That concern is driving a number of companies like technology firms and car makers reliant on lithium and cobalt to strike deals now, even if it means joining with suppliers that haven't started producing yet. Tesla reached a three-year supply agreement with lithium firm Kidman Resources Ltd., which begins when the Australian company begins producing battery-grade material, Kidman said Thursday. The firm isn't expected to begin producing lithium compounds before 2021. Chinese firm Tianqi Lithium Corp. also said Thursday that it has agreed to buy a 24% stake in Chilean lithium company Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA from Canadian fertilizer firm Nutrien Ltd. for about $4.1 billion. In addition to the sector's dominant players such as Glencore PLC and Albemarle Corp., analysts estimate there are more than 100 smaller lithium miners and about 25 cobalt firms.
Plastic has been much demonised recently, thanks to its impact on wildlife and the environment, which is starkly illustrated by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and pictures of seahorses clutching Q-tips or dead albatrosses with stomachs full of plastic. Despite the increasing concern about the issue, there is little sign that plastic use is falling. Half of all the plastic ever made was produced in the last 13 years, says investment house Hermes, while output is set to increase by 40% in the next decade. "There are reasons for the ongoing ubiquity of plastic: as a resource it is cheap, lightweight, waterproof and requires less energy to manufacture than many other materials," said Dr Emma Berntman of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, which engages with companies about environmental, social and governance issues on behalf of investors. "Unfortunately, another important advantage of plastic is also the reason it creates such an issue in the environment: its durability," she added in a research note.
Securities regulators across the United States and Canada announced dozens of investigations Monday into potentially deceitful cryptocurrency investment products, the largest coordinated crackdown to date by state and provincial officials on bitcoin scams. As many as 70 investigations have been opened in the sweep, with more expected in the coming weeks, said the North American Securities Administrators Association, which helped coordinate the probes. As many as 35 cases are pending or already completed, with some resulting in cease-and-desist letters warning the alleged schemes that their unregistered activity violates state securities law. The enforcement actions, which have not been previously reported, take aim at efforts by groups in more than 40 jurisdictions to attract money from unsuspecting investors. They target unregistered securities offerings that promise lucrative returns without adequately informing investors of the risks, according to state regulators.
Until very recently, many energy and resource executives believed they could meet sustainability requirements by publicizing a few carefully chosen environmental projects and technology programs. In annual reports and TV ads, these companies have highlighted their successes in, for example, reducing fugitive emissions, developing biofuels and protecting fragile environments--initiatives of which executives can justly feel proud. But as the climate change dialogue intensifies, and as the calls to take action gain urgency, events are overtaking that traditional, project-by-project approach. For every promotional ad about a company's efforts to invest in carbon capture or restore wetlands, a million tweets showing a marine animal trapped in plastic make their way around the world and onto the phones of a company's customers. Most energy and natural resources CEOs would say that their companies have accelerated their sustainability efforts (see Figure 1).
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The technology is already disrupting multiple industries, many of which impact you on a daily basis. Own an iPhone X? Its facial recognition system is powered by AI. Ever been redirected by Google Maps because of an accident or construction ahead? And those are just a couple of small examples.