The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has some of the world’s largest reserves of minerals and is on its way to becoming a leading supplier of metals for the green energy transition, according to President Felix Tshisekedi. He stated that the country will begin exploring for minerals such as nickel and chrome in the Kasai region in the near future. The DRC is inviting new partners to join in exploration and investment in the processing of cobalt, tantalum, tin, and lithium. The country has recently established a national geological service to oversee exploration and is taking steps to improve the business and regulatory environment to attract new investment.
The DRC is home to more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt supply, which is used in battery manufacturing, and is also one of the largest copper producers globally. However, the country remains one of the poorest in the world despite its wealth of minerals, as very little of the revenue from natural resource exploitation has contributed to the DRC’s overall development or to the improvement of its people’s living standards.
The president acknowledged that the country requires international assistance in terms of financing and exploration, as only 20% of the country has been explored. He invited financiers, mining operators, equipment manufacturers, subcontractors, and recyclers to contribute to the country’s development.
Despite its wealth of resources, the DRC has the potential to establish a special economic zone around lithium deposits in the southeast region, which could attract new investment to the country. With the right support and investment, the DRC has the potential to become a leading player in the global green energy transition.