Battleground Africa: In a world thirsting for its critical minerals, respect is the new currency – by Frank Giustra (Toronto Star – February 2, 2024)

Nations desperate for Africa’s minerals, writes Frank Giustra, should find a way to compete with China’s investments in the continent.

“The new scramble for resources on the continent offers an opportunity for Africa to reset its relations with more powerful external actors. Africa’s wealth of critical minerals will be essential to help the world achieve its energy transition. In return, African leaders should negotiate smart deals that ensure the continent draws just recompense for the minerals on its soil — and ensure those benefits are spread evenly to its citizens.”

Dr. Comfort Ero, president and CEO, the International Crisis Group

… The world is already facing an enormous deficit in minerals for our future needs, but with the transition to clean energy, the projected deficit will be almost impossible to fulfil.

Seemingly overnight, it’s as if the world awoke from a deep slumber and is now scrambling to secure many of the critical minerals we need to make that transition a reality. The mineral list is extensive; it includes copper, cobalt, nickel, lithium, uranium, iron ore, rare earths, manganese, and graphite, to name a few. Some estimate by the year 2040 we will need to mine four times the critical minerals we produce today.

In that same period, we will need to mine more copper (one of the most important minerals) than all the copper mined in our entire history. A staggering $200 billion (all figures in U.S. dollars) needs to be invested in the supply of critical minerals in this decade alone if we are to ever expect to meet our net zero goals.

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