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articles of interest

Africa: a global source of minerals

There is no question about it. Africa one of the regions on the globe that has an abundance of minerals, and is a powerful player within the mining industry because of the diverse materials held in its soil. It is also a continent the uses a number of renewable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and hydro sources.


The continent holds natural resources and minerals, including cobalt, lithium, iron ore, gold and rare earths. Because of its large number of minerals, it is without a doubt that it’s a busy continent.


A report by Deloitte lists 5 criteria that lead to a country’s success in mining. They name good mineral deposits, good infrastructure, good governance, safety and well understood supply chain as their picks for success. Africa, despite its potential for vast growth because of its minerals and resources, comes up short on two areas: governance and infrastructure.


Deloitte postulates that without strength in these areas, many African countries are losing out on potential investors. There seems to be a delicate balance as well, between sharing the abundance received from investors with the country’s people. Countries could grow with the right kind of investment in the mining industry, but this means that governance and infrastructure has to become a focus for companies on the continent.


With an emphasis being placed on carbon emissions, mines in Africa have been even further scrutinised. Gabon became the first African country to receive results-based payments for preserving its rainforests. Economic incentives such as this could see a number of countries across the continent reducing carbon emissions while also growing their economy.


Reducing the cost of implementing solar energy in Africa would also go a long way to helping continental economies. Solar in Africa costs more in Africa than in northern Europe – despite the continent having excellent quality sunshine throughout the year.


Because of the strength Africa holds in its mining market, and the improvements it can make through adopting renewable energy, Africa should also be included in talks on climate and climate change. With a continent that has such a big mineral and mining industry, it’s vital that African countries be included in the conversation.


Going into the future, it is important to consider the resources Africa holds and to make plans to not only preserve the industry, but to provide viable alternatives when it comes to energy.




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Office:  +27 (0) 87 808 8862


Emergency: +27 (0)83 232 3327