Russia, the US, France and China will fight for rich mining reserves of the Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country in Central Africa, which has faced with serious political crisis in recent months.
So far, the mining sectors of CAR and some other countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa have been primarily controlled by companies from France, (as most of these countries were French colonies in the past), however there is a possibility such a situation may change already in the short-term, as other superpowers are also interested in the acceleration of their mining activities in the region. Most of analysts consider this understandable, as the region is characterized by rich mineral reserves.
In regard of Russia, currently the country experiences a shortage of at least 15 various minerals (such manganese, chromium, iron ore, bauxite), the cost of production of some of which is very high, as many of these fields are located in the permafrost zone or in other hard-to-reach places.
As Evgeny Korendyasov, a former USSR/ Russian Ambassador to Burkina Faso and a leading researcher at the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences told in interview with the Russian AIF business paper at present Russia produces 4,000 tonnes of uranium, although the needs of its nuclear industry are estimated at 11,000 tonnes.
Evgeny Korendyasov says: «There are large fields of uranium in the CAR, which is why Russia is interested in them».
The same situation is observed in France – the country, which continues to be heavily dependent on nuclear power.
In regard to CAR, in addition to the country’s rich uranium reserves, an interest of global players may be related with the local gold fields.
That has been confirmed by some earlier reports of the African media. For example, In July 2018, the Africa Intelligence paper reported that Russia received the rights to develop the Ndassima gold field, one of the largest gold fields in the country, in exchange for ensuring security in the surrounding area.
By: Eugen Gerden