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Cobalt (The next Uranium), Discussion
blacksheep
post Posted: Jan 14 2019, 08:08 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Jan 12 2019, 11:00 AM

Congo poll leaves uncertainty for miners at heart of EV revolution
extract
QUOTE
“It could be that, as a mining sector, we’re worse off than when we were under Kabila,” said one mining operator, who asked not to be identified. “There may be some improvements, but we’re not counting on it.”

QUOTE
Five mining executives contacted by Reuters said they were not yet operating on the assumption that Tshisekedi’s win would be validated by the Kabila-appointed Constitutional Court and expected the outgoing president to fight to keep his stranglehold on the sector. None wanted to speak on the record.

Companies could find themselves caught in the crossfire of turf wars over ministry jobs and positions in the bureaucracy, not knowing who is really in charge.

“There are always people you have to sway if you want a contract or a mining permit,” Stearns said. “At the top, these are Kabila’s people. That’s now going to be in a state of flux that, I think, is going to last months.”


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-el...n-idUSKCN1P70DR



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The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jan 12 2019, 11:00 AM
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Too early to bet on mining policy change: Congo vote reaction
Bloomberg News |
QUOTE
In a surprise twist, Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of last month’s presidential election, although his victory is being marred by claims by a rival that the poll was rigged.

The African country is the world’s main supplier of battery ingredient cobalt and a key source of minerals from copper to tantalum. That means miners, analysts and users of the metals — which range from carmakers to mobile-phone companies — will be keeping a close watch on what happens next.

The prospective change of administration may spur optimism among mining investors including Glencore Plc and Barrick Gold Corp. that they can reverse elements of a fiercely disputed new industry code that raised royalties and added taxes.

Here are some initial reactions, to be updated throughout the day:

Verisk Maplecroft: Unknown Entity for Miners
The results are preliminary so “many mining investors will likely hold off for the next two to three months at minimum to see how the transition period plays out,” said lead Congo analyst Indigo Ellis. “Tshisekedi quite openly argued on the campaign trail that hikes to tax and royalty rates in the new mining code had gone too far, going as far as to call them “anti-investment,” yet his powers to introduce pro-investor measures are likely to be constrained, at least initially.”

Barrick Gold: Too early to say
“It’s a bit early to say; we think the election process proceeded smoothly, and it’s good to see the results have been announced and people have accepted, it means there is a democratic process that’s working and that’s the positive,” said Chief Financial Officer Graham Shuttleworth. “Tshisekedi is an experienced politician but you must remember in the Congo, government is not just one political party, it’s a coalition.” “One of the most important positions will be one of mines minister, the current one may not be there going forward, but it’s too early to say.”

Africa Risk Consulting: Mining policy shift unlikely
There has been speculation that the announcement of Tshisekedi’s victory could be part of a deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila, which means that the new president may not challenge the status quo, said senior analyst Shawn Robert Duthie. “I don’t expect major changes to DRC’s mining policies as Tshisekedi will unlikely be willing to undo much of what the previous administration has done.”

RBC Capital Markets: Possibility for mining code revision
“A chance for the DRC to eventually emerge from a period of significant corruption and changes to the mining code,” said mining analyst Tyler Broda. The end of Kabila’s leadership “could potentially see a revision of the contested mining code from last year.”

Liberum Capital: Supply risks
Congo is a “hugely important region for copper and cobalt, and this result could cause disruption to output,” depending the response of the influential Catholic church, said analyst Ben Davis. However, copper and cobalt prices “would likely rise globally to offset this impact.”

BMO Capital Markets: Potential for disruption lowered
The results “will be seen as a surprise after the protracted delay in counting,” said mining analyst Colin Hamilton. “This should lessen potential for civil unrest and potential disruption to copper and cobalt shipments from the country.”

