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An investment firm that counts Hunter Biden among its founders helped a Chinese company buy one of the world’s most lucrative cobalt mines from a US company, according to a report by The New York Times.
Biden established the Bohai Harvest RST (BHR) Equity Investment Fund Management Company with two other Americans and some Chinese partners in 2013. The US members controlled 30 percent of the Shanghai-based business and sat on the board.
In particular, the company completed an agreement in 2016 which meant that a cobalt and copper mine in Congo was transferred from the American company Freeport-McMoRan to the Chinese outfit China Molybdenum for a sum of 2.65 billion dollars.
BHR acted as a minority stakeholder to buy out around $ 1.14 billion of shares from Lundin Mining in Canada, which owned part of the Congo mine.
China Molybdenum then bought BHR’s shares in the mine two years later, according to Hong Kong documents. The agreement resulted in China’s molybdenum owning 80% of the mine, while the remainder is owned by Congo’s state-owned mining companies.
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The Times reported that Biden controlled 10 percent of BHR through Skaneateles LLC, a Washington-based company.
Chris Clark, a lawyer for Biden, said he “no longer has any interest, directly or indirectly, in either BHR or Skaneateles,” and Chinese documents indicated that Biden was not a member of the board from April 2020.
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But Chinese business records reviewed by Fox News in April 2021 showed that Hunter Biden continued to own a 10% stake in Chinese private equity firm Bohai Harvest RST Equity Investment Fund Management Co. through Hunter’s company, Skaneateles LLC.
“He has worked to liquidate his investment, but I will definitely point out to you – he is a private citizen,” Psaki said at the time. “I will refer you to him or his attorneys on the outside at any update.”
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A former board member also claimed that money from the trade – in which the owners were not involved – went to the fixed assets and was not distributed to the owners.
“We do not know Hunter Biden, nor are we aware of his involvement in the BHR,” Vincent Zhou, a spokesman for China Molybdenum, said in an email.
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Hunter Biden’s business dealings remain the subject of intense media scrutiny, particularly his activity in China. President Biden warned in particular of China’s growing dominance of cobalt as a stumbling block for the United States’ attempt to switch from gasoline to electric cars, as cobalt is a key ingredient in electric car batteries.
Last year, Tesla pursued an agreement to buy Glencore, a Canadian mining company, in an attempt to increase the acquisition of cobalt for its electric car batteries.