Risk aversion is likely to leave major Western miners lagging in a race to tap Africa’s reserves of critical raw materials that has gathered pace now Middle Eastern oil powers have begun to emulate China’s years of investment on the continent.
Attracting the capital needed to advance copper, cobalt, nickel and lithium projects in Africa will be high on the agenda when executives, bankers and government officials gather in Cape Town, South Africa, for the annual African Mining Indaba beginning on Monday.
For the big listed miners, the problem is convincing board members anxious to keep shareholders onside, an issue China and the state-backed funds from the Middle East with a mandate to diversify from oil and gas do not face.
Major mining companies’ mergers and acquisitions teams have been busy negotiating in countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, the world’s top cobalt supplier, and third biggest source of copper. Potential deals in the country, however, are being held up in the boardrooms of Rio Tinto and BHP Group, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
For the rest of this article: https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/western-miners-lag-oil-powers-enter-race-africas-critical-metals-2024-02-02/