Climate Change Action Could Set Off Copper Mining Boom in Zambia

At last year's U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, the U.S. signed an historic memorandum of understanding with Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to develop an electric vehicle battery supply chain. At the summit, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema also announced that Kobold metals, an exploration firm backed by billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, will invest US$150 million to develop a new mine in Zambia.

Zambia is particularly well positioned to supply what the world needs. It has substantial reserves of copper and cobalt, critical metals for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Due to their broad uses in wind and solar powered technology and electric vehicle production, these metals will play a crucial role in a low carbon future, write Twivwe Siwale and Eric Werker for The Conversation Africa.

Copper mining is crucial to the Zambian economy and is responsible for three-quarters of Zambia's export earnings. But while financial markets have celebrated such steps, many poor Zambians say they have yet to see the benefits.

InFocus

A copper mine in Zambia (file photo).

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