Mining Indaba 2024: What We Want

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At the 2024 Mining Indaba happening in Cape Town from 5 to 8 February, PWYP members advocate for African leaders to ensure that transition minerals bring genuine prosperity and development of the continent. Any commitment or deal made during those four days and beyond should ensure people and communities’ best interest.

Read more: Recommendations for a common African vision on transition minerals

What is happening?

Demand is soaring for the raw materials the world needs to secure a clean energy future. Africa has abundant reserves of these ‘transition minerals’ which are used in wind- and solar-powered technology and electric vehicle production. Fierce competition to secure these minerals is accelerating among foreign powers, spurred in part by China’s dominance in global mineral processing. In response, countries and blocks like the USA and European Union are securing deals for minerals bilaterally.

The extraction of minerals in Africa is already beset by corruption, profiteering, environmental damages and human rights abuses. The urgency and scale of the demand for Africa’s transition minerals will only increase pressure on producing countries to “fast-track” licensing and open up mining in sensitive and high risk areas. This will lead to increased corruption and human rights and environmental abuses, in particular land grabs, pollution and contamination of water and land.

There is a significant risk that rampant transition mineral extraction will leave African countries stuck as providers of raw materials with mining bringing  harm to local communities and the environment but none of the potential to provide domestic energy access for the people who own those minerals.

What can we do?

“Strategic minerals in Africa are being extracted at a fast pace to meet energy transition goals, but are human rights protection put on the table? Protecting communities’rights should be a major concern for governments prior to deal with extraction, including transparent consultation, gender inclusion, land rights and compensations” Valéry Ramaherison, PWYP Madagascar / Transparency International – Initiative Madagascar

There is a window of opportunity; a more mature discussion is emerging about Africa’s own vision for just transition, energy sovereignty and its transition minerals, including how they will be used, by whom and who will benefit from them. The annual Mining Indaba is a key moment when mining stakeholders, including African governments, companies and investors, are gathering to discuss the future of mining.

PWYP is calling them to ensure responsible and sustainable transition minerals, bringing prosperity and development to the African people, as well as guaranteeing the full respect of communities’ rights.

“African governments should ensure that whatever negotiations, commitments and/or deals made at the Mining Indaba should genuinely reflect the best interest of their citizens so as not to disadvantage them.” Tamika Halwiindi, PWYP Zambia / Transparency International Zambia

PWYP delegates are also engaging in the Alternative Mining Indaba to exchange and strategise with other civil society organisations:

“Participation in the AMI is significant to ensure communities’ and civil society voice in mining decisions at a regional level. Countries of the Sub-Saharan region face similar challenges and the AMI is an opportunity to share these challenges and best practices for improved mining governance in our respective countries.” Tamika Halwiindi

Read more: Wanted: a common vision for transition minerals extraction in Africa, op-ed by Nsama Chikwanka, National Coordinator of PWYP Zambia, 2023

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