At one time, it was relatively easy for mining companies to go into any country around the world to extract minerals. In the name of economic development and some benefits flowing to the host government, mining companies operated and the rest of the developed world benefited from the mining companies.
In an article by Clara Demina of Reuters, perhaps the scenario is changing a bit. Rio Tinto is one of the largest mining companies in the world based in Britain and Australia (where it is largest iron ore miner), as goes the economy of China goes the fortunes of Rio Tinto.
Rio Tinto was expecting to invest $2.4 billion in a mine in Serbia to extract lithium which is needed for battery production of EV vehicles. The country’s leaders cancelled the project. One can easily imagine a $2.4 billion project in Serbia would be good for their economy. It should be noted there is an election looming, perhaps after the election the government will review their decision.
Rio Tinto found the lithium in jadarite which is only found in Serbia’s Jadar Valley and Rio Tinto has spent $450 million figuring out how to extract the lithium and become Europe’s biggest lithium mine producing 58,000 tonnes of refined battery grade lithium carbonate a year, enough to power 1 million electric vehicles.
Rio Tinto being a global miner has other options such as an mine in Argentina which it paid $825 million to buy. Rio Tinto is working through the court system to build one of the world’s largest copper mines in Arizona.
Linking to dividend paying stocks, at one time the phrase economic development was one of the world’s most important phrases and many projects were done to increase economic development. Now days, both sides of every issue has similar information and able to use public relations in similar fashion, some battles will be won, some will be lost. Ideally, the company you invest in has potential investments to do which will lead to good profits to pay dividends.
There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.