The economic potential of green technology metals in Angola

GCRF Funding Cycle

Principal Investigator
Anouk Borst

Earth & Environmental Sciences

ODA countries

Sustainable Development Goals

Investment associated with natural resources is one of the key ways in which developing countries make rapid changes in wealth and infrastructure. This project assesses the geology of alkaline igneous complexes in Southern Angola and their potential to host exploitable resources of green-technology metals (that is, rare earths, Nb, Ta). These complexes formed during the same tectono-magmatic event that have produced economically relevant resources in Namibia and Brazil (which account for most of the world’s Nb), but the Angolan rocks remain poorly studied and contribute nothing to Angola’s national wealth.

This scoping project (1) assessed the logistical challenges of working in Angola and (2) established a joint research programme with the Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda to strengthen the domestic capacity to assess mineral resource potential in green-energy metals. To date, this research focussed on the ore potential and petrogenesis of the Southern Angolan deposits. The joint programme will attract investment to Angola by identifying potentially mineralised areas through fieldwork, sampling, and petrographic studies of selected sites. Although the workshop and fieldwork have been postponed due to Visa difficulties, preliminary analyses of rock samples from two alkaline complexes have demonstrated the presence of key ore minerals, suggesting favourable conditions for mineralisation.