(By Felix Njini, Elena Mazneva and Thomas Biesheuvel)

http://www.mining.com/web/early-bet-mining...-vote-reaction/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Jan 2 2019, 08:17 PM
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Copper, Cobalt, Congo: Chaos as Nation Votes
Scott Tibballs - December 31st, 2018

QUOTE
The primary cobalt-producing jurisdiction on the planet underwent a seismic shift over the weekend as voters decided on who would replace President Joseph Kabila, who is stepping down after 17 years in power.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) underwent a chaotic (and delayed) election on Sunday (December 30), where three candidates put their hands up to lead the country, which has been at the center of mining news throughout 2018 as major global miners grappled with a new mining code that targeted highly lucrative metals.

The outcome of the election — fought between Kabila-backed former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, businessman Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the largest opposition party in the National Assembly — will not be known until later this week, though both the Shadary and Fayulu camps are claiming victory.

On Monday (December 31), the BBC was reporting that internet services had been shut down in the DRC, with Fayulu officials accusing the government of trying to smother news of Fayulu’s claimed “overwhelming victory.”

The world is watching: the UN released a statement in the lead up to the vote, saying it “took note” of delays in the democratic process.

Results are expected from the national electoral commission, CENI, this week, though as mentioned the Fayulu camp is claiming he has won the election, while the Shadary camp has said “victory is certain” for the anointed successor to the Kabila regime.

The DRC is the world’s primary source of cobalt, accounting for 58 percent of global production at 64,000 tonnes per year.

Prices for cobalt fell through 2018 thanks to a volatile commodities market, and in 2017 the Kabila government revealed plans to claw back more royalties from the lucrative metal — which along with copper it classes as “strategic.” It was hit with an additional 10-percent tax, prompting fierce backlash from miners operating in the country.

The alliance of major miners pushing back against the code included Glencore (LSE:GLEN), Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) and Randgold (which merged with Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:ABX) earlier this year). But it was all for naught as Kinshasa stonewalled negotiations.

Kabila has been in power since 2001, when his father Laurent Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards. Joseph Kabila was meant to stand down two years ago after he was barred from running for a third term by the constitution.

The elder Kabila himself came to power in 1997 following the First Congo War, when he led rebel forces to overthrow the previous dictatorship.

The election cycle this year was punctuated with troubling reports of meddling and unrest, questions over electronic voting, an incident that saw 7,000 voting machines burned and constant warnings of terrorist threats.

While Sunday’s election was a historic day for the DRC, what good (if any) comes of it is yet to be seen as votes are tallied over the coming days. Voters in eastern cities — known to be strongholds for opposition support — have even longer to wait before they get to vote after the government postponed local voting due to concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus

https://investingnews.com/daily/resource-in...s-nation-votes/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
nipper
post Posted: Jan 2 2019, 06:49 AM
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QUOTE
The fate of a crucial agreement between cobalt hopeful Australian Mines and major South ­Korean chemicals company SK Innovation remains up in the air after a key deadline came and went.

SK had until December 31 to exercise an option that would have given it a 19.9 per cent stake in Australian Mines for just over $80 million.

But the option has been well out of the money in recent months, leading to questions over whether the Korean giant will exercise the option or try to negotiate a new agreement. The option had a strike price of 12c per share, well above the 3.8c per share at which Australian Mines closed on New Year’s Eve.

The $80m option was part of a crucial offtake agreement signed between the two groups last February.

December 31 also marked the date by which Australian Mines was supposed to have obtained funding for the development and construction of its Sconi cobalt project in Queensland. That deadline was one of three material conditions precedent to the offtake agreement.

The agreement did provide for the financing condition to be extended under mutual agreement between the two companies, although there has been no announcement of any such extension to date. Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell did not return calls yesterday.

The company was among the best-performed companies on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2017 as it capitalised on the growing investor excitement about the potential impact of electric vehicles on cobalt demand.

