• 1
    International Energy Agency, The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions (2021),….
  • 2
    In this report we refer to both Africa north and south of the Sahara. When we mean one of the sub-regions we specify as such.
  • 3
    IEA (2021); Clyde Russell, “Mining is key to energy transition, but it’s still unloved,” Reuters, 11 May 2022,…; Jairo Yunis and Elmira Aliakbari, Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2020 (Fraser Institute, 2021), www.fraserinstitute. org/studies/annual-survey-of-mining-companies-2020.
  • 4
    See, for example, Natural Resource Governance Institute, Natural Resource Charter 2nd edition (2014),
  • 5
    Natural Resource Governance Institute, Resource Governance Index: From Legal Reform to Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa (2018),
  • 6
    Africa Climate Foundation, Geopolitics of Critical Minerals in Renewable Energy Supply Chains (2022),
  • 7
    See for example, Cooper Inveen, “Atlantic Lithium’s Ghana mine poised to being production by 2024,” Reuters, 20 September 2022,….
  • 8
    As demonstrated by recent discussions between a U.S.-led group of rich countries and mineral producers such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Tanzania. Julian Pecquet, “US looks to Africa to
    diversify supply chain for critical minerals,” The Africa Report, 23 September 2022.….
  • 9
    Glada Llahn and Paul Stevens, The curse of the one-size-fits-all fix, UNU-WIDER Working Paper (United Nations University, 2017), For further assessment of donors’ activities in the past, both positive and negative lessons, see: Joanna Buckley, Neil McCulloch and Nick Travis, Donor-supported approaches to improving extractives governance, UNU-WIDER Working Paper (United Nations University, 2017),; Siân Herbert and Laura Bolton, Donor activity in the extractives sector (Knowledge, evidence and learning for development, 2018),
  • 10
    Although this estimate includes emissions resulting from the investments by each group. Lucas Chancel, “Global carbon inequality over 1990–2019,” Nature Sustainability (2022), doi. org/10.1038/s41893-022-00955-z.
  • 11
    For Further reading on this dilemma and the arguments between the proponents of “green growth” and “degrowth, see: Alex Bowen and Samuel Fankhauser, “The Green Growth Narrative: Paradigm Shift or Just Spin? Global Environmental Change-human and Policy Dimensions,” Global Environmental Change, 21 (2021), 1157-1159, DOI: I:10.1016/j. gloenvcha.2011.07.007; Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, Random House Business Books, London, 2017; Jason Hickel, “What does degrowth mean? A few points of clarification,” Globalizations, 18:7 (2021), 1105-1111, DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2020.1812222.
  • 12
    McKinsey & Company, “The raw-materials challenges: How the metals and mining sector will be at the core of enabling the energy transition” (2022), com/industries/metals-and-mining/our-insights/the-raw-materials-challenge-how-the-metals-and-mining-sector-will-be-at-the-core-of-enabling-the-energy-transition.
  • 13
    McKinsey & Company, “Metal mining constraints on the electric mobility horizon” (2018),….
  • 14
    McKinsey (2018)
  • 15
    NRGI analysis, based on Net Zero Tracker. “Net Zero Tracker,” Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, Data-Driven EnviroLab, NewClimate Institute, Oxford Net Zero (2022),
  • 16
    Pratima Desai, “Low carbon world needs $1.7 trillion in mining investment,” Reuters, 10 May 2021,…
  • 17
    Based on S&P Global Market Intelligence data and U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries 2022, 2022, These sources sometimes differ significantly. An average is taken when the reported amounts are similar. When they are not, a third source is used to determine which is likely to be more accurate.
  • 18
    NRGI analysis based on reserves reported in the S&P Globaldatabase and U.S. Geological Survey (2022), and the mineral volumes in a standard electric vehicle in IEA (2021).
  • 19
    See for example, World Bank, “New World Bank Survey Brings Hope to Malawi’s Mineral Potential,” 22 September 2015,….
  • 20
    International Energy Agency, Global Supply Chains of EV Batteries (2022),
  • 21
    African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), “Unveiled: The #AMDC’s Theory of Change: A prosperous and transformed Africa achieved through sustainable development of mineral and energy resources...” Twitter post (11 October 2022),
  • 22
    Based on S&P Global data and U.S. Geological Survey (2022). These sources sometimes differ significantly. An average is taken when the reported amounts are similar. When they are not, a third source is used to determine which is likely to be more accurate.
