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Lithium Industry in Africa: Expert on Recent Developments & Future Prospects

© Sputnik . Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabankNovosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant
Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.06.2024
Zimbabwe has taken the lead in sub-Saharan Africa's lithium boom, according to the AmaranthCX network of experts. The alkali metal is a key component in modern batteries.
According to Samir Bhattacharya, an associate fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, the southern African nation of Zimbabwe, which has the world's fifth-largest lithium reserves, has "understood the value" of the mineral and is seeking to develop a lucrative value chain after banning exports of raw lithium.

"And if that happens, [...] it is definitely going to impact the country's economy. It is definitely going to improve the country's economy in the manner of additional infrastructure, jobs, and accelerated economic growth," the expert told Sputnik Africa.

Stage 1 DMS plant formwork construction underway at our flagship Bougouni Lithium Project in Mali. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 28.06.2024
Sub-Saharan Africa
Mali Poised to Become Key Player in Lithium Industry With Bougouni Mine, New Drilling Results Show
Mali has also made important strides in this area. With the country's Bougouni mine set to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2024, the West African nation is expected to become a major player in the lithium industry, based on early drilling results. In May, the country's government signed an agreement with China's Ganfeng Lithium to manage one of Africa's largest lithium mines, Goulamina.

"Why are African countries getting interested in China? It's because China is probably the only country that can afford this sum of investment in such quick succession. I mean, other countries, the Western countries, they are quite reluctant to invest when there is this kind of risky projects. But when it comes to China, it is not only the government; even the private sector is also coming up in investing. Even if challenging, they're investing in this sector," Bhattacharya noted.