Both Namibia and the DRC have recently made attempts to process lithium and cobalt domestically, preserving a key part of the value chain before export to China.

Published on Reuters, the Namibian government reportedly instructed police to prevent a Chinese company from exporting their lithium. The raw lithium ore from Xinfeng’s Kohero mine 250km north west of Windhoek was retained at the port Walvis Bay and returned to the mine. This follows a ban of exporting unprocessed lithium and other rare minerals, set in place in June 2023.

Reported in the Financial Times, Democratic Republic of Congo is preparing to designate pilot mines for processing. Buenessa and Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) are coordinating on the facility which will ensure more value is retained in the DRC.

Other minerals vital for energy storage include dysprosium and terbium needed for permanent magnets in the batteries of electric cars and wind turbines.