  • 23
    The correlation between exploration and mineral reserves per square kilometer is 0.79. The figure compares exploration for all metals except gold from 2002 to 2021 with current value of transition mineral reserves. Exploration spend, reserves and prices from S&P Global Market Intelligence; land area data from
  • 24
    The correlation between the Resource Governance Index and Policy Potential Index scores is 0.5. The NRGI Resource Governance Index measures the transparency and accountability of mining institutions. The Policy Potential Index (PPI) in the Fraser Institute survey shows the attractiveness of a country’s policies to investors. The PPI score reported in the figure is an average of the scores from 2017 to 2021 where available, and average across jurisdictions for countries that have several. Some countries have low survey response rates, between 5 to 9 respondents. Natural Resource Governance Institute, “Resource Governance Index 2017,” 2017,; Yunis and Aliakbari (2021).
  • 25
    African Minerals Development Centre, Desktop Review of African Geological Survey Organisation Capacities and Gaps (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2018),
  • 26
    Antony Sguazzin, “South Africa Sets 900 Million Annual Mineral Exploration Target,” Bloomberg, 12 April 2022,….
  • 27
    Oil exploration investment is known to correlated strongly with the quality of governance in a country, and it seems likely that a similar pattern holds for mineral exploration. See James Cust and Harding Torfinn, “Institutions and the Location of Oil Exploration”, Journal of the European Economic Association (2019).
  • 28
    Richard Schodde, “Key issues affecting the time delay between discovery and development – is it getting harder and longer?” PDAC 2014, 3 March 2014, Toronto.
  • 29
    Summary of five studies. The outlier is the McKinsey study (7 to 10 years), but this was based on “large-scale greenfield assets” only. Like findings of Schodde (2021), which highlights that large projects are quicker. McKinsey (2022); IEA (2021); Tehmina Khan, Trang Nguyen, Franziska Ohnsorge, and Richard Schodde, “From Commodity Discovery to Production,” Policy Research Working Paper (World Bank, 2016); Paul Manalo, “Top mines average time from discovery to production: 16.9 years,” Metals and Mining Research S&P Global Market Intelligence (2020); Schodde (2014).
  • 30
    IEA (2021)
  • 31
    Schodde (2021) and Khan et al. (2016)
  • 32
    David Humphreys, “The mining industry and the supply of critical minerals,” Critical Minerals Handbook, Gus Gunn (ed.), chapter 2, 2013.
  • 33
    Khan et al. (2016)
  • 34
    Several of the experts interviewed for this report suggested that this is the main opportunity for shortening lead times.
  • 35
    David Manley, Patrick R.P. Heller and William Davis, No Time to Waste: Governing Cobalt Amid the Energy Transition (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2022),
  • 36
    Matt Renaud and Mustafa Kumral, “Out of the Comfort Zone: Quantifying Country Risk for Foreign Mining Project Investment Feasibilities,” Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, 38, 2323-2335 (2021),
  • 37
    Based on S&P Global data and U.S. Geological Survey (2022). These sources sometimes differ significantly. An average is taken when the reported amounts are similar. When they are not, a third source is used to determine which is likely to be more accurate.
  • 38
    Henry Sanderson, “Vedanta starts arbitration against Zambia after mines seized,“ Financial Times, 31 May 2019.
  • 39
    Julia Tilley, “Labour talks 217: Escondida and other stories,” S&P Global Market Intelligence, Metals and Mining Research, 23 February 2017.
  • 40
    Keval Dhokia, “Global copper pipeline challenged due to disruption,” S&P Global Market Intelligence, Metals and Mining Research, 18 June 2019.
  • 41
    Sudarshan Varadhan, “Indian state seeks permanent closure of Vedanta’s copper smelter: officials,” Reuters, 24 May 2018.
  • 42
    Dhokia (2019)
  • 43
    Misha Savic, Jan Bratanic and Thomas Biesheuvel, “Europe’s Biggest Lithium Mine Blocked as Rio Loses in Serbia,” Bloomberg, 20 January 2022,….
  • 44
    Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency, A Study on Viability to Construct a Copper Concentrate Smelter in Tanzania (2011),….
  • 45
    Africa Confidential, “Local processing row holds up rare earth mine,” 25 October 2022,….
