Chris Lange, FISM News
A firm cofounded by Hunter Biden helped broker a deal that helped a Chinese company acquire one of the most profitable cobalt mines in the world, according to a New York Times report.
The $3.8 billion deal gives the Chinese company the world’s largest deposit of the rare element used to make batteries for electric vehicles. This leads many to again question the conflicting interests between Hunter Biden and the President at a time when the Biden administration is pushing Americans to transition from gas to battery-powered cars. President Biden in March warned of China’s growing dominance in lithium and cobalt production at the Evolve Summit. The implication of China’s acquisition of the world’s most lucrative cobalt mine – along with the means to extract, refine, and process the rare, magnetic earth metal – portends America’s increased energy dependence on the communist nation. This is significant as Democrats aggressively push for the elimination of fossil fuel production in the U.S.
The Cobalt mine transaction broadens the web of foreign business deals that have placed Hunter Biden under intense scrutiny by some in the media, particularly concerning his activity in China.
Hunter Biden, along with two other Americans and Chinese partners, established Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) Equity Investment Fund Management Company in 2013. He and the American partners controlled 30 percent of the Shanghai-based firm and also served on its board. BHR acted as a minority stakeholder to buy out approximately $1.14 billion of shares from Lundin Mining of Canada, which owned part of the Congo mine. China Molybdenum then purchased BHR’s shares of the mine for $2.65 billion, thus acquiring ownership of 80 percent of the mine. The remaining 20 percent is owned by Congo’s state mining enterprise.
Biden lawyer Chris Clark said his client “no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,” and said Biden was not a member on the board as of April 2020. According to a Fox News report, however, a search of Chinese business records shows Hunter Biden still holding a 10% stake in the Chinese private equity firm as of April 2021 through his company, Skaneateles LLC.
When questioned by a reporter about Biden’s business dealings in China, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the president’s son “has been working to unwind his investment,” adding, “I would certainly point you — he’s a private citizen. I would point you to him or his lawyers on the outside on any update.”
A former board member said BHR owners were not involved in the deal and that profits gained were directed to operating funds. Vincent Zhou, a spokesperson for China Molybdenum, denied even knowing the president’s son or any role he played in brokering the deal. “We don’t know Hunter Biden, nor are we aware of his involvement in BHR,” he said in an email.
President Biden in February signed an executive order to launch a review of gaps in the U.S. domestic supply chain for rare earths, chips, and other key resources. In March, the Department of Energy announced a $30 million initiative to research and secure the domestic supply chain for rare earths and key minerals, including cobalt and lithium, for battery-making purposes. Last year, Tesla acquired Canadian mining company Glencore in an effort to acquire cobalt for its electric car batteries.