The British government is growing warier of China

In 2015 David Cameron and Xi Jinping propped up a bar in Buckinghamshire to toast a “golden era” in Anglo-Chinese relations over pints of ale. Things now seem to have turned bitter. The latest example came in a speech by Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, on February 11th. Mr Williamson promised that Britain’s new aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth (pictured above), would go to the Pacific for its inaugural mission in 2021, complete with American-piloted f-35 fighter jets. Britain, he said would “oppose those who flout international law”.

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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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Infrastructure

Verizon delivers 5G to U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii via “Dragon Tower”

GlobeNewswire | January 08, 2024

Verizon today announced it is providing 5G coverage to the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii’s Helemano Military Reservation (HMR) via a newly constructed cell tower, nicknamed the “Dragon Tower,” as part of a $1 million project. Military families, personnel and visitors at HMR will experience improved wireless coverage and enhanced network services. “The main purpose of our partnership with Helemano is to improve quality of life for base personnel,” said Marta Lacroix, associate vice president of network engineering. “The strength of the Verizon network will help ensure that those serving our country have continuous access to emergency services and can readily connect with their loved ones.” Located approximately five miles north of the town of Wahiawa, HMR offers military housing for approximately 2,000 service members and families stationed at Schofield Barracks and Wheeler Army Airfield. HMR is a remote location that has historically struggled with connectivity. The new cell tower and accompanying 5G coverage aims to redress that precedent. "As professionals in the field of communication, we understand the significance of this cell phone tower in our close-knit community,” said 307th Expeditionary Signal Battalion – Enhanced Commander Lt. Col. Izabella Lundy. “This infrastructure will provide our soldiers and their families with reliable access to emergency services, facilitate communication with loved ones, and support the seamless conduct of daily business.” The tower is located on the grounds of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s (Exchange) HMR Express store in the center of the reservation and is nicknamed “Dragon” for the 307th ESB-E, which is headquartered on HMR. The military community and Exchange celebrated the milestone with a ceremony attended by Brig. Gen. Kevin Meisler, 311th Signal Command (Theater) commanding general; Command Chief Warrant Officer Robert Christian, 311th Signal Command (Theater); Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan DeHart, 311th Signal Command (Theater); Col. Andrew Brokhoff, 516th Signal Brigade commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Dominique Davis, 516th Signal Brigade; Lt. Col. Izabella Lundy, 307th ESB-E commander; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathaniel Floyd, Jr., 307th ESB-E data operations warrant officer; and Command Sgt. Maj. Mahoma Tello, 307th ESB-E. Joining from the Exchange were Col. Jason Beck, Pacific Region commander; Sgt. Maj. Generose Green, Pacific Region senior enlisted advisor; Michael Ryan, Hawaii Consolidated general manager; and William Earls, connectivity telecom program specialist. The Dragon tower is one of 13 new or in-progress cell towers from the Exchange to bring expanded connectivity and reliability to military communities throughout USAG Hawaii.

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Emerging Technology

InfoSec Global Federal Added to Department of Homeland Security Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Approved Product List

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

InfoSec Global Federal, the leader in cryptographic vulnerability management, today announced the company has been added to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program's Approved Product List (APL). InfoSec Global Federal's AgileSec Analytics product helps U.S. federal agencies defend against the exploitation of cryptographic vulnerabilities. The inclusion of AgileSec Analytics to the APL strengthens national cybersecurity by protecting government agencies' most sensitive secrets and data from sophisticated attacks and breaches. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) CDM program provides cybersecurity tools, integration services, and dashboards to participating federal agencies to help them improve the security posture of civilian government networks and systems by strengthening real-time risk monitoring and defense. "The implicit trust of a privileged cryptographic ecosystem has resulted in the infamous SolarWinds hack and other high-profile attacks against federal agencies," said Philip George, Executive Technical Strategist of InfoSec Global Federal. "One aspect as to why these attacks were so successful can be directly attributed to poor visibility and analysis of privileged cryptographic assets, specifically certificates and tokens. Joining the APL underscores the value that InfoSec Global Federal's technology can deliver to reduce risk to critical federal infrastructure, a priority highlighted in OMB Memo 23-02, which requires federal civilian agencies to capture an inventory of all cryptographic assets in order to uncover vulnerabilities and to take immediate steps towards achieving post-quantum safety." InfoSec Global Federal specializes in providing cryptographic discovery, remediation, and management solutions from the silicon firmware up through endpoint applications. Its secure software enables federal agencies to facilitate cryptographic vulnerability management, assure compliance, enrich software bill of materials with a cryptographic bill of materials (CBOM), and expedite post-quantum readiness in alignment with OMB Memo 23-02. AgileSec Analytics offers essential tools for U.S. federal agencies aiming to enhance their cybersecurity and cryptographic posture. This solution is particularly crucial for conducting comprehensive cryptographic inventories, a vital process for government entities to deliver the following key advantages: Enhanced Cryptographic Visibility: AgileSec Analytics empowers agencies with the ability to thoroughly scan their digital environments to identify and catalog all cryptographic assets. This includes keys, certificates, and cryptographic protocols deployed across various systems and networks. Cryptographic Vulnerability Identification and Management: AgileSec Analytics assists agencies in pinpointing vulnerabilities within the cryptographic landscape. By analyzing the inventory, agencies can identify outdated or weak cryptographic practices, non-compliant assets, and potential areas susceptible to breaches. Compliance with Federal Regulations: Aligning with mandates like OMB Memo 23-02, AgileSec Analytics aids agencies in ensuring that cryptographic assets adhere to federal cybersecurity standards. This compliance is critical for safeguarding sensitive government data and communications. Preparation for Quantum Computing: As the threat landscape evolves with the advent of quantum computing, AgileSec Analytics positions agencies to be proactive. It helps in assessing the readiness of current cryptographic standards and facilitates a strategic shift towards quantum-resistant algorithms. The inclusion of InfoSec Global AgileSec Analytics in the DHS CDM APL empowers federal agencies to conduct thorough cryptographic inventories, an integral part of maintaining a robust cybersecurity defense strategy. About Infosec Global Federal InfoSec Global Federal is a cryptographic security company that specializes in providing next-generation cryptographic discovery, agility, and management solutions from the firmware up through endpoint applications. Their secure software enables the management and agility of all cryptographic assets across a digital ecosystem, enabling government agencies to automate and orchestrate cryptography usage, shut down cryptographic vulnerabilities, facilitate compliance, and achieve post-quantum safety.

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