  • 46
    Reuters, “Timeline: The battle for Simandou,” 22 January 2021,
  • 47
    Magnus Ericsson and Olof Löf, “Mining’s contribution to national economies between 1996 and 2016,” Mineral Economics, 223–250 (2019),
  • 48
    Net savings plus education expenditure and minus energy depletion, mineral depletion, net forest depletion, and carbon dioxide and particulate emissions damage. NRGI analysis of World Bank, “World Development Indicators,” accessed 28 September 2022,
  • 49
    Anthony J. Venables, “Using Natural Resources for Development: Why Has It Proven So Difficult?” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30:1, 161–184 (2016) doi. org/10.1257/jep.30.1.161.
  • 50
    Giorgia Albertin, Boriana Yontcheva, Dan Devlin, Hilary Devine, Marc Gerard, Sebastian Beer, Irena Jankulov Suljagic and Vimal V. Thakoor, Tax Avoidance in Sub-Saharan Africa’s Mining Sector, Departmental Paper No 2021/022 (International Monetary Fund, 2021),…
  • 51
    See for example, South African Human Rights Commission, National Hearing on the Underlying Socio-economic Challenges of Mining-affected Communities in South Africa (2016),…
  • 52
    See, for example, Claude Kabemba, “How mineral resources can fuel the development of Africa in the context of post-Covid economic recovery,” Publish What You Pay Annual Conference, 14-15 March 2021,….
  • 53
    See, for example, African Development Bank, Request for Expressions of Interest, 2022,….
  • 54
    Other partners currently include African Legal Support Facility, Africa Finance Corporation, Afreximbank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and United Nations Development Programme.
  • 55
    African Development Bank, “Why Africa is the next renewables powerhouse,” 7 December 2018,…
  • 56
    Manley et al (2022)
  • 57
    Through Power Africa (, for example.
  • 58
    Reserves data is from S&P Global Market Intelligence and U.S. Geological Survey. The above ground assets of a country comprise its power and transport infrastructure, human capital and other productive capabilities, level of environmental protection and investment climate. They have been converted to a regional index of 0-100.
    The data is from multiple sources: African Development Bank, The Africa Infrastructure Development Index (AIDI) 2020, 2020,…; World Bank, “World Development Indicators”; African Development Bank, Electricity Regulatory Index (ERI) for Africa, 2021, 2021,; World Intellectual Property Organization, Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, 2021,; Harvard Growth Lab, “The Atlas of Economic Complexity,” accessed 20 September 2022,; Environmental Protection Index, “2022 Environmental Protection Index (2022),” accessed 20 September 2022,; World Bank, “Doing Business 2020,” accessed 20 September 2022,…; S&P Global, “Control Risks Country Risk Summary,” accessed 20 September 2022,
  • 59
    Southern African Development Community and African Minerals Development Centre, Developing a Regional Mining Vision for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), 2018.
  • 60
    Manley et al (2022)
  • 61
    Emily Hersh, Alex Grant and Chris Berry, So, You Want to make Batteries Too? (Payne Institute, 2020),
  • 62
  • 63
    See for example, African Development Bank, Lithium-Cobalt Value Chain Analysis for Mineral Based Industrialization in Africa (2021),….
  • 64
    McKinsey & Company, Power to move: Accelerating the electric transport transition in sub-Saharan Africa (2022),…- aharan-africa.
  • 65
    BloombergNEF, The Cost of Producing Battery Precursors in the DRC (2021), about.
  • 66
    Mohua Mukherjee, India’s Mass-Market Clean Mobility Initiatives and its Unique, Customized Business Models for Light Electric Vehicles (The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, 2022),….
  • 67
    Rwanda Ministry of Infrastructure, Strategic Paper on Electric Mobility Adaption in Rwanda (2021),….
  • 68
    Manley et al (2022)
  • 69
    IEA (2022)
  • 70
    See for example World Gold Council, Responsible gold mining and value distribution, 2013 report (2013),….
  • 71
    World Gold Council (2013). Mining Shared Value has indicated these figures are representative of wider sector trends.
  • 72
    Jeff Geipel, Mining Shared Value, interview with authors, 25 September 2022.
