Thursday, December 2, 2021

SELLING OUT AMERICA: Hunter Biden's Private Firm Aided Chinese Conglomerate Buy American Cobalt Mine in $3.8 Billion Deal

Source: Daily Mail

Published: November 21, 2021

By: Ronny Reyes

  • Hunter Biden's investment firm partnered with a Chinese company to buy the world's larges cobalt mine from an American company in 2016
  • Biden was one of three Americans who founded the BHR private equity firm with Chinese partners in 2013
  • The firm helped buy out a minor stakeholder in the Congo's Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine to help China Molybdenum buy it from Freeport-McMoRan
  • The $3.8 billion deal helped secure China's dominance over the previous metal, which is one of the key components of the batteries used for electric vehicles
  • Earlier this year, Biden had warned that America's electric car development could be threatened by China's control over cobalt

An investment firm founded by Hunter Biden assisted a Chinese company in purchasing one of the world's richest cobalt mines from an American company for $3.8 billion - helping the conglomerate gain a massive share of the key metal used to make electric car batteries.

The president's son was one of three Americans who joined Chinese partners in establishing the Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Company, or BHR, in 2013.

The Americans controlled 30 percent of the company and made successful investments that culminated in aiding China Molybdenum purchase the Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine in the Congo from the American company Freeport-McMoRan in 2016, the New York Times reported. 

The news comes after President Joe Biden had warned that China could use its dominance of mined cobalt to disrupt America's development of electric vehicles.

It also adds to the scrutiny Biden and his father have faced for his dealings with Chines and Ukrainian companies while Joe was vice president and later running for president.  

Hunter Biden (pictured on November 10) was one of three American founders of a investment firm primarily owned by Chinese partners. The firm helped secure the richest cobalt mine in the world for a Chinese company in 2016

Biden founded BHR with two other Americans and Chinese partners in 2013. He was no longer part of the board as of April 2020

Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Company, or BHR, partnered with China Molybdenum to buy the Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine in the Congo (pictured)

Biden's firm made the deal with Joe Biden, right, was still vice president. The now president has warned that America's electric vehicle production could he stunted by China's dominance over cobalt, one of the key components of the electric batteries  

BHR slowly made its way into an investment powerhouse after helping finance an Australian coal-mining company controlled by a Chinese state-owned firm, the paper reported. 

The investment company's big break came in 2016 when it bought and sold a stake in CATL, a Chinese company that is now the world's biggest maker of batteries for electric vehicles. 

That same year, China Molybdenum - one of the world's leading producers of the precious metals molybdenum and tungsten - announced it would purchase the Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine from Freeport-McMoRan, an American mining company. 

But in order to purchase the mine, the Chinese company needed a partner to buy out one of the stakeholders, Lundin Mining of Canada. 

That's when BHR came in to buy out Lundin with $1.14 billion raised entirely from obscure Chinese state-backed companies, according to the Times.

Biden still controlled 10 percent of BHR when its shares of the mines were sold to China Molybdenum in 2019. 

The Tenke Fungurume cobalt mine, in the Congo, is worth $3.8 billion and holds the largest deposit of the metal

The mines were purchased from the American-based Freeport-McMoRan company, which owns mines across the nation (pictured a Freeport-McMoRan mine in Colorado)

Chris Clark, one of Biden's lawyers, said the president's son 'no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,' a firm Biden used to control his BHR shares. 

Chinese records show Biden was no longer on BHR's board as of April 2020, and a former board member told the Times that the American founders were not directly involved in the mine deal and supposedly earned only a nominal fee from it. 

'We don't know Hunter Biden, nor are we aware of his involvement in BHR,' Vincent Zhou, a spokesman for China Molybdenum, said in a statement. 

A White House spokesman told the Times that President Biden has not been made aware of his son's connection to the sale.

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