Lighthizer, Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Tuesday

Top U.S. trade officials spoke with their Chinese counterparts Tuesday as Washington and Beijing work to iron out a trade deal. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan to continue negotiations aimed at resolving the outstanding trade disputes between the world is two largest economies, according to a U.S. official. The official said both sides will continue these talks as appropriate. China is Ministry of Commerce confirmed that the call took place in a statement issued Wednesday morning local time.

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Emerging Technology

Mkango Subsidiary Maginito and CoTec Form HyProMag USA Joint Venture and Commence Process to Appoint EPCM Provider for the Feasibility Study

GlobeNewswire | January 04, 2024

CoTec Holdings Corp. and Mkango Resources Ltd. are pleased to announce that CoTec and Maginito Limited ("Maginito") have formed a 50/50 joint venture entity which will roll out HyProMag Limited’s (“HyProMag”) Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (“HPMS”) recycling technology into the United States. The newly formed joint venture company, HyProMag USA, LLC (“HyProMag USA” or the “Joint Venture”), plans to develop a low cost, low carbon, sustainable rare earth magnet recycling and production business underpinned by HPMS. HyProMag has sublicenced the HPMS technology to HyProMag USA. HyProMag is 100 per cent owned by Maginito, which is owned on a 79.4/20.6 per cent basis by Mkango and CoTec, and is commercialising rare earth magnet recycling in the UK, Germany and United States. Revenue from the Joint Venture is targeted for 2025/2026. HyProMag USA will initially focus on completing a bankable feasibility study (“Feasibility Study”) through a hub and spoke model using three HPMS vessels and one magnet manufacturing hub (together the “US Project”). The Joint Venture has recently initiated a “Request for Proposal” process from leading Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (“EPCM”) providers and has ordered three HPMS reactors to expedite the development of the US Project. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, CoTec and Mkango will make a joint decision as to whether the Joint Venture will proceed with the construction of the US Project. Julian Treger, CoTec CEO commented: “HyProMag is supported by the Minerals Security Partnership1 and we are looking forward to working with leading EPCM providers to design and build these facilities using HyProMag’s considerable experience from the plants being developed in the UK and in Germany. CoTec and Mkango are focused on delivery and will be exploring US Government funding and strategic partnerships for feed supply and rare earth element (“REE”) magnet offtake in the first half of 2024. “We look forward to working and collaborating with local, state and federal stakeholders targeting the completion of the feasibility study”. Will Dawes, Mkango CEO commented: “We see the United States as a core component of our growth strategy and look forward to progressing the US feasibility study over the course of the year, in parallel with further development of operations in the UK, Germany and other jurisdictions. HyProMag’s recycling technology has major competitive advantages versus other recycling technologies and is a key enabler for cost effective and energy efficient separation, recycling and production of rare earth magnets with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. We are receiving strong interest for recycled magnets from potential customers and for recycling solutions from original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), and automotive and recycling companies.” HPMS technology was developed at the University of Birmingham, underpinned by approximately US$100 million of research and development funding, and has major competitive advantages versus other rare earth magnet recycling technologies, which are largely focused on chemical processes but do not solve the challenges of liberating magnets from end-of-life scrap streams –HPMS provides the solution. Maginito Maginito is owned 79.4 per cent by Mkango and 20.6 per cent by CoTec. It is focused on developing green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies. Maginito holds a 100 per cent interest in HyProMag and a 90 per cent direct and indirect interest (assuming conversion of Maginito’s convertible loan) in HyProMag GmbH, focused on short loop rare earth magnet recycling in the UK and Germany, and a 100 per cent interest in Mkango Rare Earths UK Ltd (“Mkango UK”), a company focused on long loop rare earth magnet recycling in the UK via a chemical route. About Mkango Resources Ltd. Mkango's corporate strategy is to develop new sustainable sources of neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium to supply accelerating demand from electric vehicles, wind turbines and other clean technologies. In parallel with development of its mining assets, Mkango plans to become a market leader in the production of recycled rare earth magnets and alloys via its interest in Maginito. This integrated Mine, Refine, Recycle strategy differentiates Mkango from its peers, uniquely positioning the Company in the rare earths sector. Mkango is listed on the AIM and the TSX-V. Mkango is developing its flagship Songwe Hill rare earths project (“Songwe”) in Malawi with a Definitive Feasibility Study completed in July 2022 and an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment approved by the Government of Malawi in January 2023. Discussions regarding the Mine Development Agreement (“MDA”) for Songwe Hill are ongoing with the Government of Malawi. In parallel, Mkango and Grupa Azoty PULAWY, Poland's leading chemical manufacturer have agreed to work together towards development of a rare earth separation plant at Pulawy in Poland (the Pulawy Separation Plant) to process the purified mixed rare earth carbonate produced at Songwe Hill. Mkango also has an extensive exploration portfolio in Malawi, including the Mchinji rutile exploration project, the Thambani uranium-tantalum-niobium-zircon project and Chimimbe nickel-cobalt project. About CoTec Holdings Corp. CoTec is a publicly traded investment issuer listed on the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange (“TSX- V”) and the OTCQB and trades under the symbol CTH and CTHCF respectively. CoTec is an environment, social, and governance (“ESG”)-focused company investing in innovative technologies that have the potential to fundamentally change the way metals and minerals can be extracted and processed for the purpose of applying those technologies to undervalued operating assets and recycling opportunities, as it transitions into a mid-tier mineral resource producer. CoTec is committed to supporting the transition to a lower carbon future for the extraction industry, a sector on the cusp of a green revolution as it embraces technology and innovation. It has made four investments to date and is actively pursuing operating opportunities where current technology investments could be deployed.

