Low carbon technologies required for this transition, such as solar panels, wind turbines and batteries, rely heavily on various minerals, such as lithium, graphite, and cobalt. These minerals, known as critical minerals or green minerals, will form a vital part of the renewable energy transition.
There has been a strong push from African states to strengthen the link between mining and industrialisation by promoting value addition of raw materials on the continent. As the world’s major powers increasingly compete for green technology production capacity and secure supplies of green minerals, Africa’s priorities around value addition and industrialisation could become side-lined. Rising demand for green minerals may lead to increased investment, higher commodity prices and more mining jobs – but in the absence of appropriate, inclusive and transparent governance, negative impacts could also come to the fore, including environmental damage, corruption and conflicts around revenue distribution.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) hosted a webinar to discuss emerging trends and governance issues related to green minerals and the African mining sector.