Global Mining outlook and the effect on Africa
As the world aims to be more carbon neutral, the search for essential minerals to satiate the quest becomes more and more keen. According to the Rapport Varin “half of the world cars would be electric by 2030. Copper demand would have doubled, lithium and Nickel demand would increase by four fold and three fold respectively.” If the prediction of the report is anything to go by then, this steers massive investment toward the continent. It also raises the question of the modalities of these investments and what benefits will these countries get as a result of them.
Africa’s Woes of More yet receives less
Africa currently has the world’s largest deposit of cobalt, diamonds and platinum. The continent is also home to about 30 percent of the world’s mineral reserves, 12 percent of the world’s oil and 8 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves. But over the years, African countries have not been able to turn their resource into tangible wealth for it citizens. Political instability and corruption have been the major blocks against the realization of this goal. For Africa to get the best of its resources, it needs to get a grip of its stability to attract the necessary investment.
Ghana a Shining Example in Africa
Some countries have taken the opportunity to position them in order? To take advantage of the coming wind. Ghana, with the presence of 14 large scale mines and over 20 billion GHS invested over the last 20 years, has proven to be one of the best destinations for mining in the west African sub-region. Out of the 34000 employees in this sector, only 1% are expatriate which shows the level of local expertise in Ghana. “the Capacity of Ghanaians have been built and we have one university of mines and technology that trains Ghanaians and other West- African mining workforce, so the capacity of Ghana in terms of mining is very encouraging. For instance, most companies doesn’t have to come with expats because you would have them all in Ghana” says an Official from the Minerals commission in Ghana. In a region that recently has witnessed political instabilities, it’s well to note that Ghana has a stable political atmosphere and over the years that has played to its advantage of driving the necessary investment into the extractive sector.
What Steps Must African countries do to take advantage of the future
Moving forward, what is needed to be done by African countries to supply these energy transition metal and how these countries can benefit from the mining of these metals? African countries must attract investment in the exploration phase of mining to discover new minerals. “ In fact, the funds are there, Prospects are there, so we have all the system ready…but in reality we lack the exploration company and team to do that” a geoscience expert states. From 2019 to 2020, overall planned investment in Gold in Africa fell from 615$ million to 590$ million dollars. More efforts must be made by African governments and it parastatals to drive investment into exploration of key minerals.
So what are the proposals that these countries can take to make the most of their mineral resources? While making his presentation at the Business Meetings Africa 2022, Patrick Portolano, a geoscience expert, asserted that Countries must seek to prioritize the exports of metals and finished products instead of ores. This, he said, can be done by developing the value chain of the extractive sector in various African countries.
The Convergence team
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