During the recent “Investing in Africa Mining” conference, China was revealed to have remained as the biggest investor in mining in Africa, despite the dramatic falls in commodity prices from 2011 to 2015.
According to mining experts, Africa has enough mineral resources to satisfy the development needs of China, as well as other developing countries in Asia. On the other hand, the huge demand for mineral resources by China will be very helpful to the troubled mining industry of Africa.
As for the US’ response to this relationship between the two countries, Intarsia Capital chief executive Graeme Robertson stated that the country will have to boost its own production of resources, which will result in a restructuring of international political alliances. He also said that, while the US never had a huge influence on mining in Africa, the continent has been very attractive to Asian businesses wanting to invest in the industry. Commenting on this matter during the conference, he stated:
“The investment coming into Africa is Chinese, in Mozambique it’s Japanese, there is South Korea money coming in and interestingly a lot of Indonesia money coming in.”
Seeing all the deals that China is making across Africa, it is easy to say that the country is truly committed to mining in the continent. One of the biggest of these deals is the one by Shandon Iron and Steel, in which the company will invest heavily in the mining sector of Sierra Leone. Specifically, the company intends to invest $700 million in an iron ore processing plant that it acquired in 2015 from African Minerals. According to its executives, the minerals extracted at this facility will be taken to China.
On a related note, South Africa has also signed an agreement with Japan to develop geoscientific knowledge and study clean coal and related technologies.