February 5, 2023
As the renewable energy transition drives the demand for critical minerals and rare earth metals, Africa’s mining sector presents significant opportunities for driving economic progress on the continent. Prosper Africa, in coordination with U.S. government partners from the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Department of State representatives from the Mineral Security Partnership, will host a breakfast roundtable on critical minerals on Feb. 8 at the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.
Prosper Africa is the U.S. Government initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.
The Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, held February 6-9 in Cape Town, South Africa, is a mining investment conference dedicated to the successful market capitalization and development of mining interests in Africa, and will bring together policymakers and leading companies and investors from across the mining value chain.
Critical minerals are essential components of the technologies that will power a clean energy future, including electric vehicles and batteries, wind turbines, solar panels. Building a robust and secure critical mineral supply chain is vital to advancing economic prosperity and climate objectives.
With insights from industry experts at TechMet and AngloAmerican, the breakfast roundtable will explore the importance of adopting international environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards early and opportunities in Africa for moving up the mining supply chain.
Prosper Africa is part of a U.S. government delegation in attendance at Mining Indaba. Senior Investment Advisor Will Pearson will participate in a Feb. 8 panel discussion on building domestic extraction and processing capabilities in the minerals industry; and Prosper Africa Regional Director for Investment Facilitation Jenna Diallo will moderate a Feb. 7 panel on the relationship between mining and circular economies.
To advance the Prosper Africa initiative, U.S. government agencies are taking major steps to ramp-up private sector engagement in Africa. Prosper Africa brings together the full suite of U.S. Government services and resources—across 17 participating agencies—to provide three key services: market intelligence, deal support, and financing.
“We believe that the critical minerals sector, with related opportunities up the value chain and in infrastructure, can be an essential part of the U.S.-Africa partnership in the 21st century, a partnership shaped by visionary contributions from the private sector, women, and youth, as well as diaspora communities,” said Pearson.
Diallo emphasized that strengthening the mining sector in African countries goes beyond development of natural resources. “The diversity of supply required to build robust, sustainable, and transparent supply chains will open the gates to midstream processing, digitalization, new processes, and technologies,” said Diallo.
The Mining Indaba follows the U.S.-Africa Business Forum held during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., in December 2022, that brought together Heads of State from 49 African countries and top CEOs and private sector leadership. The Business Forum generated over $15 billion in two-way trade and investment commitments, deals, and partnerships that advance key priorities, including sustainable energy and mining, health systems, agribusiness, digital connectivity, infrastructure, and finance.
At the Business Forum’s Deal Room, U.S.-based start-up KoBold Metals and its partners EMR Capital, a specialist mining private equity firm, and Zambia’s public-private mining company ZCCM-IH, announced a $150 million investment from KoBold Metals to own, explore, and develop the Mingomba deposit and to support the Lubambe Copper Mine in Chililabombwe, Zambia.