurer says

Saudi Arabia to Propose Investment Opportunities in Six Mining Locations

The mining sector in Saudi Arabia is witnessing growth and development with more investment opportunities expected to be proposed in 2024.

Six locations will be the targets of the fifth round of exploration. They include gold, copper and zinc and span an area of 940 square kms.

Assistant Deputy Minister for Mining Enablement at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources Abdulrahman AlBelushi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the ministry has granted over 500 exploration licenses.

Exploration has witnessed a qualitative leap and it is reaching new heights year after year, he added. This has paved the way for the development of new mines.

The development can all be credited to the amendment of the mining investment regulation, he stated.

Saudi Arabia’s mining wealth is estimated at SAR9.6 trillion (USD2.5 trillion), he went on to say.

He underscored the importance of the optimal exploitation of this wealth so that it can become part of national industries and so that its products can help grow industrial cities in target areas such as cars and planes.

On the Arabian Shield region, AlBelushi said the Saudi Geological Survey has carried out extensive work in the area, using various geophysical and geochemical tools.

Anglo investors tell company to move faster to survive BHP bid

Anglo American Plc’s shareholders are pushing the company to speed up the release of its turnaround plan as the 107-year-old miner seeks to present an alternative to BHP Group Ltd.’s takeover bid.

Anglo has been reviewing its business since mid-2023, looking at every mine in its portfolio to help reshape a company that’s fallen behind competitors in recent years. Yet that process was broadsided by a takeover approach last month from the world’s biggest miner.

Now, Anglo shareholders have been urging the company to expedite that analysis and explain to investors how it would create more value than by just selling to the rival, according to conversations with five of Anglo’s biggest holders, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private.

Anglo may unveil the strategy as soon as the coming week, when the world’s top mining bosses attend Bank of America Corp.’s annual conference in Miami, according to people familiar with the matter.

Still, the situation remains fluid and Anglo is weighing the best time to show its hand, with BHP expected to return with a fresh bid and activist investor Elliott Investment Management, which has emerged as one of Anglo’s biggest shareholders, potentially planning to make its views public too.

India considers incentives for lithium processing

India is considering offering incentives to encourage private companies to set up lithium processing facilities, as New Delhi tries to develop its nascent lithium mining and boost supplies of the EV battery metal, three government sources said.

It would offer incentives to companies to set up lithium processing plants under a new critical minerals policy that was being worked out by the mines ministry, the sources said.

“The critical minerals policy will be comprehensive and will cover all aspects from exploration to mining to value addition,” one of the sources said.

“It will also cover incentives for beneficiation and refining within the country,” the source said.

The sources, however, said it was a little early to know the exact form of incentives the government would offer, but New Delhi would try to take a cue from countries such as Australia and Canada.

Trafigura delivers large amounts of aluminum to LME for lucrative rent deals

Commodity trader Trafigura delivered more than 400,000 metric tons of aluminum to London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses for lucrative financial deals, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, explaining a hefty jump in stocks.

The so-called rent deals allow LME-approved warehouses to share fees with companies that deliver metal to them.

Companies that deliver aluminum for rent deals do not have to retain ownership of the metal, but can get a share of the rent, paid by the new owners, for as long as the metal stays in that warehouse.

The sources said Swiss-based Trafigura delivered most of the 425,575 tons to LME warehouses in Port Klang, Malaysia. Rent for storing aluminum in LME warehouses is around 55 U.S. cents per ton per day, or more than $230,000 for that amount of aluminum.

Trafigura and the LME declined to comment.

Total aluminum stocks in LME warehouses climbed 88%, or a net 424,000 metric tons, to 903,850 tons on Thursday, the highest level since January 2022.

The delivery of 425,575 tons to Port Klang drove the jump.

US court absolves top tech companies in Congo's child labor case

The tech giants were found not liable for forced labor in Congo's cobalt mines.

LONDON -- A U.S. court has absolved five of America's biggest tech companies in a case over their alleged support of child labor in cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday

The five tech giants -- Apple; Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google; Dell; Microsoft; and Tesla -- were accused of "knowingly benefiting from and aiding and abetting the cruel and brutal use of young children in the Democratic Republic of Congo to mine cobalt" in case documents seen by ABC News.

However, in a 3-0 decision on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia held that the tech companies could not be held liable, with the court decision stating they did not have anything more than an "ordinary buyer-seller transaction" with suppliers in the DRC.

"Many actors in addition to the cobalt suppliers perpetuate labor trafficking, including labor brokers, other consumers of cobalt, and even the DRC government," the decision read. "Issuing an injunction to the Tech Companies to 'stop the cobalt venture from using forced child labor' would not bind the direct perpetrators of the unlawful labor, who are not before this court."

Australia’s budget will boost critical minerals, treasurer says

Australia’s budget will feature a bigger boost for the nation’s critical minerals industry, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said, describing the lucrative market as a “golden opportunity” just days ahead of releasing his annual fiscal blueprint.

“The critical minerals space is one of the reasons why there is so much attention from global and domestic investors, but we need to make sure we can attract and deploy that,” Chalmers said in an interview with Bloomberg in Canberra on Sunday.

The treasurer will release the budget on Tuesday night, when he is aiming to strike a balance between containing stubbornly high inflation in the near term and investing in Australia’s economic future over the years ahead.

Australia’s critical minerals industry is a major part of the government’s push to capitalize on the worldwide green energy revolution. Major powers including the US are keen to use Australian battery minerals as part of an effort to break reliance on Chinese supply for the materials, which are used in the production of solar panels, electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.


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