Minerals and metals considered strategic and critical to the technology, military and food industries in Morocco include copper, iron, manganese, gold, lead, silver and zinc. These minerals are essential for the manufacture of technological products such as computers, smartphones and tablets, as well as for the manufacture of military equipment such as aircraft and various weapons. In addition, they are also essential for food production, such as lead, which is used as an additive in food production.
The report of the Economic and Social Council (EESC) proposes a list of 24 strategic and critical minerals for Morocco. These minerals are indispensable for the country’s economic, energy and industrial policy and for ensuring its defence. EESC President Ahmed Reda Chami stressed that Morocco has a significant amount of these minerals, including cobalt and phosphates, and stressed the need to invest in their exploitation and processing. The report recommends that rules and regulations be put in place to ensure that the country benefits from the exploitation of these minerals.
Ahmed Reda Chami, on the other hand, explained: “We import almost all of the critical and strategic metals. We buy them only from a few countries, because there are limited suppliers in the world. In addition, many of these exporting countries suffer from political instability”.
Chami lamented that Morocco’s minerals are exported without being processed, with the exception of phosphates and cobalt. He pointed out that the mines have a small surface area and criticised the lack of fiscal incentives or other means to encourage investment in mineral prospecting. He also complained about the absence of a circular economy to recover industrial waste and extract the metals it contains.
The report reflects the fact that the Moroccan government has not yet announced an official list of strategic and critical minerals, which prevents mining companies from knowing the mineral potential of Moroccan space. This is a major concern for the country, as strategic and critical minerals are of great importance for Morocco’s economic and social development. In addition, the report notes that the Tropic seamount, located between the Atlantic coasts of Western Sahara and the Canary Islands, holds great potential for strategic and critical minerals such as iron, magnesium, cobalt and tellurium. This information is essential to understand the mineral resource potential found in the Moroccan maritime space and there is a strong need for the Moroccan government to address this concern immediately to ensure that the country has a sustainable economy in terms of mineral resources.
At the same time, this report is useful to understand the role that mining plays in the Moroccan economy. It can be seen that the most important products are phosphate, silver, barite and cobalt. This means that mining is a significant part of the Moroccan economy, contributing 10% of GDP and 26% of exports.In addition, it shows that there is a wide variety of minerals mined in the country, including aluminium, borates, ferrochrome, tin, germanium, lithium, magnesite, magnesite, molybdenum, ferroniobium, selenium, silicon, rare earths, tungsten, fluorspar, manganese, copper, nickel, potash, sulphur and titanium.
This shows that Moroccan mining is a very diverse sector, with a variety of important minerals. Furthermore, the report also highlights that mining employs 50,000 people, which means that it is an important source of employment for the country.