House Committee to study Chinese purchase of neolithium


The House of Commons industry committee chose on Thursday to consider the acquisition of Canadian mining company Neolithium by China.

Conservatives wanted to allocate six days to review the purchase of neolithium by Zijing Mining in China. They say this was allowed by the government, ignoring national security and strategic interests, but eventually reached an agreement to start with a two-day review. If necessary, leave the door open for additional follow-up.

Due to the short review period, the Standing Committee for Industrial Technology chose not to call the Minister of Public Safety as the first motion, leaving only one Minister of Industry, Francois Philippe Champagne.

“It goes without saying that acquisitions by hostile foreign governments and countries that do not follow the rules of international trade and investment should be carefully scrutinized before being approved by the government,” said the conservative MP. Ed Fast said at a meeting in January.20, seeking an explanation as to why the National Security Review was not conducted.

Fast said it doesn’t matter that Neo Lithium operates only in Argentina. “We emphasize that important minerals are strategic global assets and are global. It doesn’t matter where the mine is. The important thing is who manages the assets.”

He added that when a company is sold to a foreign entity, it is not only the assets that are sold, but also the Canadian expertise, intellectual property, and technology.

Liberal Party Andy Fillmore, Champagne’s parliamentary secretary, has been properly reviewed by the Canadian Ministry of Industry, and neolithium is rarely Canadian, and their lithium (lithium carbonate) is used in electric vehicle batteries. A type used for products such as semiconductors (lithium hydroxide).

“This isn’t lithium related to Canada’s national security interests, and it’s not really a Canadian company,” Fillmore said.

“It’s an Argentine company. It has a director in the UK. [might have] Three Canadian employees on paper. But in reality, the only reason Canada had a foothold was to be in TSX in the hope of raising money. “

The Epoch Times asked NeoLithium for comment, but did not respond before the release.

The Neo Lithium website lists corporate addresses in Toronto and Argentina.

Tracy Gray, a conservative MP, responded to Fillmore’s comment on the type of lithium the company is extracting, noting that lithium carbonate can be converted to lithium hydroxide by a chemical process.

Opposition lawmakers called for an emergency meeting of the Commission on 18 January.

In a letter to the chair of the committee calling for a meeting, four Conservatives and one NDP were concerned that “foreign hijacking was not immediately subject to review and due diligence.” Said that.

“Canada is lagging behind in the development of important mineral resources, and allowing foreign acquisitions of companies like Neolithium without due diligence is to develop a domestic supply of these important minerals. It could further weaken our strategic interests, “said the letter.

Conservative Prime Minister Erin O’Toole said at a press conference on January 17 that the lack of transaction reviews was part of a “trouble pattern with the Trudeau government” regarding approving the sale of Canadian companies. To a state-owned enterprise in China.

Outur pointed to Trudeau Approval Hong Kong-based O-Net Communications acquired laser technology company ITF Technologies in 2015 after the previous administration blocked it.

Security agencies have warned that such relocations are detrimental to national security.

A national security assessment prepared by the Ministry of Defense states, “If technology is transferred, China will be able to produce advanced military laser technology domestically to Western standards sooner than it would otherwise. . According to the 2017 Globe and Mail report, the 2015 CSIS.

Trudeau also approved the sale of satellite company Norsat to Chinese company Hytera in 2017.

Neo Lithium does not have a mine in Canada, its only project is Argentina’s 3Q mine, which, according to the company, is one of the largest lithium brine deposits in the world.

Noe Chartier

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NoƩ Charter is a Montreal-based Epoch Times reporter.