Africa produces more than 60 metal and mineral products and is a major producer of several of the world’s most important commodities including Gold, PGE’s, Manganese, Chromium, Nickel, Bauxite, Cobalt, Copper and Uranium.
The increase in exploration and mine development in Africa has been primarily focussed on gold and diamond exploration. Undoubtedly, there is still great scope for these commodities, but riding on the back of improving base metal prices, this sector could see an increase in activities. Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar are but a few countries that have tremendous potential for base metal and industrial mineral deposits.
South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and the DRC dominate the African Mining industry, whilst countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana rely heavily on the mining industry as a major foreign currency earner. Unfortunately, several African civil wars are funded by (and often caused by) some of these commodities, in particular diamonds.
Major new mines opening in Africa or under development are distributed between South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, and Gabon producing gold, diamonds, niobium products, PGE’s, chrome and base metals. Major discoveries over the last year include the discovery of several potentially diamondiferous kimberlites in Mauritania, and still in the diamond scene, the potential marine deposits in offshore southern Namibia.