Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of lithium; treatment plant in Goromonzi, in the country’s north-east. (© Montage JA; Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP/SIPA)
Rich in minerals and strategically located, in theory the African continent has what it takes to play a key role in the ongoing energy transition, but the reality is more complex.
“There is no chance of making the energy transition without Africa,” Robert Friedland, the founder of Ivanhoe Mines, who discovered the Kamoa-Kakula copper deposit in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), told the London Indaba conference on mineral resources, energy and mining in June last year.
Indeed, decisive resources for a low-carbon economy are abundant in Africa. The continent’s production of metals used in the manufacture of batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and other electrical networks is impressive.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the leading producer of cobalt, while South Africa is in pole position for platinum and manganese.
As a whole, the continent accounts for more than half the world’s production of these three minerals.
Source: African Report, 18th January 2024