The conference and exhibition aims to unite African mining and energy policymakers, companies and investors with global counterparts.

Hosted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and organised by Energy Capital & Power (ECP), the African Critical Minerals Summit is scheduled for 6-7 November at the Sandton Conference Centre in Johannesburg.

The conference and exhibition aims to unite African mining and energy policymakers, companies and investors with global counterparts to showcase investment opportunities within South Africa and Africa’s burgeoning critical minerals industry.

The summit was launched at a high-level breakfast event late last week and was attended by high-level mining and energy delegations from both the private and public sector, including Botlhale Seageng, director of investment promotion at the DMRE; Willem Meintjies, acting executive manager, Integrated Geoscience Development at the Council for Geoscience; and Allan Edwards, chef de bureau at the High Commission of Canada.

“The summit will help us define our resources and how to exploit them. Defining what critical minerals are will be essential for Africa to implement a clear roadmap on how to maximise the exploitation and monetisation of these resources for value addition into economies,” said Seageng.

Role of research and development

Expanding on the role improved research and development of the industry plays in driving market growth, Meintjies, noted that the optimisation of South Africa’s critical minerals sector starts with geology.

“We have a lot of data and information around South Africa’s critical minerals reserves with our 120 years of operations. As a country, we are still defining, in the context of the energy transition, what our critical minerals are,” he noted, adding that there is a huge demand for battery energy storage across the world.

“We are conducting a lot of research to identify the critical role we can play to help meet the growing demand.”

Global cooperation needed

Speaking about the need for improved cooperation among global economies and stakeholders, Edwards showcased Canada’s openness to partner with South Africa and Africa as a whole in maximising the exploration and exploitation of critical minerals to shape the global transition.

“The launch of the summit is key for South Africa and Africa to partner with the world. Canada identified 31 key critical minerals which we will work with the world to monetise and exploit. We hope South Africa can follow that lead. It is very critical that South Africa and Canada, as superpowers in mining of critical minerals, cooperate and with global parties,” he said.

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