US Engages in Regular Dialogues with Congo’s Gecamines Over Cobalt and Copper

US Engages in Regular Dialogues with Congo’s Gecamines Over Cobalt and Copper

The United States, aiming to strengthen its ties with crucial mineral suppliers, engages in frequent discussions with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned mining company, Gecamines. This interaction underscores Washington’s intent to secure supply lines for vital minerals like cobalt and copper, essential for electric vehicle batteries and other electronics, amidst increasing Chinese investments across Africa.

Jose Fernandez, the US State Department’s Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, highlighted that these conversations, occurring every four to six weeks, focus on supply agreements and the exploration of potential new mining projects. A significant outcome of these dialogues was a partnership deal involving Gecamines, Japan’s JOGMEC, and the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP), aiming to bolster the global supply chain for these critical minerals.

Fernandez emphasized the importance of diversifying supply sources and the preference of host countries for investment models that prioritize local workforce engagement and environmental stewardship, pointing out the drawbacks of systems that fail to address these aspects.

While Fernandez did not comment on specific acquisitions, such as the potential purchase of Canadian miner First Quantum’s assets in Zambia, he stressed ongoing efforts to enhance mining and regulatory frameworks in Zambia and Congo. icon

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