Africa’s Urgent Call to Harness its Critical Minerals Potential

Harris Marley
Harris Marley

Global Courant
Main Image:    Mining News

South African Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has issued a resounding call to action, urging African nations to develop strategies for critical minerals as soon as possible. Speaking at the inaugural African Critical Minerals summit in Sandton, Mantashe emphasised that failure to do so would result in a missed opportunity to capitalise on the continent’s vast natural resources.

Mantashe believes that it is critical for Africa to classify certain minerals as critical based on factors such as resource abundance, supply chain vulnerabilities, and economic and technological priorities. These steps have already been taken by developed countries to ensure their access to critical resources. Many African countries, including South Africa, have yet to define and list their critical minerals, which Mantashe sees as a strategic shortcoming with serious consequences.

Former South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasised Africa’s vast mineral wealth. Nonetheless, she referred to the lack of a clear strategy in 2023 as a crisis. Mlambo-Ngcuka emphasised the importance of introspection in determining why the continent has not reaped the full benefits of its mineral wealth. As contributing factors, she cited leadership challenges, external factors, and a lack of strategic planning.

- Advertisement -

Mantashe stated that South Africa is making progress in developing a critical minerals strategy, which he believes will be critical in the country’s industrialization and transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future. Notably, he proposed that minerals such as coal and uranium, which are frequently overlooked in critical mineral discussions, be classified as such due to their importance to the economy and national security.

Mantashe advocated for a robust critical minerals strategy to avoid repeating past mistakes. He emphasised the significance of local beneficiation and criticised the traditional pit-to-port approach, advocating for a more comprehensive mining approach.

Nolitha Fakude, President of the Minerals Council South Africa, emphasised the market’s dynamic nature and the importance of taking fluctuations in demand and supply into account when defining critical minerals. Fakude emphasised the importance of research, development, and innovation in fully utilising Africa’s mineral resources. In order to achieve these goals, she has called for collaboration among academia, the private sector, and the public sector.

Fakude, on the other hand, emphasised the importance of developing a digital, searchable minerals rights platform, known as a cadastral system, for South Africa to fully realise its mineral potential. After cancelling a previous procurement process, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy recently sought an off-the-shelf cadastral solution. The department’s director-general, Jacob Mbele, stated that a preferred bidder has been chosen, with an announcement expected in the coming weeks, subject to an audit by the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

To summarise, Africa is on the verge of a critical minerals revolution, with vast opportunities awaiting those who act decisively. Urgent action is required to identify and exploit the continent’s critical minerals, thereby promoting economic growth, national security, and long-term development. Africa can position itself as a global leader in the critical minerals sector by implementing a comprehensive strategy and a modern cadastral system. The inaugural African Critical Minerals Summit is a watershed moment for the continent, challenging it to seize its potential and secure its future.

- Advertisement -

Africa’s Urgent Call to Harness its Critical Minerals Potential

World News,Next Big Thing in Public Knowledg

#Africas #Urgent #Call #Harness #Critical #Minerals #Potential
Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *