“Green” minerals mining in Africa and the e-car industry
China dominates both the production and processing of minerals crucial to the energy transition, such as cobalt and lithium. The authorities of Western countries are afraid of becoming dependent on China, and some Western companies are starting to build plants in Africa to process raw materials extracted locally on the continent and export them directly to Europe and the USA. BHP Group and Lifezone Metals Limited contributed $100 million for a nickel mine in Tanzania. Vision Blue Resources has invested in a new graphite mine in Madagascar, a related processing plant in Mauritius and a cobalt refinery in Zambia.
Sales of Japanese cars in China are declining, and the Japanese share in the Chinese market is also decreasing. New Chinese electric vehicle companies are beginning to dominate where foreign automakers previously ruled. Japanese companies are currently favoured only by the weakening yen, which increases exporters’ price competitiveness, helping them sell cheaper products abroad.
Immediately after entering the US market, the shares of the Vietnamese company Vinfast, which produces electric cars and is part of the Vingroup consortium, were worth more ($85 billion) than the shares of Ford Motor Company and General Motors. Each company has a market value of less than $50 billion. In 2022, Vinfast, founded five years earlier, sold 24,000 cars. For comparison, the Volkswagen group sold 8.3 million vehicles then, and Ford – 4.2 million.