The Collapse of Greensill Capital
23 Mar 2021
SoftBank-backed Greensill Capital (a fintech company) lent billions of dollars to companies that included the highly indebted metals conglomerate GFG Alliance, silicon valley Construction Technology company Katerra and West Virginia mining company Bluestone Resources. These loans were packaged into bonds which were sold as a fund by Credit Suisse.
Greensill was funded by its own German-based and regulated bank and via Zurich-based Credit Suisse Asset Management. Its main shadow banking operations were in London.
German regulators BaFin last month seized control of the bank and filed a criminal complaint alleging balance sheet manipulation. Swiss and Australian officials are asking questions of Credit Suisse. Meanwhile, in the UK, where it has been celebrated as a leading “fintech” and counted former prime minister David Cameron as an adviser, there is little sign of regulatory action.
In the lead up to this crisis Lex Greensill and his family took $200 million out of the company.
No one knows the precise amount of bad loans involved: Credit Suisse is budgeting for at least $1bn to $2bn; insurance policies covered at least $4.6bn; in July last year insurer Tokio Marine said an underwriter had breached exposure limits by writing coverage for more than $7bn. And no one is sure who will bear the losses. .
Minnesota Supreme Court Reverses Rejection of Permit for PolyMet Mine
25 Feb 2021
Update regarding ruling on the critical air emissions permit for the PolyMet $1 billion copper nickel mine.
Rare earths and a Chinese export ban.
19 Feb 2021
Rare earths and critical minerals are the core ingredients to powering the clean tech of the future. As key to the production of magnets required to build wind turbines, electric vehicles and smart technology, it is this segment of the resources sector that investors should be watching.
Swiss court finds Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption.
23 Jan 2021
In a landmark verdict in one of the mining world's most high profile iron ore mining cases, a Swiss criminal court found Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruption and forgery and sentenced him to five years in jail with a sizeable fine.
Vedanta to compensate Zambian villagers for polluting their water.
21 Jan 2021
Villagers filed a claim in London in 2015 against Konkola Copper Mines alleging that effluent from its Nchanga Copper Mine was responsible for polluting water sources and land.
China's Influence over Rare Earth Elements.
12 Jan 2021
Over the years, China has developed a near monopoly over the extraction and refinement of Rare Earth Elements (REE), the necessary components of products such as cellphones, hard drives, hybrid vehicles, and flat-screen TVs.
But, as China's influence over REE and the supply chains grows, many nations are searching for solutions that limit their environmental impact and exclude China from their production.
This, in turn, is causing China to retaliate in uncertain ways. What exactly are these elements, how do they fit into the global supply chain, and why should we care that China has a monopoly over their extraction?
VMR Gold Mine Dispute | Miners protest over dismissals.
05 Jan 2021
Miners at VMR Gold Mine are protesting what they say are unlawful dismissals by management. This follows a sit-in last month over unpaid pension funds and poor working conditions.
The workers say they were informed that they were being let go just days before Christmas.