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30 May 2024

CMA 2024 to Explore Translating Mineral Policy into Tangible Projects

CMA 2024 to Explore Translating Mineral Policy into Tangible Projects
Global demand for critical minerals is projected to grow three-fold by 2040, highlighting a strategic opportunity for African producers to increase output and the development of untapped mineral deposits. A shift in focus by global players towards African projects has created an opportunity for the continent to leverage new and existing regulations to attract foreign investment in mining.

The Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) 2024 Summit – taking place November 6–7 in Cape Town – will host a ministerial panel session, discussing policy frameworks, regulatory reforms and best practices to help African critical mineral producers attract investments and meet global demand.

Rising demand has not only highlighted an opportunity for African producers to raise output, but redirect capital towards undeveloped segments of the domestic mineral market. Policy is already being leveraged to achieve this. Notably, Tanzania will end the export of unprocessed lithium from 31 May 2024. The strategic policy aims to attract investments across the midstream sector in a bid to add value to Tanzania’s lithium resources. Similar policies have been implemented in Zimbabwe, Mali and Ghana, and have already led to the development of infrastructure across the mining value chain.

Zimbabwe has attracted over $1.2 billion in new investments in its lithium industry between 2021 and 2023, including a $300 million investment made by Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt into a 450,000 metric ton lithium processing plant at Arcadia Mine in 2023. In Ghana, Australian firm Atlantic Lithium announced a $185 million investment into a lithium processing plant at the Ewoyaa Lithium project in 2023. China’s Ganfeng Lithium has increased its stake in phase one of Mali’s Goulamina Lithium project and will start production at the project’s spodumene mine this year.

In addition to export restrictions, the implementation of regulation has streamlined investments in African minerals, enhancing investor certainty and clarifying contractual terms for foreign companies. Examples include Zambia’s Mineral Regulations Commission Bill of 2023; Angola's Privatization Program; Mali’s Mining Code of 2023; the Democratic Republic of Congo's New Mining Code of 2018, and many more. These policies have improved the enabling environment for investment and are poised to attract a fresh slate of regional and global mineral companies.

The adoption of investor-friendly policies has already proven instrumental in attracting capital to African mining projects and the CMA 2024 ministerial panel will further unpack the role policy plays in turning ambition into action. Titled, Empowering Africa’s Critical Minerals Industry for Global Leadership, the CMA panel will connect African projects with global investors by providing deep insights into attractive policies, national objectives and strategic regulatory practices.

CMA is the largest gathering of critical mineral stakeholders in Africa. Taking place from November 6 – 7 in Cape Town, the event positions Africa as the primary investment destination for critical minerals. This year’s edition takes place under the theme Innovate, Enact, Invest in African Critical Minerals to Sustain Global Growth, connecting African mining projects and regulators with global investors and stakeholders to untap the full potential of the continent’s raw materials. Sponsors, exhibitors and delegates can learn more by contacting [email protected].