Compared to lead and zinc giant’s China, Canada and Australia, Africa is a small player, producing approximately 6% and 4% of global production respectively. Out of a total of 266 operating zinc operations in the world, Africa only has 12. Morocco emerges as Africa’s largest producer, followed by South Africa. Namibia, Algeria and Tunisia. The focus on gold exploration and development in Africa seems to have left the base metals scene out of the picture – a trend that will probably change over the next few years. Major mines coming on line are the world class Skorpion Zinc project in Namibia and the Bougrine mine in Tunisia.
Base Metal Mining Companies in Africa
Rio Tinto’s only zinc producer is the Pering Mine in South Africa.
Kumba Resources have a joint venture with PE Minerals in Namibia, for the only operating zinc lead mine, Rosh Pinah. Kumba Resources is primarily an iron ore producer (South Africa’s largest), but also has interests in heavy mineral sands in Mozambique and iron ore in Australia.
Anglo American are major producers from operations in South Africa as well as the developing Skorpion mine located in Namibia.
Breakwater Resources’ Bougrine mine in Tunisia has surpassed expectations with good production figures. Breakwater is also active in developing mines in the Honduras, Canada and Peru.