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Government Business

Permuta Launches SaaS Version of DefenseReady on Microsoft Azure Government DoD Cloud

PR Newswire | January 19, 2024

Permuta, a leading HR modernization and talent management software platform for Federal organizational readiness and operational excellence, announced today the release of its first ever SaaS product for DefenseReady with AI and Machine Learning capabilities, called DefenseReady Cloud. The release comes after a decade of on-premise DefenseReady applications and two years after the release of a DoD ATO cloud-hosted IaaS option on IL5. "DefenseReady Cloud provides DoD and approved civilian organizations the low code/no code SaaS/AI solution that ingests existing data sources, regardless of location, to provide a single pane of glass that informs leaders to make readiness decisions which will help our forces be stronger, safer, and our country more competitive," said Sig Behrens, Permuta's CEO. "Our mission has always been to assist in putting the right people, in the right place, at the right time," said Behrens. "And now leadership can have the highest level of confidence on the DISA's approved Microsoft DoD tenant while saving operational costs." "Microsoft is committed to helping the DoD use innovative technologies to meet their critical mission needs and working with key partners like Permuta enables us to innovate and scale solutions for our national security leaders," says Wes Anderson, Vice President for Defense, Microsoft. "This collaboration with Permuta on the DefenseReady cloud will enable Department of Defense leaders to make fully informed operational and readiness decisions with speed." About Permuta Permuta Technologies Inc., is a privately owned software manufacturer which creates off-the-shelf software which has been tailored for military and civilian organizations. With deep experience in the government, Permuta understands the challenges agencies face to protect and meet mission-critical initiatives. As a trusted leader in delivering solutions built and designed for government, Permuta is committed to increasing effectiveness and readiness so agencies can confidently execute their mission. Their products, built on Microsoft technology are the only solutions in the market that cover all federal readiness management needs in one system, including force readiness, training, performance and asset management, medical readiness, mission planning and more.