  • 73
    Government of Canada, “Minerals Sector Employment,” January 2019,…; Mets Ignited, “METS in Australia,” accessed 28 September 2022,
  • 74
    Aaron Cosbey and Isabelle Ramdoo, Guidance for Governments: Local Content Policies (Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, 2018), igf-guidance-for-governments-local-content.pdf; International Finance Corporation, Guide to Getting Started in Local Procurement (2011),…; Mining Shared Value and Engineers Without Borders, The Mining Local Procurement Reporting Mechanism (LPRM) (2017),
  • 75
    See for example, activities of the Industrial Development Corporation ( and Anglo American’s Zimele programs (
  • 76
    Southern Africa Resource Watch, From Harmonisation of Policies to the Manufacturing of Lithium Batteries in Southern Africa: Collaboration between DRC and Zambia (2022),….
  • 77
    Jeff Geipel, Mining Shared Value, interview with authors, 25 September 2022.
  • 78
    Giorgia Albertin et al (2021). Note that the definition of mineral-dependent does not overlap with which countries have substantial reserves of transition minerals.
  • 79
    Ibid. The IMF estimates the 15 mineral-rich countries earned mining revenues equals 2 percent of GDP on average. This amounts to $13 billion a year.
  • 80
    For example, if companies were to adhere to more responsible tax practices such as the B Team Responsible Tax Principles. See The B Team, “Advancing Responsible Tax Practice,” accessed 28 September 2022,….
  • 81
    Yannick Bouterige, Céline de Quatrebarbes and Bertrand Laporte, Mining Taxation in Africa: What Evolution in 2018? (International Centre for Tax and Development, 2020),
  • 82
    Giorgia Albertin et al (2021).
  • 83
    For example, a study of contracts on revealed that Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, Madagascar and Mali had agreed stabilization clauses lasting 30- 34 years on average—significantly longer than necessary to ensure the bankability of projects. Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development, Insights on Incentives: Tax Competition in Mining (2019),…; Natural Resource Governance Institute,
  • 84
    NRGI analysis using S&P Global mineral reserves and price data. Prices are near-term forecasts and therefore may be elevated compared to the longer-term trend.
  • 85
    NRGI analysis. On average, 16 percent of mining sales revenue has gone to tax payments. See Robert Pitman and Kaisa Toroskainen, Beneath the surface: The Case for Oversight of Extractive Industry Suppliers (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2020)
    This figure aligns with estimates in other studies: Olle Östensson, Local content, supply chains, and shared infrastructure, UNU-WIDER Working Paper (United Nations University, 2017),…; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Total Tax Contribution: A study of the economic contribution mining companies make to public finances (2010),
  • 86
    Anthony J. Venables (2016) and Natural Resource Governance Institute (2014).
  • 87
    NRGI (2017), “Resource Governance Index 2017.” There was a small improvement in a smaller sample of countries covered by the 2021 edition of the Resource Governance Institute.
  • 88
    Anna Fleming, Thomas Lassourd and David Manley, “Variable Royalties: an Answer to Volatile Mineral Prices?” in Handbook on the Future of Resource Taxation, African Tax Administration Forum and Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (forthcoming),
  • 89
    Robert Pitman, “Contract Disclosure Policy and Practice Tracker,” accessed 15 October 2022,
  • 90
    Based on membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (
  • 91
    Natural Resource Governance Institute, “Chile country profile,” accessed 5 October 2022,
  • 92
    Transparency International, “Corruption Perceptions Index 2021,”
  • 93
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Corruption and Sustainable Development (no date),…
  • 94
    K.C. Michaels, Louis Maréchal and Benjamin Katz, “Why is ESG so important to critical mineral supplies, and what can we do about it?” (International Energy Agency, 2022)…
  • 95
    Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Making the grade: Strengthening governance of critical minerals,
  • 96
    Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI Standard 2019, eiti-standard#EITI-Requirements-2019; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (2016),…; Alexandra Gillies, Sebastian Sahla, Matthieu Salomon and Tom Shipley, Diagnosing Corruption in the Extractive Sector: A Tool for Research and Action (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2021)….
  • 97
    Colombia National Mining Agency, Management and Corruption Risk Matrices of the ANM approved by the Institutional Management
    and Performance Committee on 01/27/2022
     (2022),; Robert Pitman and Kaisa Toroskainen, “BHP, Others Increase Scrutiny of Subcontracting Corruption Risks” (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2018)….
