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How Far Ahead Is China in the Battery Race? Pretty Far.

A chart published in Financial Times showing the location of the global battery supply chain. Note that Chinese companies control large sections of both cobalt and nickel extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia, respectively

China is sprinting ahead in the global race for critical minerals used to make batteries for electric cars, leaving Western competitors scrambling to catch up. Chinese companies’ early investment into the extraction of lithium and cobalt in Africa was key to this success, according to a detailed new report by the Financial Times.

Six African countries are emerging as major sources of lithium: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Ethiopia. Beyond extracting raw ore, Chinese companies are increasingly investing in refining on the continent.

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