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mining indaba - chinese investment in african mining | mining indaba
For the first time in many years, the Chinese New Year doesnt take place at the same time as Mining Indaba. Weve been hitting the road in Shanghai and Beijing, promoting Africas myriad opportunities to Chinese investors.
This resource-rich continent is a gold mine for Chinese investment quite literally in some cases so join us as we examine the impact and activity Chinas mega investors are having on African mining.
For starters, China is generating massive, massive demand for metallic and mineral goods. As the worlds factory, Chinese companies produces a huge range of goods needing a gargantuan volume of raw materials.
African mineral output provides fuel for Chinas export-driven economy. Through investment in mining companies and developments, Chinese companies are therefore securing an almost private raw material supply.
FDI also savvy business sense. Africas mining sector is one of the worlds most exciting in terms of greenfield development and industry growth. Getting in at the ground level, either through acquisitions, joint ventures, or careful project investment, places Chinese companies in a good position to capitalise on large-scale monetary rewards mining can bring.
Africa has long been on Chinas radar. We can see this in the growth of inward cash flows between 2010 and 2011. The Commodity Discovery Fund, quoting figures supplied by CMA, reached $217bn a year-on-year increase of $140bn.
A report from the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) states that, between 2005 and 2017, Chinese firms supplied $58bn to the continental mining and mineral extraction industries. That represents a third of Chinese FDI in international mining operations during the review period.
If youre already familiar with Africas mineral wealth, youll know the continent sits upon trillions of dollars worth of extractable resources. A great number of these are essential for Chinese manufacturing.
Africa holds an estimated 90% of the worlds entire reserves of platinum and cobalt, 50% of global gold, 35% of the world supply of uranium, and two-thirds of all manganese. Another key mineral is coltan, an essential component for electronic and mobile phones, which Africa holds 75% of.
Countries across Africa are leading producers of this wide variety of metals and minerals. For instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo produces around 50% of all the worlds cobalt, while South Africa controls 95% of global platinum group metals.
Since 2006, the number of continental countries seeing an influx of Chinese money or activity has greatly expanded, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lets take a look at some of the important regions Chinese miners are interested in.
Battery metals are in exceptionally high-demand, thanks largely to advances in electric vehicle production and mobile phone design. Mali is proving to be a key source of lithium, one of the most important ingredients of batteries.
One key development in securing worldwide, and Chinese, lithium supplies are Goulamina, a mine holding 31.2m tons of the in-demand metal. 100% owned by Australia-listed Mali Lithium, this mine has garnered keen interest from China Minmetals.
Chris Evans, MD of Mali Lithium, said in a press release: China Minmetals is a Chinese government-owned US$470 billion company with considerable research, funding, offtake, engineering and construction capability.
They have completed extensive due diligence and analysis of the Goulamina Project and it is a testament to the quality, scale and potential of the project, and a vote of confidence in our management that they want to further our relationship.
Minmetals hosted Mali Lithium at their facility in Changsha in May and their presentations to us confirmed that China is thinking long term when considering the future of the electric vehicle and power storage industries.
As BRICS partners, China and South Africa have a robust trading relationship, built primarily on South African mineral exports to supply. 85% of South African exports to China are precious metals and minerals. As such, China is keen to keep SA mining and metallurgic operations going for its domestic metal demand.
It was announced in 2018 that $10bn from a group of Chinese investors will go towards building a metallurgical complex, built by the China International Railway Group and partners Baobab Mining, by SA President Cyril Ramaphosa.
This is the tip of an economic iceberg when it comes to Chinas monetary presence in South Africas mining industry. PGMs are of huge importance to Chinese industry and are subsequently subject of much FDI.
Weziwe Platinum, for example, has been provided with a $650m loan from the China Development Bank to keep output coming. Interestingly, this loan is at a much smaller interest rate than the standard, 3.8% vs. 8%, characteristic of financing offered by Chinese institutes to projects considered highly strategic in value.
Tsingchan Holding Group has inked a series of deals that will see the firm mine chrome, iron ore, nickel, and coal across Zimbabwe. The value of the deal, signed between Tsignchan and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Mines in April 2019, is worth $2bn, rising to a potential $10bn. It also has scope to include lithium mining too.
"The initial MOU signed last year was targeting to produce 550,000 tonnes of ferrochrome for consumption in Mvuma only but we are now targeting 1 million tons for consumption in Mvuma and for export," Mines Minister Winston Chitando said.
Want to learn more about whats to come for the African mining industry straight from experts within the field?Click here to enquire about sponsorship and exhibition spaces at Investing in African Mining Indaba 2020.