U.S., Chinese trade deputies face off in Washington amid deep differences

U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators were set to resume face-to-face talks on Thursday for the first time in nearly two months as the world’s two largest economies try to bridge deep policy differences and find a way out of a bitter and protracted trade war. The negotiations on Thursday and Friday are aimed at laying the groundwork for high-level talks in early October that will determine whether the two countries are working towards a solution or are headed for new and higher tariffs on each other’s goods.

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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

Thentia now working with AWS to drive innovation in the public sector

PR Newswire | January 20, 2024

Thentia, a leading innovator in regulatory technology, is pleased to announce that it is now working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to drive continued innovation in the public sector. Thentia is empowering regulators to seamlessly tap into the company's comprehensive regulatory assurance Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Thentia Cloud, powered by AWS, fortifying the landscape of regulatory oversight. "We are thrilled to be working with AWS as we persist in our commitment to deliver an enhanced experience for government agencies and regulatory entities globally." says Julian Cardarelli, CEO, Thentia. "By leveraging the power of AWS, we solidify our position as a clear leader and a versatile multi-cloud provider in our category, affirming our commitment to ongoing excellence." Cardarelli adds, "With our world-class, fully integrated regulatory assurance platform now accessible on AWS, we strengthen our commitment to empower the public sector with sophisticated tools for unparalleled efficiency in fulfilling their mandate of public protection." Other key benefits of Thentia's relationship with AWS include working with AWS engineers and architects to optimize Thentia Cloud's performance, security, compliance, and reliability. Partnering with AWS also helps ensure that Thentia Cloud remains at the forefront of the latest advances in cloud computing. Designed for regulators by regulators, Thentia Cloud digitizes, streamlines, and consolidates all essential regulatory functions within a single and secure cloud-based environment. The platform is designed to empower regulators with a comprehensive 360-degree view of all licensee activities, giving them a much more modern, streamlined, and efficient way to work and ultimately meet their regulatory obligation to safeguard the public. Trusted by millions of licensed professionals, businesses, and entities globally, Thentia has been recognized by regulators worldwide for its enhanced blend of technological innovation and regulatory proficiency. In addition to AWS, Thentia Cloud is available on other cloud providers including Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. About Thentia Thoughtfully built for regulators, by regulators, Thentia is driving regulatory transformation for hundreds of regulators and regulatory agencies worldwide with a platform that handles all key department functions including licensing, investigations, enforcement, fitness to practise, quality assurance, scope of practise, continuing education, board management, data analysis, and more. Thentia Cloud empowers regulators to transcend the constraints of legacy processes, custom-built solutions, and a web of disparate applications with a single unified 360-degree platform, setting new standards in efficiency and effectiveness. Thentia Cloud is available on all major cloud providers, including Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

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