InvestorIntel: How the Current State of Critical Mineral Supplies in the DRC Impacts the US

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In an InvestorIntel interview with the Critical Minerals Institute Chairman Jack Lifton, Melissa Sanderson, the President of North America and Director of American Rare Earths Limited, discussed the current state of critical minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and how it impacts the United States. Sanderson highlighted recent legislation that tackles human rights violations, UN peacekeeping missions, economic potential, and corruption in the DRC. The legislation also proposes a US Geological Service study to identify the types and quantities of critical materials present in the DRC and calls for an increase in embassy staffing in Kinshasa, including rare earth expertise, to facilitate US businesses’ entry into the Congo. However, Sanderson noted a divergence between Washington’s approach and the DRC’s expectations. The latter seeks tangible investments rather than studies or moral suasion. She highlighted the UAE’s $9 billion agreement with the Congolese government for mining sector development as a significant move. This places the UAE in direct competition with China, which currently dominates the global rare earth production and has a substantial influence in the DRC. While the US hopes for reduced corruption and improved conditions for its businesses, it remains hesitant to invest in the Congo.

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