US trying to block Chinese access to African resources – FT 

Lazy eyes listen


The planned sale of mining business Chemaf Resources, which operates copper and cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is expected to exacerbate the US-China war over African resources, according to the Financial Times on Thursday.

The troubled Dubai-based corporation, according to the outlet, has appointed an adviser to aid in the sale of the company and its strategic mines in the DRC, with a valuation of around $1 billion in mind.

Chemaf Resources, backed by commodity trader Trafigura Group, has placed itself up for sale after a drop in cobalt prices left it unable to complete critical projects.

The sale process began in September and has prompted interest from Chinese investors, but the US government is also attempting to broker proposals from Western or Middle Eastern bidders to prevent the assets from coming into Chinese hands, according to the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the subject.

As the world’s two greatest economies fight in renewable energy solutions, the US has stepped up efforts to counter China’s potential dominance of Africa’s mineral resources and limit its access to innovative technologies, according to the newspaper.

Copper and cobalt are both essential for the transition to renewable energy since they are utilised in the production of electric automobiles and batteries, as well as other consumer electronics and industrial products.

According to the Financial Times, the US government is exploring a $250 million investment in the Lobito Corridor railway, which would become a significant route for exports from the resource-rich DRC and Zambia westbound through Angola.

At the same time, China has become an active player in Africa’s resource market, investing heavily in lithium, nickel, and cobalt production on the continent in order to maintain its dominance in processing metals for electric vehicles.