The US and Saudi Arabia are discussing strategic investments in African metal resources, signaling a move to secure a competitive edge in the global metal markets.
The United States and Saudi Arabia plan to purchase large amounts of metals in Africa to aid their “green” energy transitions, The Wall Street Journal said on Sunday.
The newspaper, citing people informed on the matter, said a Saudi State-backed enterprise will invest $15 billion in several African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Nambia. American companies are then expected to be awarded rights to buy some of the extracted metals, WSJ said.
The US is in fierce competition with China for supplies of cobalt, lithium, and other metals essential for various products. The battery market alone was worth upward of a hundred billion US dollars in 2022 and is projected to continue its steady growth in the future, according to Statista.
In July, Saudi Arabia’s mining company Ma’aden and the Saudi Public Investment Fund bought 10% of Brazill’s Vale base metal unit, while US investment firm Engine No.1 acquired 3%.