Thomas Gallatin / February 17, 2022

Hunter Biden’s ChiCom Cobalt Connection

He helped China acquire a near monopoly on the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

What does Hunter Biden know about making batteries for electric vehicles? Well, based upon a brief look into his past work history, the answer is likely very little indeed. Yet it does look like Hunter played a role in helping China secure its near global monopoly on the production of electric vehicle batteries.

One of the primary raw materials needed for the manufacture of EV batteries is cobalt, and the Democratic Republic of Congo holds an estimated 50% of the world’s cobalt reserves and makes up over 70% of the world’s entire cobalt production. China has been quite the active player in buying up some of the DRC’s largest cobalt mines, which is where Hunter Biden comes into play.

Back in 2013, Biden and two other Americans joined with Chinese partners to form an investment firm known as BHR. Biden was on the board, as were his two American partners, who combined held a 30% stake in the company. The majority of the company was owned and controlled by Chinese state actors like the Bank of China. It would appear the purpose of BHR was to help China finance and acquire various foreign auto-manufacturing and mining companies.

In 2016, BHR invested in and later sold its stake in CATL, a Chinese battery-making company that has become the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries. That same year, BHR helped Chinese mining company China Molybdenum buy the Tenke Fungurume cobalt and copper mine from American company Freeport-McMoRan by buying out a minority stakeholder, Lundin Mining of Canada.

As The New York Times reported back in November 2021, “Records in Hong Kong show that the $1.14 billion BHR, through subsidiaries, paid to buy out Lundin came entirely from Chinese state-backed companies.”

Part of the deal BHR made with China Molybdenum was an agreement to sell its newly acquired shares to the company, which it did two years later — effectively giving China Molybdenum 80% ownership of the mine.

As a founding board member of BHR, what was Hunter’s role in these deals? They have subsequently put the U.S. in a tenuous situation with the loss of greater access to cobalt. Moreover, with Joe Biden’s “green goal” of 50% EVs by 2030, who’s really benefiting from such a target? Seemingly, the most obvious answer would be China.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee want answers, specifically regarding Hunter’s role in China’s acquiring of Tenke Fungrurume. “The American people deserve answers regarding why the Obama Administration — whether at then-Vice President Biden’s behest or not — watched in silence as an American company transferred control of this precious asset to a Chinese conglomerate and why Hunter Biden was — yet again — involved in international matters on which he has no expertise,” Rep. James Comer (R-KY) wrote in a recent request for documents pertaining to the transaction.

Comer further observed: “The loss of African cobalt mines to the Chinese is a severe blow to the United States’ ability to invest in green technology and lead the world by example. It is potentially a national security threat, and it was a loss orchestrated in no small part by the president’s son.”

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