But the past year has represented a major reality check for the cobalt sector, and shares in Australian Mines have been hammered in recent months amid a broader selldown throughout the cobalt space. The price of cobalt has more than halved since March amid a surplus of cobalt in China, which is the world’s biggest manufacturer of cobalt chemicals and electric vehicle batteries. Both Australian Mines and its bigger Australian rival, the Robert Friedland-backed Clean TeQ Holdings, have also released bankable feasibility studies into their respective projects that underwhelmed the market.

Australian Mines’ study found Sconi would cost $US974 million ($1.38 billion) to build and would generate a post-tax internal rate of return of 15 per cent. However, the study was based around cobalt and nickel prices above current spot prices.

Clean TeQ was hit particularly hard after it found its Sunrise cobalt-nickel project would cost $US1.4bn to build and featured an internal rate of return of 19.1 per cent, although investors questioned the study’s price and taxation assumptions.

The project’s IRR is regarded as a skinny figure for a mine with exposure to two such historically volatile commodities as nickel and cobalt...

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/m...2bb884c5e414c73



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
nipper
post Posted: Dec 20 2018, 07:54 AM
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this relates to copper, and the DRC, and Glencore, and Kabila, so it is relevant here
QUOTE
.....This is what the US Department of the Treasury said in introducing Gertler to prohibition from trading with US companies or citizens:

"Dan Gertler is an international businessman and billionaire who has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

"Gertler has used his close friendship with DRC President Joseph Kabila to act as a middleman for mining asset sales in the DRC, requiring some multinational companies to go through Gertler to do business with the Congolese state. "As a result, between 2010 and 2012 alone, the DRC reportedly lost over $1.36 billion in revenues from the underpricing of mining assets that were sold to offshore companies linked to Gertler.

"The failure of the DRC to publish the full details of one of the sales prompted the International Monetary Fund to halt loans to the DRC totaling $225 million. "In 2013, Gertler sold to the DRC government for $150 million the rights to an oil block that Gertler purchased from the government for just $500,000, a loss of $149.5 million in potential revenue. Gertler has acted for or on behalf of Kabila, helping Kabila organise offshore leasing companies."

This is not a man a company of the standing of Glencore should ever have done business with and the reputational and personal cost of this indulgence is accumulating rapidly.....
https://www.afr.com/business/infrastructure...20181219-h19aq8



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"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 18 2018, 08:34 PM
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Explainer: What's at stake in Congo's presidential election?

QUOTE
DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo will vote on Dec. 23 in a long-delayed election that could enable the vast Central African country’s first democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.


QUOTE
WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
A lot.

Violence last week in which security forces killed at least seven opposition supporters and a fire that destroyed thousands of voting machines were timely reminders of how quickly things can turn sour.

The disputed results of prior elections in 2006 and 2011 sparked violent protests, and there is every indication that losing candidates will again cry foul.

read more - https://www.reuters.com/article/us-congo-el...r-idUSKBN1OH0FH?



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 


blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 14 2018, 08:53 PM
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LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese battery firm GEM has stopped buying cobalt from Glencore as the price of the battery material crashed below that agreed in a three-year deal between the two companies, sources close to the matter said.


https://www.reuters.com/article/us-glencore...s-idUSKBN1OC27F



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 4 2018, 07:00 PM
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Cobalt's Star Fades for Glencore Traders
By Mark Burton and Jack Farchy
December 4, 2018, 4:43 AM GMT+11 Updated on December 4, 2018, 4:00 PM GMT+11
QUOTE
Buyers of the metal in China reneged on contracts, CEO says
Glencore also lost money on some long-term alumina deals

From riding high on cobalt’s boom, Glencore Plc traders are feeling the heat as falling prices and reneged contracts put a dent in profit.

The world’s largest commodities merchant on Monday downgraded its full-year earnings target for the trading division to $2.6 billion to $2.8 billion, down from an earlier estimate of $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion.