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Government Business

Chertoff Capital advises Illuminate Operations, Inc. on the sale of its subsidiary, Cyberspace Solutions, LLC

GlobeNewswire | January 09, 2024

On Monday January 8th, Godspeed Capital Management LP (“Godspeed”), a lower middle market Defense & Government services, solutions, and technology-focused private equity firm, announced the acquisition of Cyberspace Solutions, LLC (“CSS” or “the Company”), a provider of all-source intelligence gathering, analysis, and systems development solutions for national security missions, by its intelligence, AI/ML, and Data Analytics platform, Crimson Phoenix. CSS was formerly owned by Illuminate Operations, Inc. Chertoff Capital, LLC, the investment banking subsidiary of The Chertoff Group, served as the exclusive investment banking advisor to Illuminate Operations, Inc. TRANSACTION DETAILS CSS is a provider of all-source intelligence gathering, analysis, and systems development solutions, including data and analytical support services for the Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command. CSS combines decades of intelligence expertise to deliver actionable insights that enable its national security customers to make fast and informed decisions. The Company now joins with Crimson Phoenix to support its intelligence strategy and national security objectives. Jason Kaufman, Chertoff Capital president said, “CSS is a trusted provider of all-source intelligence data and analytical support services for national security missions. The acquisition of CSS by Crimson Phoenix not only optimizes portfolio value for our client but also propels the Company towards a future marked by innovation and market leadership. We are pleased to have served as the trusted advisor to Illuminate and look forward to Crimson Phoenix’s future success.” Ryan Hoffman, Chertoff Capital principal said, “CSS aligns perfectly with Crimson Phoenix’s national security objectives. It brings a talented workforce and coveted customer relationships to the platform. This transaction reflects our dedication to delivering strategic value for mission-oriented companies. We are thrilled to have advised Illuminate on the sale and are excited for Crimson Phoenix’s promising future.” Tameika Hollis, CEO of Illuminate Operations, Inc., said, “Chertoff Capital provided excellent advice throughout the entire transaction process. They were instrumental in crafting a clear description of the value proposition of the business being divested, identifying the relevant set of potential suitors, soliciting interest, shepherding the process of selecting the acquirer, navigating the challenges of bringing the transaction to a successful conclusion, and ultimately finding a great new home for the business. We appreciate their hard work and wise insights.” About Chertoff Capital Chertoff Capital is the investment banking subsidiary of The Chertoff Group, a specialized advisory firm that helps organizations achieve their business and security objectives in a complex risk environment. As an industry leading investment bank serving high growth, mission-focused companies in the defense technology, government services and cybersecurity markets, Chertoff Capital provides clients with a highly differentiated advisory offering that brings together transaction expertise and unparalleled business strategy insights. Chertoff Capital professionals have advised on well over 100 transactions over the last 20 years. Chertoff Capital is an SEC registered broker dealer and a member of FINRA. About Cyberspace Solutions Cyberspace Solutions, LLC, is a leading provider of all-source intelligence, gathering, analysis, and systems development solutions for Intelligence Community, Defense, and Law Enforcement customers. CSS customizes solutions and provide actionable intelligence for targeting and other vital mission priorities. About Crimson Phoenix Crimson Phoenix is a leading digital, data, and intelligence analysis and solutions platform designed to support the critical mission requirements of the U.S. Intelligence Community and U.S. Special Operations Command. Headquartered in the DC/Virginia area, Crimson Phoenix offers a differentiated suite of mission-critical capabilities and solutions in artificial intelligence & machine learning, cybersecurity, digital and data enablement, software development, and intelligence targeting and analysis. About Godspeed Capital Management Godspeed Capital is a lower middle-market defense & government services, solutions, and technology focused private equity firm investing alongside forward-thinking management teams that seek an experienced and innovative investment partner with unique sector expertise, operational insight, and flexible capital for growth. While a typical investment will involve companies generating approximately $3 million to $30 million of EBITDA, Godspeed Capital has significant support to complete larger transactions through strategic co-invest relationships. The firm focuses on control buyouts, buy-and-builds, corporate carve-outs, and special situations.

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