Namibia and EU reach interim agreement on rare earth minerals

Namibia and EU reach interim agreement on rare earth minerals

Namibia has tentatively reached a deal with the European Union to sell its rare earth minerals, critical to the renewable energy sectors, Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said on Thursday.

In July, European and Namibian officials told Reuters they were planning a deal on hydrogen and minerals, as the bloc seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

“In principle, we have agreed on the terms, whatever the materials, we are going to process them here,” Alweendo said of the approaches taken to ensure the southern African country pulls benefit from its resources.

Namibia has large reserves of rare earth minerals such as dysprosium and terbium, which are needed for permanent magnets in electric car batteries and wind turbines.

The European Union wants easier access to minerals in Namibia and is planning geological projects to explore the resources of a country that is almost as big as the combined territory of France and Germany, an official from the EU said. EU to Reuters in July.

Mr Alweendo said there was a demand for rare earth metals from the southern African country to fuel the global transition to green energy.

Namibia aims to position itself as a renewable energy hub in Africa, notably thanks to its vast potential for solar and wind energy to produce green hydrogen.