Rare earths

US urges ‘race to the top’ for critical minerals at Africa Indaba mining conference

By Julian Pecquet

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Posted on May 12, 2022 18:40

The Joe Biden administration told Africa’s leading mining executives and officials this week that they are poised to play a key role in the clean-energy revolution, but only if African officials clean up corruption and other problems in the sector.

In a 10 May keynote address to South Africa’s Mining Indaba – the world’s largest mining investment conference – Jose Fernandez, the under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, laid out his government’s energy policy priorities.

These include a “just and inclusive clean energy transition”; the creation of “robust, sustainable, and transparent supply chains for critical minerals”; and the promotion of transparent financial and regulatory environments and natural resources management.

“The message there is that the United States and our companies would like to participate as partners with African nations in the development of their critical minerals, but we will do so following the highest environmental, social and governance standards,” Fernandez tells The Africa Report from South Africa, where he’s undertaking his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since his

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