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US ready to bet on Angolan critical minerals calls for benefits for investors

The US wants to develop partnerships with Angola in the critical minerals sector, focused on more attractive regulation for investors, support for research and financing for exploration, said the US Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources.


Geoffrey Pyatt, who started the 4th Angola-USA Energy Dialogue this Thursday, with ministers Diamantino Pedro Azevedo (Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas) and João Baptista Borges (Energy and Water), told Lusa some details of the agreements that they intend to achieve.

"In the case of minerals, we will move forward with the technical assistance program, which aims to help build Angola's capacity to develop a more attractive legal and regulatory framework for investors, but also improve research into mineral resources", said the official, highlighting that the North American delegation includes geology technicians, among other specialists.

Geoffrey Pyatt also intends to speak to governments about the Mineral Security Partnership, which brings together 14 countries and the European Union to catalyze public and private investment for responsible supply chains of critical minerals worldwide.

The objective is "to help promote dialogue and contacts between producing countries and countries that, potentially, can purchase this production of critical minerals and support the large investments" that are necessary, he said.

"We have to massively increase these volumes of graphite, copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, zinc, we need much more of these minerals to meet climate goals, so we want to help Angola identify its resources, but also develop a framework that ensures that the benefits of these resources remain in Angola", he told Lusa.

Asked about the North American advantages compared to other countries that are also in the race for minerals, he highlighted that the USA has a better offer in terms of environmental, social and governance standards, and with regard to capital mobilization, with companies available to finance the development of these resources.

He gave as an example the Lobito corridor, which he pointed to as a "multiplier" for the development of these resources.

In the opening session, Geoffrey Pyatt said that the State Department only holds 20 of these dialogues with the closest energy partners and that it aims to engage more closely with African partners.

He welcomed the fact that the first dialogue would take place in Angola, saying that the country is an important supplier of traditional energy and that it is a rising leader in matters of energy transition.

This dialogue, which had not taken place for eight years, comes at a time when the world of energy is "very different from (...) 2016", he continued, highlighting the Biden administration's big investment in the US-Angola relationship, which culminated in a meeting between the two heads of state at the White House.

With regard to issues surrounding critical minerals and energy resources, he highlighted that "the world will be trading much less fossil oil by 2050", with on the other hand, "a huge increase in the volume of trade in copper, lithium, nickel, zinc, rare earths, cobalt – all key components of a sustainable energy economy.”

"We are very, very excited that the (...) team at the Department of State's Energy Office is launching a technical cooperation program with MINREMPET, aimed at developing the regulatory and policy frameworks to help Angola attract investment," he highlighted .

He was also enthusiastic about the potential "for Angola to play a much greater role in the global energy and minerals supply chain, but also to develop the resources and processing capacity of these minerals, because the world will need a much greater supply of these "commodities" [to] fuel an electrified economy".


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