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Ambassador Peter H. Vrooman’s Remarks at Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference
April 27, 2023

Good morning, distinguished guests and fellow participants in the Mozambique Mining and Energy Conference.  It is a pleasure to join you today.  Thank you to the organizers for inviting me to speak with you.

Mozambique is a country with an incredible wealth of natural resources that can feed electricity production: traditional fuels, such as coal and natural gas; and vast untapped potential in renewables such as hydropower, solar, wind, and even waves.  Mozambique also has great potential in critical minerals, which have become essential for the global energy transition and the development of clean energy technologies.  Graphite, lithium, tantalum, aluminum, and titanium, all found in Mozambique, are used in the production of electric vehicles, battery storage, wind turbines, solar panels, and many other technologies.

The United States Government advocates that mining activities are done responsibly, sustainably, and equitably, with the utmost respect for the environment, workers, and local communities.  These resources present an opportunity to create jobs and drive economic growth, both in Mozambique and the United States.

Mozambique can be part of a just and inclusive clean energy transition that creates prosperity.  Mozambique should be a critical link in robust, sustainable, and transparent supply chains that support the clean energy transition.  At the same time, the financial and regulatory environment in the sector should promote transparent and accountable natural resource management. The Government of Mozambique has an important role to play to ensure that: 1) bids on mining concessions are transparent; 2) that successful bidders are qualified; and 3) that winners comply fully with Mozambique’s environmental, labor and safety standards.

U.S. investors are interested in the LNG sector and renewable energy projects in Mozambique.  Last June, the United States and other partners launched the Minerals Security Partnership, or MSP, which seeks to strengthen and diversify critical minerals supply chains for the clean energy transition by identifying and supporting strategic mining, processing, and recycling projects that adhere to high environmental, social, and governance – or ESG – standards.   And we are dedicated to partnering with Mozambique to expand this work together.  Indeed, the U.S. Department of Energy is already at work supporting the mining of high-quality graphite.

At the African Leaders Summit in December 2022, the White House announced a U.S. Department of Energy proposal to work with Mozambique on a comprehensive assessment of opportunities to expand domestic energy access, support responsible natural gas and clean and renewable energy deployment, and add economic value to critical minerals production and processing.

At the U.S. Embassy in Maputo, we actively encourage potential U.S. investors in Mozambique to look for ways to add value in the post-mining value chain.  For our part, we are supporting the Government and people of Mozambique by investing directly in the development of transportation infrastructure that will facilitate the bankability of energy and mining projects in Mozambique.  For example, the second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact in the central province of Zambezia will help develop roads and bridges that will make it easier for companies and citizens to get their goods to market.  Advancing the Government of Mozambique’s goal of “Energy for All,” the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation or “DFC” provided an 18-year direct loan of $200 million to the Temane Power Project, which includes a transmission line.  These investments – and more are needed! – will support economic growth in Mozambique.

The United States Government is fully committed to supporting responsible mining of critical minerals in Mozambique.  I believe these mining investments will not only support the global energy transition – but will bring the benefits of employment, skills, and development to Mozambique.  There is a lot we can accomplish, and I look forward to working together to make it happen.

Thank you.