Korea-Africa Summit highlights by signing of several mining agreements

The first Korea-Africa summit, which was held in Seoul June 4 to 5 and which focused discussions on critical minerals, highlighted by the signing of 50 agreements between the summit host country and 48 African countries.

Several of these agreements were related to the mining sector. In this context, agreements were signed with Madagascar and Tanzania to secure supplies of critical minerals for the Korean battery industry.

According to Ecofin agency, Africa’s third-largest graphite producer, Tanzania, plans to borrow $2.5 billion from Korea over the next five years through concessional loans, and has also signed agreements for Korea to exploit its minerals used in clean energy technologies, including nickel, lithium, and graphite.

Korea’s interest in graphite is not surprising, given the ambition of Korean giant POSCO to quadruple its battery anode production, bringing it to 320,000 tons by 2030. The ambition puts Tanzania and other countries like Uganda, Mozambique, and Madagascar under Korea’s radar.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed hope that the summit would lead to expanded resource cooperation between his country and the African continent. “Despite its enormous potential, Africa still accounts for only 1% to 2% of South Korea’s trade and investment. I hope that mutually beneficial resource cooperation will be expanded,” the leader said.

As a reminder, South Korea has committed to providing $24 billion in aid and investment support to Africa by 2030.