Some cobalt buyers in China reneged on contracts after seeing prices plunge, forcing the company to renegotiate the commercial terms of the deals, Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg told reporters. Benchmark cobalt prices have dropped more than 25 percent since a peak in April.

read more - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/201...ustomers-renege



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Dec 4 2018, 09:15 AM
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Congo triples levy on cobalt with strategic-minerals decree
QUOTE
KINSHASA – Democratic Republic of Congo has declared cobalt a "strategic" substance, a government decree showed on Monday, nearly tripling the royalty rate miners will pay on the key component in electric batteries to 10 percent.

Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala signed the decree, which is dated Nov. 24, despite fierce opposition from leading investors including Glencore and China Molybdenum, who have lobbied against tax hikes under a new mining code adopted earlier this year.

The 10 percent royalty rate will also apply to coltan, which is used to power electronic devices, and germanium, which is used to make transistors.

Before they were designated "strategic", the minerals were all subject to a royalty rate of 3.5 percent. That was already an increase over the 2 percent rate in Congo's previous mining code, which was in effect until June.

Congo is Africa's top copper producer and mines more than 60 percent of the world's cobalt. Foreign investors say the tax hikes under the new code will deter further investment and have threatened to challenge some parts of the regulation in arbitration.

Cobalt prices surged over the past two years, due largely to demand for electric cars, but have fallen more than 40 percent since March due to a surplus of cobalt chemicals.

http://www.mining.com/web/congo-triples-le...inerals-decree/



--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
blacksheep
post Posted: Nov 18 2018, 07:46 PM
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In Reply To: blacksheep's post @ Nov 18 2018, 07:04 PM

Following on from the Bloomberg article - DRC elections: Kabila’s perfectly imperfect choice of successor

QUOTE
How the Congo’s politics works

To understand why Kabila chose Shadary, we first need to appreciate how the country’s political system operates. In the DRC, power is heavily concentrated in the presidency. The executive, judiciary, legislature and parastatals are all totally or partially subservient to Kabila, while institutions that are meant to check his power rarely interfere.

Members of the president’s “court” or inner circle meanwhile wield power that extends far beyond their functions. This group – which is composed of a narrow group of formal and informal allies, including legal advisors, military officers and businessmen – is often used by Kabila to circumvent formal structures of governance and control.

Being part of the president’s court means getting a share of the cake. However, while figures in this elite group are influential, they are also expendable. This means they must compete with one another. Many, especially those without independent power bases, do so by defending the president’s actions indiscriminately.

Some of the cake is also shared with the president’s adversaries as a form of co-optation. In order to maintain stability, dissatisfied former allies and opportunistic adversaries are often pacified through the awarding of public offices.

The DRC’s political culture is thus highly personalised, a characteristic that filters down to lower levels too. Individuals looking for a government post, for example, will look for a political godfather or “parrain”. Through this contact, they will try to establish or consolidate links to the president or members of his entourage. This may be done through emphasising their ethno-regional affinities with them, their influence within their parties, or by demonstrating loyalty to the president through flattery and praise.

Once an office is awarded, keeping it requires constant upkeep with benefactors. Holders of office have to nurture loyalty with both their patrons and clients. They do so by sharing access to financial benefits, demonstrating loyalty, and ensuring they don’t present any threat to their superiors.

Importantly, access to a political position does not necessarily mean controlling it. Key strategic areas such as natural resources and security are tightly controlled by the presidency and his court. Ministers or other actors formally in charge of these sectors are little more than rubber-stamps for presidential instructions and rarely make key decisions autonomously. In many cases, decisions are made through informal channels and informal actors.

Security issues, for example, are often handled by the ANR (Agence Nationale de Renseignement, national intelligence agency), DGM (Direction Générale de Migration, general directorate for migration), and a host of military figures all responsive to the president alone. Meanwhile, figures such as chief-of-staff Nehemie Mwilanya (nicknamed the “Vice-president”), legal advisors Norbet Nkulu and Jean Mbuyu, and business associate Albert Yuma play a considerable role in all political and business matters.

https://africanarguments.org/2018/11/15/drc...cessor-shadary/




--------------------
The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers. Edgar Fiedler

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington
 
 


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