Tanzania’s Strategic Mineral Projects: A Resilient Economy and the Future of Critical Minerals

Share this article


Tanzania, a nation renowned for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, is rapidly gaining recognition on the global stage for its strategic mineral projects. As the world increasingly depends on critical minerals for various industries, Tanzania’s commitment to advancing its mineral sector is poised to significantly impact the country’s economy and global mineral supply chains.

1. Lithium: Powering the Future

Lithium is a critical mineral becoming increasingly crucial in the global economy. It plays a pivotal role in various industries, with its primary use in lithium-ion batteries, which are essential for powering an array of modern devices and technologies, most notably electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy storage systems. Let’s delve deeper into the significance of lithium in Tanzania’s context and its global impact:

Electrification and the Green Revolution:

The global push towards reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change has led to a surge in Electrical Vehicle(EV) adoption. Lithium-ion batteries are the preferred choice for EVs due to their high energy density, longer lifespan, and rapid charging capabilities.

As a result, the demand for lithium has been steadily increasing, and Tanzania’s lithium projects are strategically positioned to meet this demand. Lithium-ion batteries are also vital for storing energy from renewable sources like wind and solar. This energy storage capability is crucial for ensuring a stable and reliable clean energy supply, making lithium a linchpin of the renewable energy transition.

Tanzania’s Lithium Reserves and Potential:

Tanzania boasts substantial lithium reserves, primarily located in the Mohanga, near Dodoma in Central Tanzania. The potential of these reserves has attracted the attention of international mining companies and investors, making Tanzania a significant player in the global lithium market.

The development of lithium projects in Tanzania is expected to have far-reaching economic effects. It will attract foreign direct investment, create jobs in mining, processing, and ancillary industries, and contribute significantly to government revenue through taxes and royalties. This influx of capital will stimulate economic growth and development in regions where lithium deposits are found.

Strengthening Global Supply Chains:

The concentration of lithium production in a few countries, such as Australia, China, and Chile, has raised concerns about supply chain vulnerabilities. Tanzania’s increasing contribution to lithium production will help diversify the sources of this critical mineral, reducing the risks associated with a concentrated supply chain.

Lithium’s role becomes increasingly vital as the world seeks to transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly energy landscape. Tanzania’s lithium projects align with the global agenda to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, making it a key contributor to the green revolution.

2. Graphite: Enabling Tech Advancements

Graphite is a critical mineral with many applications, particularly in advanced technologies and clean energy solutions. Tanzania’s graphite projects hold great promise, not only for the country’s economic development but also for global technological advancements.

Versatile Applications:

  • Batteries: Graphite is a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries, used as an anode material. It improves the battery’s energy density, longevity, and charging efficiency. With the global transition to electric vehicles and renewable energy storage, the demand for high-quality graphite is rising. As technology advances, the demand for higher-performing batteries with increased energy density and faster charging capabilities continues to grow. Tanzania’s graphite resources are crucial in driving innovation in battery technology, making energy storage more efficient and affordable.
  • Electronics: Graphite is used in various electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Its thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity, and mechanical strength make it an ideal material for heat sinks, thermal management, and circuitry.
  • Industrial Applications: Graphite is used as a lubricant in the production of refractories, in the manufacturing of crucibles, and various high-temperature applications due to its excellent thermal resistance and electrical conductivity.

Abundant Graphite Reserves in Tanzania:

Tanzania’s largest graphite deposits are located in the central and southeast regions of the country. Active graphite projects include Bagamoyo, Bunyu, Chilalo, Epanko, Nachu, and Lindi Jumbo. Production stages have not been reached yet.

Tanzania’s graphite reserves are being explored and developed by Australia-based graphite developers, namely Black Rock Mining (ASX: BKT), EcoGraf (ASX: EGR), Evolution Energy Minerals (ASX: EV1, FSE: P77), Magnis Resources (ASX: MNS), Volt Resources (ASX: VRC), and Walkabout Resources (ASX: WKT).

These substantial and high-quality reserves position Tanzania as a critical player in the global graphite market. Extensive exploration and drilling activities back Tanzania’s graphite mining potential. These efforts have confirmed the presence of substantial graphite resources, which can be extracted sustainably.

Economic Prosperity and Global Impact:

The development of graphite projects in Tanzania is expected to create numerous job opportunities in mining and processing, transportation, and associated industries. This will contribute to poverty alleviation and regional development.

Graphite mining will also provide a significant source of government revenue through taxes, royalties, and licensing fees. These funds can be reinvested in infrastructure, education, and healthcare, further boosting Tanzania’s economic growth.

Similar to lithium, graphite is prone to supply chain vulnerabilities due to limited production sources. Tanzania’s graphite production diversifies the sources of this critical mineral, reducing the risk of supply disruptions.

The expansion of graphite production in Tanzania aligns with global efforts to transition to clean and renewable energy sources. Reliable access to high-quality graphite supports the growth of renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

3. Rare Earth Elements: The Catalyst for High-Tech Manufacturing

Rare earth elements (REEs) are critical in manufacturing advanced technologies, including smartphones, wind turbines, and defence systems. Tanzania’s ventures into REEs are essential for global manufacturing. The country holds promising reserves of REEs, with ongoing exploration efforts uncovering new deposits, solidifying Tanzania’s importance in the REE market. The most advanced project is the Ngualla Rare Earth Project.

Some of the REEs in Tanzania include neodymium and praseodymium, essential components in manufacturing high-strength magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Neodymium (Nd) is one of the most abundant REEs found in Tanzania, and it is used to manufacture high-strength magnets that are essential components in electric vehicle motors and wind turbines. Praseodymium (Pr) is often found in conjunction with neodymium and is used to manufacture high-strength magnets.

Located approximately 147km from the city of Mbeya in southern Tanzania and on the edge of the East African Rift Valley, the Ngualla Mineral Project is one of the most significant, highest grade and lowest cost Neodymium and Praseodymium (NdPr) rare earth projects in the world, with an estimated resource of 176 million tonnes at a grade of 2.24% total rare earth oxides (TREO).

The Ngualla Project is being developed by Australian-based Peak Resources (ASX: PEK). The Mineral project entails the development of a mine, mill, beneficiation facilities, concentrator, community projects and associated infrastructure.

Tanzania will contribute to the stability and resilience of global supply chains for high-tech manufacturing as a source of REEs, reducing vulnerabilities associated with limited supply sources.

Tanzania’s advancements in critical Mineral projects, encompassing lithium, graphite, and rare earth elements, promise to transform its economy and play a crucial role in global mineral supply chains.

The successful development of these Mineral projects will create jobs, attract investments, and position Tanzania as a critical player in industries that underpin the modern world’s progress. As we move towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced future, Tanzania’s commitment to these vital minerals projects is crucial for its growth and the world’s continued development.

Find more of the analysis on the mining sector here.

A skilled business writer who uses her background in business to explain tough ideas about economics and finance in easy-to-understand ways. She approches writing as a way to make a difference in the world, pushing for positive changes in society through her articles. Besides her work, Tumaini loves to read. She enjoys a variety of books, from imaginative novels to fact-filled history, which helps to give her writing fresh and interesting angles. Most of all, Tumaini believes in always learning and improving. Her tireless effort to know more and do better has earned her a respected place in the field of business journalism.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leave a comment
scroll to top