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Vol 64 No 10

Published 11th May 2023


Western companies belatedly join critical minerals race

President Geingob's government is benefitting from international rivalry to boost lithium production

Prices and demand for Africa's reserves of lithium, a key component in rechargeable batteries, are soaring as the world car industry shifts towards producing electric vehicles with the United States and China racing to dominate the market, with European manufacturers coming a distant third. Lithium production in Africa is due to hit 500,000 tonnes a year by 2030, according to estimates from commodity traders – that's a more than tenfold increase in current output.

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