Investing in Africa’s Copperbelt – The Race for EV Metals (Gulf Africa Review – June 21, 2024)


U.S., Japanese, and European companies are investing in Africa’s Copperbelt, employing cutting-edge technology to extract essential electric vehicle metals like copper and cobalt.

The global demand for electric vehicle (EV) metals has spurred a surge in investments in Africa’s Copperbelt, a region straddling Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Companies from the U.S., Japan, and Europe are increasingly leveraging advanced technologies to identify and extract critical minerals such as copper and cobalt, challenging China’s dominance in the region.

The significance of Africa’s Copperbelt

The Copperbelt is one of the world’s most significant mining regions, rich in copper and cobalt, which are vital for manufacturing EV batteries. Zambia alone produces nearly 800,000 tons of copper annually, making it the ninth-largest supplier globally.

Copper mining contributes over 10% to Zambia’s gross domestic product (GDP). The Zambian government, under the leadership of Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Paul Kabuswe, aims to triple annual production to “3 million tons by 2031” to meet rising global demand, saying, “We must be able to maximize the benefit to our economy.”

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