Lithium Mining in Africa: Corruption, Human Rights Abuses and Environmental Devastation

Australia, Chile and China currently dominate global lithium supply, but Africa also has great potential. About 5% of the world’s lithium ore reserves are located there, and lithium mining is already underway in some places.

Currently, only Zimbabwe and Namibia export lithium ore, but several other countries are already exploring lithium mining.

The Namibian Union of Miners has indicated that local workers in a lithium mine in Namibia run by a Chinese company have been complaining for months about poor living conditions and unsafe working conditions. Meanwhile, the non-profit organization “Global Witness” accuses Chinese companies of neglecting environmental requirements and buying mines using bribes.

The British organization’s report also documented abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe. Violations of human rights, corruption, displacement of people and unsafe working conditions have also been found in the mines there.

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