China is winning Africa’s “white-gold” rush for lithium
- Its grip on clean-energy minerals is a challenge for the West
A visit to the district of Goromonzi, in north-east Zimbabwe, is a lesson in economic history. Its fallow fields hint at the decay that followed the government’s seizure of white-owned farms more than two decades ago. In the surrounding hills ad hoc campsites reveal the sites of artisanal gold-miners, digging for the same yellow metal that led British colonists to cross the Limpopo river in the 19th century.