  • 98
    Alexandra Gillies, “Will Extractive Companies Move Away from Corruption- Prone Intermediaries?”, (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2019)….
  • 99
    Natural Resource Governance Institute, Anticorruption Guidance for Partners of State-Owned Enterprises (2022),
  • 100
    Favour Ime and Louise Russell-Prywata, “Beneficial ownership transparency and the fight against grand corruption in Nigeria” (Open Ownership, 2022),….
  • 101
    Nqobile Dludla, “South Africa mine dam wall collapses, Killing 1 and injuring 40,” Reuters, 11 September 2022,….
  • 102
    Kirsten Hund and Erik Reed, “A low-carbon future must protect the world’s forests” (World Bank, 2019),….
  • 103
    NRGIcalculationsusingscope1,2and3 emissions (excluding fugitive methane and emissions from the combustion of coal) reported by Lindsay Delevingne, Will Glazener, Liesbet Grégoir and Kimberly Henderson, “Climate risk and decarbonisation: What every mining CEO needs to know,” McKinsey & Company, 2020…. Total global emissions are for 2019 from Climate Watch, “Global Historical Emissions,” accessed 18 September 2022,
  • 104
    See for example, Éléonore Lèbre, Martin Stringer, Kamila Svobodova, John R. Owen, Deanna Kemp, Claire Côte, Andrea Arratia-Solar and Rick K. Valenta, “The social and environmental complexities of extracting energy transition metals,” Nature Communications, 11: 4823 (2020),
  • 105
    IEA (2021)
  • 106
  • 107
    World Bank, “Climate Change Knowledge Portal,” accessed 28 September 2022,
  • 108
    NRGI (2017)
  • 109
    Cameroon is one exception, with its new cadastre system preventing licenses being granted that overlap protected areas. Several companies also have a no-go policy, though only for World Heritage sites. See for example ICMM, “ICMM calls for stronger legal protection of World Heritage Sites,” 2016,….
  • 110
    Abbi Buxton, People and nature first: safeguards needed in mining exploration (International Institute for Environment and Development, 2021)
  • 111
    See for example in Colombia: Lorenzo Cotula, Investment disputes from below: whose rights matter? (International Institute for Environment and Development, 2020),
  • 112
    Nicola Woodroffe and Tim Grice, Beyond Revenues: Measuring and Valuing Environmental and Social Impacts in Extractive Sector Governance (Natural Resource Governance Institute, 2019),….
  • 113
    IFC, E&S Performance Standards (2012),…; IGF, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (2020),
  • 114
    Daniel Whyte, “Forest finance: how Gabon earned the first payment for conservation in Africa,” Climate Tracker, 8 December 2021,
  • 115
    See for example Taako Edema George, Kiemo Karatu, and Andama Edward, “An evaluation of the environmental impact assessment practice in Uganda: challenges and opportunities for achieving sustainable development,” Heliyon 6(9), 2020,
  • 116
    See for example Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Guiding Principles for Durable Extractive Contracts (2019), extractive_contracts.pdf; United Nations Human Rights Office
    of the High Commissioner, Principles for Responsible Contracts: Integrating the Management of Human Rights Risks into State-Investor Contract Negotiations- Guidance for Negotiators (2015),…; and NRGI (2014).
  • 117
    See for example Reuters, “South Africa’s Gold Fields bets on solar to cut costs and carbon,” 13 October 2022,….
  • 118
    U.N. Climate Change Conference UK 2021, “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use,” 2021,
  • 119
    Frances Seymour, Tony La Vina and Kristen Hite, Evidence linking community-level tenure and forest condition: An annotated bibliography (Climate and Land Use Alliance, 2015),….
  • 120
    Peter G. Veit, “9 Facts about Community Land and Climate Mitigation” (World Resources Institute, 2021)
  • 121
    Development Bank of Southern Africa, African Environmental Assessment Legislation Handbook: Consultation Draft, 2021,
  • 122
    United Nations Development Programme, Participatory Environmental Monitoring Committees in Mining Contexts, 2019,….
  • 123
    Jonathan Watts, “Murders of environment and land defenders hit record high,” The Guardian, 13 September 2021,….
  • 124
    NRGI (2017), “Resource Governance Index 2017.” There was a small improvement in a smaller sample of countries covered by the 2021 edition of the Resource Governance Institute.


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Tsavo East National Park Kenya. Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash.