Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) the leading infrastructure solutions provider in Africa, and Xcalibur Multiphysics, the worldwide leader in airborne geophysics, have announced their intention to partner on mapping, developing and co-financing natural resource projects that will spur minerals and critical raw materials beneficiation in Africa.
The primary goal of the alliance is to support the development of the natural resource value chain on the continent, contribute to the energy transition by reducing dependency on fossil fuels and support the path to more diversified and sustainable economies. The partnership is being announced at a signing ceremony today at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.
Responsible mapping of natural resources is a critical component of sustainable investing, supporting the transition to clean energy, tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity, and building more inclusive and circular economies. Xcalibur’s innovative technology allows for efficient targeted exploration through non-invasive data acquisition and analysis.
AFC and Xcalibur, through their partnership, will prioritise projects to locate and identify AFC’s focus minerals, including precious, base and critical raw materials, comprising gold, diamonds, bauxite, manganese, copper, cobalt, graphite, lithium and rare earth elements. As a result, African countries will have access to improved geological data, which will de-risk investments in the sector, create local jobs, unlock mineral resource wealth and ultimately support a more just energy transition on the continent.
Xcalibur will lead in providing the technical and mapping expertise, while AFC will lead in identifying and implementing investment and financing solutions for approved projects. Project development in seven priority countries is well advanced, extending soon to other African countries.
AFC is one of the largest investors in Africa’s natural resources sector, leading transformational projects such as Nigeria’s Segilola Gold Mine, the country’s first private sector-led, commercial-scale gold project. In Sierra Leone, AFC partnered with the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources (MMMR) and the National Minerals Agency (NMA) on the launch of the results from a Nationwide Airborne Geophysical Survey (NAGS) to establish the full extent of the country’s wealth below ground and promote investment in its mining sector. The Corporation is also the lead investor in several precious and transition metal projects in the region, including the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana, the Kipushi copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Franceville and Okondja manganese mining projects in Gabon and the Alufer Mining bauxite project in Guinea.
These investments, amongst others, target in-country value-addition and beneficiation from Africa’s natural resources. The approach multiplies employment creation, increases export prices and government revenues, reduces trade costs and, importantly, minimises the carbon footprint associated with exporting raw materials and reimporting finished products.
“Africa has the largest reserves of the minerals and metals required for the global energy transition; the challenge is a lack of investment in mining, transportation, clean energy and processing,” said Sameh Shenouda, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of Africa Finance Corporation. “This is exactly what this partnership aims to address, and we look forward to working with Xcalibur to develop and finance critical projects that transform Africa’s resource wealth into economic fortune and spur economic diversification.”
Xcalibur has a strong track record in executing large-scale, country-wide & regional mapping programmes and also high-resolution mapping programs, with an inventory of more than 50 million line kilometres of data acquired in Africa and worldwide. These programmes have demonstrably increased exploration activities in the host countries, leading to job creation and increased investment.
“Africa is exposed to climate change effects, and we believe that this alliance contributes to the green transition of the continent, combatting climate change, ensuring access to sustainable energy and protecting biodiversity and natural resources while allowing African countries and African companies to become just and relevant players on the energy transition map,” said Andrés Blanco, Chief Executive Officer of Xcalibur Multiphysics. “We look forward to working with AFC to accelerate sustainable economic growth and build a more inclusive economy in Africa.”