bright spark

Lithium: EU and US play catch up to China mining headstart

By Louise Rozes Moscovenko

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on April 17, 2023 08:09

Already dominant in the cobalt and copper sectors in Africa, China is also several steps ahead in terms of investment in African lithium. As the West aims to decarbonise its economy, self-sufficiency in raw materials, particularly those used in batteries, is a major strategic issue. The US and Europe are aiming to catch up with Beijing’s headstart.

On March 16, the European Union presented its Critical Materials Act. Aware that the reopening of mines in Europe will not be enough to make a success of its carbon-free transition, the text provides for various partnerships in order to “reduce the EU’s current dependence on one or a few countries”.

In 2035, the sale of fossil fuel-run vehicles will no longer be authorised in Europe, in favour of electric vehicles.

Huge demand for metals

On the American side, President Joe Biden has also given electric vehicles a prominent place in his Inflation Reduction Act.

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime