Across the developing world, mineral-rich nations are demanding a bigger piece of the EV pie, saying they are moving: Operation Management Assignment, AMU, Malaysia

University Asia Metropolitan University (AMU)
Subject Operation Management

Across the developing world, mineral-rich nations are demanding a bigger piece of the EV pie, saying they are moving to end the era of extract and export. Countries with vast deposits of the ingredients essential to making EVs are digging in and trying to take advantage of the boom.

In parts of Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia, governments are restricting the export of raw minerals, demanding that miners build processing plants locally, and looking to tighten control over foreign-operated mines. The steps are sometimes described as resource nationalism, and their increasing popularity is reshaping supply chains that underpin the shift toward cleaner forms of energy.

Lithium production in Chile, where greater state control of the resource has become a priority.

Guinea, a major African bauxite producer, has imposed a minimum export price and urged companies to build local refineries. Namibia just banned the export of unprocessed lithium and other critical minerals, including cobalt, manganese, and graphite.

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Indonesia banned the export of unprocessed nickel, pushing foreign companies to build billion-dollar facilities in the country that are turning ore into higher-value materials for EV batteries. Zimbabwe is doing the same with lithium. Chile and Mexico are seeking greater state control over their countries’ lithium reserves. These ore-rich countries are looking to move up the value chain instead of simply providing the primary inputs or commodities.

State actions aimed at that goal bring risks for the transition, potentially deterring investment in new mines needed to keep up the supply. They could also raise the cost of critical materials, increase regulatory burdens for companies and lead to shortages in the future. “It’s got to be an all-around negative factor for the energy transition,” said one expert.

Indonesia, a mineral powerhouse, infuriated trade partners with its 2020 ban on the export of raw nickel, but it worked. Companies from across Asia and the U.S. are pouring investments into building nickel-processing plants in the country, making Indonesia a significant player in the EV supply chain.

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