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A recent report from U.K.- and U.S.-based nonprofit Global Witness captures the details of how a new mining rush driven by demand for “clean energy” minerals can go wrong, reproducing the same model of extractivism that has impoverished African countries for centuries.

“Sheer mineral wealth hasn’t always translated into development, particularly for the communities who live next to mines,” said report author Colin Robertson, a senior investigator at Global Witness.

The team investigated mining projects for lithium, an essential mineral in the production of batteries for electric vehicles and power storage, in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Namibia. They highlighted the risk that future mining will “embed corruption, fail to develop local economies, and harm citizens and the environment.”

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