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India looking to Africa for Critical Minerals

Published: 29th Mar, 2024

Context

India is looking to Africa for minerals such as copper, cobalt and other critical minerals, while also engaging with Australia for lithium blocks.

What are Critical Minerals?

  • Critical minerals are elements that are the building blocks of essential modern-day technologies, and are at risk of supply chain disruptions.
  • These minerals are now used everywhere from making mobile phones, computers to batteries, electric vehicles and green technologies like solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Based on their individual needs and strategic considerations, different countries create their own lists.
  • Critical mineral in Africa:
    • Africa is home to 30 percentof the world’s known critical minerals.
    • Africa holds substantial reserves of bauxite, chromium, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, lithium, manganese, platinum, and uraniumto name just a few.

Fact Box: 30 Critical Minerals

  • The Centre has identified ‘30 critical minerals’, which are essential for the country’s economic development and national security:
    • Antimony, Beryllium, Bismuth, Cobalt, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Graphite, Hafnium, Indium, Lithium, Molybdenum, Niobium, Nickel, PGE, Phosphorous, Potash, REE, Rhenium, Silicon, Strontium, Tantalum, Tellurium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Zirconium, Selenium and Cadmium.
    • Ten minerals on the list are 100 per cent import-dependent. These are lithium cobalt, nickel, vanadium, niobium, germanium, rhenium, beryllium, tantalum, and strontium.

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