Generally, any substance, organism, medium, or object present in nature without human action and which in most cases is used to meet human, animal, or plant needs is a natural resource. As the population and the human ecological footprint grow relentlessly, the sustainable management of natural resources has become a major issue.
Africa is made up of the most divergent and converging countries concerning their wealth of soil and subsoil. The continent is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, raw materials, precious metals, and fertile soil. Africa holds approximately 30% of the world’s known mineral reserves with the most significant resources being gold, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, oil, and gas reserves.
Top 10 richest countries in minerals in Africa.
When it comes to mineral deposits, Africa is enormously bountiful. Its mineral deposits make it one of the richest natural resource-laden places on Earth and everyone wants some.
Botswana is home to 35% of Africa’s diamonds, most of which are gem quality, and is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value. While the country also produces other minerals including copper, gold, nickel, and soda ash, diamonds remain Botswana’s main mineral and account for the bulk of its gross domestic product.
Botswana is a member of the African Union, the Southern African Customs Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.
2. The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is estimated to have more than $24 trillion worth of untapped raw mineral ore deposits, but even so, it remains one of the greatest producers of diamonds at 35% and copper at 13% in Africa.
However, the Democratic Republic of Congo continues to suffer from corruption and crime and has been forced to shut down many mining operations to curb illegal activities. The majority of the diamonds are gem quality. Besides these diamonds, gold, nickel, soda ash, and copper are mined there.
3. South Africa
South Africa has been the richest economy on the continent, thanks to its enormous mining industry. While diamonds and gold constitute the largest portion of South Africa’s initial mining interests, the discovery of many other minerals has allowed the country to diversify its mineral investments. South Africa is the world’s largest producer of manganese, platinum, vanadium, and vermiculite, and the second-largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile, and zirconium.
Though it is the fourth-largest gold producer in Africa, Tanzania earns just under 3% of its gross domestic product from the mining industry. Future years may see that number grow as the mining sector expands. Tanzania also has impressive deposits of iron, ore, nickel, copper, cobalt, silver, diamond, and more.
Tanzania is mountainous and densely forested in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro is located. Three of Africa’s Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the south lies Lake Malawi. However, the eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore.
Though Namibia is blessed with a wide variety of mineral resources, it’s 46% of the continent’s uranium stashes help bring in nearly a quarter of Namibia’s annual income. The mining industry of Namibia is on the rise, and outputs are increasing significantly each year.
Though the mining industry in Mozambique only accounted for 1.5% of the country’s economy in 2012, the sector is expected to expand by more than 10% in the coming years as coal and gas become more and more widely mined. As it stands now, however, Mozambique is still a critical producer of aluminum, with 32% of Africa’s supply.
Zambia is home to somewhere between 65% to 77% of Africa’s copper supply, making it the leading producer of Copper in Africa. With several prolific mines, the country can jobs for its citizens while contributing to the nation’s overall gross domestic product. Being a good conductor of heat, copper wires are used mostly for electrical wiring in the building and construction industries. It’s also alloyed with iron and other metals to make brass and bronze and it’s used to make cookware.
Guinea is responsible for more than 95% of Africa’s bauxite production, while Ghana accounts for the remainder 5%. An aluminum ore, bauxite is crucial for aluminum production. In 2005, Guinea was the only African producer of alumina and synthetically produced aluminum oxide. The country continues to hold its critical place in helping with the world aluminum demand. It has enormous potential estimated at 40 billion proven tonnes of reserves. The quantity exploitation of its quality iron gives a figure of 100 million tons per year.
With 44% of Africa’s uranium supply, Niger is one of the continent’s leading producers. Exports of minerals account for more than 40% of Niger’s exports. Though Niger also mines for cement, coal, coal, gypsum, limestone, salt, silver, and tin, its northern Agadez Region, a desert just northeast of Niamey is known for its large uranium deposits and has had mines operating in the area since 1971. Since it is naturally radioactive, uranium is most commonly used in the nuclear power industry to generate electricity.
Ghana’s export trade is significantly bolstered by its mineral riches as 37% of its total exports are minerals. Ghana is Africa’s second-largest producer of gold after South Africa and holds more than 15% of the continent’s supply. Gold contributes the second-biggest percentage of the country’s mineral exports.
Ghana has also begun further mining exploration in bauxite, manganese, and diamond reserves, but gold remains the focus. The country is also the second-largest cocoa producer behind the Ivory Coast.