China’s Monopoly over Critical Minerals – by Katherine Wells (Georgetown Security Studies Review – June 1, 2023)

As part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has taken to investing in critical mineral mines globally. One of these investment hotspots is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2020, the DRC was the world’s largest cobalt miner, producing 41 of all cobalt resources.

Although not the largest producer of copper – Chile produces 27 percent of the global copper production – the DRC boasts the highest-quality copper reserves in the world, with mines estimated to contain copper with grades above 3 percent, 2.4 percent higher than the average supply globally. The mining industry is central to the DRC’s economy, making up over 90 percent of its exports.

The DRC welcomes foreign investment. More exports in addition to more investment in state infrastructure will ultimately make the economy more self-sufficient. A stable economy will lay the foundations for development, whilst making it a more attractive trading partner.

Economic prosperity will aid political stability and provide the government with the capabilities to reduce crime and violence rates across the country. Despite extensive criticism of the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) “debt-trap diplomacy,” money is money – and the DRC will take any investment it can get.

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