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U.S. Supports Angola to Process Critical Minerals

The United States will support Angola, one of the largest oil producers in Africa, in its efforts to establish a critical minerals processing industry as a way to diversify from oil.

“We are fully aligned on these issues around decarbonization, energy transition, and climate, and we look forward to building on that partnership in the future,” US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt said during a press briefing about the U.S.-Angola Energy Security Dialogue.  

Pyatt was on a visit to Angola as the U.S. and the West looked to counter the Chinese influence in many African countries rich in critical minerals.

Angola has graphite resources, the U.S. official said.  

“The U.S.-Angola energy cooperation is vital for promoting collective energy security and building out critical minerals supply chains,” Pyatt said, adding that the private sector would play a crucial role.

The U.S. official met with Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum, Diamantino Azevedo, and said at the briefing later that “The minister made very clear that for Angola, our work together on critical minerals is the first jumping-off pad that Angola wants to leverage in order to diversify its economy away from dependence on crude oil.”

“Angola is interested in moving up the processing value chain, a goal that fully aligns with the Biden administration’s vision and the work that my team has been leading under the Minerals Security Partnership.”

The U.S.-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) considers projects along the full clean energy value chain, from mining, extraction, and secondary recovery, to processing and refining, and ultimately to recycling. It is aimed at diversifying and stabilizing global supply chains and investing in those supply chains.

Angola is interested in exploring the opportunities under the MSP Forum, for Angola to be part of the dialogue between critical mineral producers and critical minerals offtakers, as well as seeking sources of funding for projects, Pyatt said.

The U.S. has backed clean energy projects in Angola. Last year, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) approved a direct loan of more than $900 million to Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water to support the construction of two photovoltaic solar energy power plants in the country.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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