A California based exploration company backed by a coalition of billionaires including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, intends to develop a $150 copper cobalt mine in Zambia. This is the first significant direct mining investment in the country in 30 years according to the Africa Report. President Hakainde Hichilema says he is resetting Zambia’s relationship with China and the US for the country’s benefit. Zimbabwe has also banned the export of raw Lithium in order to encourage domestic beneficiation. The country hopes to be one of the world’s largest exporters seeking to meet approximately 20% of global demand. Cobalt, copper and lithium are all seen as key critical minerals for the green energy transition.