Birthplace Of Bling: 10 Most Mineral-Rich African Countries

By Keren Mikva Published: August 17, 2016, 1:52 pm
most mineral-rich African countries1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona diamond found at Lucara mine, Botswana. Photo: Donald Bowers/Getty for Sotheby's

When it comes to the stuff bling is made of, Africa is enormously bountiful. Its mineral deposits make it one of the richest natural resource-laden places on Earth and everyone wants some. The following are the most mineral-rich countries in Africa.

Botswana – Diamonds

Botswana is home to 35 percent of Africa’s diamonds, and is the world’s top producer by value. Other minerals include copper, gold, nickel and soda ash.

Democratic Republic of Congo – Diamonds, Copper

DRC has an estimated  $24 trillion in untapped raw mineral ore, plus it’s one of the top diamond producers (34 percent) and copper (13 percent) in Africa.

South Africa – Diamonds, Gold, Aluminum, Copper, Platinum, Coal

South Africa became the largest economy on the continent thanks to diamonds and gold, but discovery of many other minerals allowed it to diversify. SA is the world’s No. 1 producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium, and vermiculite, and the second-largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile, and zirconium.

Tanzania – Gold

Though it is the fourth-largest gold producer in Africa, Tanzania earns just under 3% of GDP from mining. It also has iron ore, nickel, copper, cobalt, silver, and diamond.

Namibia – Uranium

Home to 46% of Africa’s uranium, Namibia earns a quarter of its revenue from it. Naturally radioactive, uranium is used to generate electricity in nuclear power plants.

Mozambique – Aluminum

Mozambique is a major aluminum producer with 32 percent of Africa’s supply. Mining is expected to expand by more than 10% as coal and gas become more accessible.

Zambia – Copper

Zambia has up to 77% of Africa’s copper supply, creating jobs for its citizens while contributing to the GDP.

Guinea – Bauxite (for aluminum)

Guinea is responsible for more than 95% of Africa’s bauxite production. Ghana has the rest. An aluminum ore, bauxite is crucial for aluminum production.

Niger – Uranium

With 44% of Africa’s uranium supply, Niger is one of the top African producers. Minerals account for 40% of Niger’s exports, including cement, coal, goal, gypsum, limestone, salt, silver, and tin.

Ghana – Gold

Ghana is Africa’s No. 2 gold producer after South Africa, with 15% of the supply. Minerals are 37% of Ghana’s exports, and gold contributes more than 90% of that. Ghana also has bauxite,  manganese, and diamonds.


This AFKInsider article was first published Aug 11, 2014.

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