Former Idaho Gov. Butch Otter wants an investigation into an international mining merger he said could tie Chinese investment to the only known cobalt deposits in the U.S. amid a trade war.

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The New South Wales, Australia-based Jervois Mining wants to acquire the Vancouver-based eCobalt Solutions, which has a cobalt mining project near Salmon in east-central Idaho.

Otter, who left office in January after 12 years as governor, now sits on the board of the Canadian mining company First Cobalt. The Idaho Statesman reported that Otter recently wrote a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, calling on him to investigate possible Chinese involvement in Jervois.

The former governor said in the letter that he believes the merger is the “wrong investment for Idaho and for our nation’s security,” according to the report.