Zimbabwe could become world’s No. 5 lithium producer, buoyed by $1bn Chinese investment (8/2/23)
After spending more than US$1 billion to acquire mining sites in Zimbabwe over the past two years, massive Chinese investment could help catapult Zimbabwe to become the world’s fifth biggest primary producer of the material that’s vital to battery electric vehicles and the green revolution, mining consultancy CRU said.
The investments by Chinese companies, including Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, Sinomine Resource Group, Chengxin Lithium Group and Yahua Group, could boost capacity to 192,000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) per year of petalite and spodumene in 2027, from 13,000 tons LCE per year in 2022, Cameron Hughes, a battery markets analyst at CRU said in a report. “These investments will place Zimbabwe as the fifth largest primary producer of lithium by 2025, after Argentina, contributing more than either Canada or Brazil,” Hughes added.
Investments by Sinomine and others mean Zimbabwe’s capacity could rise to about 11% of global LCE production in five years from just 2% in 2020, said Martin Jackson, head of battery raw materials at CRU. Still, while the capacity is “significant”, full utilization would depend on lithium demand and prices, Jackson added.
As nations seek to cut their carbon footprints, demand has surged for clean energy, fueling global competition, China has been laser-focused on the task of securing critical minerals for climate-friendly power sources like batteries. Lithium — known as “white gold” — is an essential raw material for the lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles and in solar panels that store solar energy.
Several Chinese companies recently making multimillion-dollar acquisitions to secure lithium supplies in Zimbabwe has improved the South African country’s economic fortunes. Last year, Zimbabwe banned exports of raw lithium ore, forcing companies to set up local factories to process ore into concentrates before export.
Indonesia to Release Golden Visa Policy in a Week or Two – En.tempo.co (8/2/23)
Jakarta – Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the Golden Visapolicy would likely be issued in one or two weeks. The policy will waive visas for foreign companies or foreigners who invest in Indonesia with a certain value.
Luhut said that his ministry had just discussed the Golden Visa policy with President Joko Widodo and a number of ministers. “I think maybe this can be finished in 1-2 weeks. I’d say one week,” Luhut said at the State Palace in Central Jakarta, Tuesday, August 1.
In addition to investments, Luhut said this policy would later target foreigners who have high intellectuals, including researchers from world’s leading universities. He said that the Golden Visa could also be given to artificial intelligence or AI developers.
The Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, said that this policy would later benefit the Indonesian government. Because apart from granting visas which are very selective, companies wishing to obtain a Golden Visa must make a real investment of at least US$50 million dollars. Meanwhile for individuals, the investment value in government bonds is at least US$350,000.
“They have to make a real investment, not just on paper, not just a notary’s deed. We will monitor the amount and also the activities,” Silmy said.
Eligible applicants can get a multi-entry visa that is valid for five to 10 years. Later, they can conduct business and other activities in Indonesia.
Slimy added that the Golden Visa policy is also one of the government’s ways to screen qualified individuals from overseas entering Indonesia.
“Many countries have had success with issuing Golden Visas, such as the UAE, Singapore, then several European countries, and the United States. Indonesia needs to implement this policy,” Silmy said.
Iran’s push to be part of BRICS gains momentum – Cryptopolitan (8/1/23)
Iran’s drive to secure a place within the influential BRICS economic group has taken a bold stride forward. The nation is unabashedly exerting itself on the world stage to cement its economic future, seeking alliances with major powers within the BRICS nations, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
This is not a subtle endeavor. Iran is actively pushing for membership, and according to the country’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy, no barriers are preventing its inclusion.
A determined move towards economic alliances
The present world economic order is no longer satisfactory for Iran. It’s looking elsewhere, specifically towards the BRICS nations.
Iran has not only built strong ties with China, Russia, and India but is also focusing on expanding its economic relationships with other BRICS members. The country’s leaders are not shy about their ambitions and are openly seeking membership within the bloc.
This momentum gained further traction when the Iranian foreign minister and the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) attended recent BRICS meetings.
Furthermore, the country’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, is expected to be a part of the forthcoming BRICS leaders’ summit, set to be held from August 22-24 in Johannesburg.
De-dollarization and the new path forward
Iran’s efforts to be part of BRICS are intertwined with its broader strategy for de-dollarization. President Raisi is unambiguous about his desire to dismantle the reliance on the U.S. dollar in global trade, calling for a shift to using national currencies.
It’s a move that resonates with a sense of defiance, aligning with Iran’s current political ideology and economic direction. In a distinct move, the nation hosted a conference in May with representatives from nine Asian countries to deliberate over de-dollarization.
This push to forge new paths and alliances indicates Iran’s drive to establish itself as an economic powerhouse, independent of Western financial systems.
Iran’s aim for de-dollarization seems to go hand-in-hand with its aspiration to join BRICS, reflecting a coordinated strategy to reshape the nation’s global economic standing. What sets the country apart in this international arena is its clear agenda and determined push.
Unlike the over 40 countries that have shown interest in joining BRICS, with 22 having formally applied, Iran’s pursuit appears more deliberate, calculated, and aligned with its broader economic and political strategy.
South Africa, this year’s host for the BRICS summit, has already made it clear that the guest list will include 69 leaders, predominantly from the Global South, excluding Western nations.
This underscores the shifting dynamics and the growing importance of these emerging markets in the global economy. Iran’s efforts to join BRICS are far from casual.
They reflect a determined strategy, a well-thought-out plan that goes beyond mere membership in an economic bloc. The push signifies Iran’s readiness to engage in major global economic realignments, challenging existing systems, and creating new alliances.
Iran’s audacity in seeking BRICS membership is not a mere footnote in international relations; it’s a clarion call, an announcement of a new chapter in its economic narrative. It’s a push filled with intent, reflecting a nation eager to redefine its role in the global economic landscape.
Source: Dinar Recaps
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