Africa|Energy|Exploration|Gas|Mining|Oil And Gas|Oil-and-gas
Africa|Energy|Exploration|Gas|Mining|Oil And Gas|Oil-and-gas

Africa needs lots of geological research regarding critical clean energy mineral deposits

A drilling rig conducting exploration

Photo by Reuters

18th October 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The recently developed global need for critical clean energy minerals has created a need for deeper geological research across the continent, including in mature mining jurisdictions. This was one of the key points raised in the African Ministerial panel discussion at the Critical Minerals Africa conference, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, on Wednesday.

South Sudan had many minerals, but the country had neglected its mining sector because it produced oil and gas, observed the country’s Mines Minister, Martin Gama Abucha. This situation started to change 20 years ago, but not much progress has yet been made, especially with regard to geological surveys. So South Sudan’s priority is geological mapping. In this, it needs cooperation with other African countries, to ensure it avoids a duplication of efforts.

“We need more in-depth studies, more surveys,” he affirmed. The country had signed a number of memoranda of understanding with companies from Russia, China, and elsewhere.

Tanzania was a mature mining country, noted Tanzanian Deputy Minerals Minister Dr Steven Kiruswa. The Geological Survey of Tanzania had been set up in 1925, he pointed out, and 95% of the country had been surveyed – but on a low-resolution scale. And, hitherto, the focus had been on precious metals. The country had now realized that critical minerals were the future and was now also focusing on them, but was still at the exploration stage.

“We have a seven-year vision,” he reported. “We want to do a deeper exploration of the minerals we have in our country.”

Achieving this will require partnerships. Tanzania desires that African countries come together and partner with other countries for the funding and technologies required to undertake deeper geological research, with a focus on critical minerals. The European Union has offered partnerships, as has Australia.  

Zimbabwe is also a mature mining country. But, again, hitherto, there has not been a focus on the minerals and metals needed for clean energy technologies.

“Critical minerals are new to us. Partnerships are key,” said Zimbabwe Mines and Mining Development Ministry director of energy minerals Leon Godza. “We feel that Zimbabwe is not fully explored. We believe a lot of exploration has to be done.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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