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China’s overseas investment in metals and mining set to hit record

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in Financial Times or enjoy below 

🗞️ Driving the news: Projected to hit an all-time high this year, China's foreign investments in metals and mining aim to bolster its leading role in electric vehicles, batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines production 
• Fresh data shows that, in the first half of this year, these investments exceeded $10 billion, putting the year on track to beat the previous record of $17 billion set in 2018

🔭 The context: China's escalating investments, targeting a range of materials from nickel to iron, underpin its strategy to secure resources vital for clean technology amidst anticipated soaring demand and climate change battles
• With projects spread across Africa, Asia, and South America, these efforts reflect President Xi Jinping's strategy for economic self-reliance amidst rising U.S. geopolitical strains

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: The aggressive investment strategy plays a key role in the global clean energy transition, but it also brings geopolitical complexities and environmental considerations
• The sourcing and processing of these minerals can have significant environmental impacts, which necessitates sustainable mining practices

⏭️ What's next: Despite criticism and reconsideration of involvement by some countries, China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) continues to finance large-scale projects
• A rising proportion of investments are in resource-backed and revenue-generating projects, reflecting evolving risk evaluations by Chinese investors and banks

💬 One quote: "Overall, China’s BRI engagement seems to become more strategic, in regard to both economic and industrial aspects: more bankable projects relevant for China’s and the host countries’ industrial development" (Christoph Nedopil, Director of the Centre at Fudan University)

📈 One stat: The first half of 2023 saw investments as a share of BRI engagement reach an all-time high of 61%, marking the first time that construction contracts accounted for less than half of the value of new BRI financing

Click for more news covering the latest on mining & metals

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