China Solidifies its Dominance: The Exploitation of African Lithium for Electric Vehicles is on the Rise

China's efforts to secure lithium resources from Africa are bearing fruit while demand for the mineral is growing fast. Chinese companies have invested in mines and processing facilities in many African countries rich in lithium, aiming to secure a stable supply of the mineral to supply their domestic EV industry.

China's interest in African lithium resources is driven by the country's ambitious plans to transition to electric vehicles and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. As the world's largest EV market, China requires a substantial supply of lithium to support its growing demand and output of electric cars.

However, there are growing calls from environmental and human rights activists and organizations calling out China’s extraction of lithium from Africa. Critics argue that the rush to secure lithium resources could lead to environmental degradation, exploitation of local communities, and poor labor practices.

On top of that, the US is also eyeing African lithium, driven by their own EV revolution, and has reached some early cooperation agreements. Although it still lags China regarding investments in the region, greater competition could complicate the latter’s plans in the long run.

Source: Bloomberg