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Climate Change Dilemma: How Can the Global South Get Rich from Their Own Minerals?

Local workers at the massive Chinese-owned Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Image: Emmet Livingstone / AFP

This week, the Democratic Republic of Congo convened its inaugural DRC-Africa Battery Metals Forum in Kinshasa. Under the theme “Creating Wealth for the DRC and Africa’s Battery Metals Industry Value Chain,” the event tackles an issue that has preoccupied many Global South countries. Considering that everyone wants their minerals, why are they still so poor? And how could that change?

Most of the world’s strategic minerals that will be used in green tech is located in the Global South, including cobalt (70% produced in the DRC), Platinum group metals (90% of global reserves in South Africa), Lithium (41% in Chile), Nickel (22% in Indonesia), Thorium (25% in India) and manganese (40% in South Africa).

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What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


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