US Engages in Regular Discussions with Congo’s Gecamines on Cobalt and Copper, Official Confirms

US Engages in Regular Discussions with Congo's Gecamines
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US Engages in Regular Discussions with Congo’s Gecamines on Cobalt and Copper, Official Confirms

The United States maintains regular communication with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state miner Gecamines, according to a senior State Department official. This engagement is part of Washington’s broader strategy to strengthen relationships with key suppliers of cobalt and copper in Africa.

The significance of these discussions stems from China’s significant investment in mineral-rich African countries like Congo and Zambia. Given the strategic importance of cobalt and copper for industries such as electric vehicles and electronics, Washington aims to diversify its sources of these critical minerals.

Jose Fernandez, the U.S. State Department’s under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment, stated that the conversations with Gecamines revolve around supply agreements and potential new mining projects. These discussions occur regularly, approximately every four to six weeks, indicating the importance Washington places on securing access to critical minerals.

The Mineral Security Partnership (MSP), a multinational initiative involving over a dozen countries and the European Union, recently struck a deal with Gecamines and Japan’s JOGMEC. This partnership underscores the collaborative effort to invest in global supply chains and reduce reliance on single suppliers.

Fernandez emphasized the importance of avoiding dependency on a single supplier, highlighting the need for diverse investment and responsible mining practices. The U.S. government aims to promote sustainable mining practices and regulatory frameworks in partnership with African countries like Zambia and Congo.

While Washington seeks to diversify its mineral supply chains and enhance its engagement in Africa’s mining sector, Fernandez clarified that the goal is not to counter China’s influence directly. Instead, the focus is on fostering mutually beneficial partnerships and supporting African countries in improving their mining standards and governance.

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