Natural Resources in Africa

Exploring the Natural Wealth of Africa

The African continent is home to an abundance of natural resources that include diamonds, gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, platinum, copper, cobalt, iron, bauxite, silver, and more. In this section we will explore many aspects of these resources. We will delve into how these resources are mined and processed throughout history and in modern times, and we will discover the practical applications of the resources.

A Largely Untapped Wealth

Because Africa has had a low local human density for a long period of time, it has been colonized and the treasure trove of natural resources discovered. From West Africa to South Africa and everywhere in between there are massive quantities of natural resources contained within the continent’s interior. Even though the world is fueled by commodity consumption, there is so much natural wealth on the continent that a great deal of it is as yet unused - the deposits are so abundant that some of it has yet to be discovered. Through the years these resources have been exploited by other countries including the United States, France, Canada and the United Kingdom for various practical applications.

Limitless Potential for Application

The natural resources in Africa are used practically in many industries and in many countries every day. Industries include manufacturing, industrial, and energy, medical and infrastructure development. The natural resource economy of Africa greatly contributes to the buildings and structures constructed on the continent. Besides local use, some of the largest engineering projects are linked to the trade of resources like oil and minerals, and large quantities of natural resources are exported to other countries. Metals exported from Africa include uranium, platinum, nickel, bauxite and cobalt. Two of the most profitable mineral exports are gold and diamonds. The continent can produce close to 500 tons of gold a year and is responsible for a large percentage of the world’s diamonds.

Natural resources in Africa have a myriad practical applications, including industrial, manufacturing, medical, energy, and infrastructure development.

The materials we will survey here are ubiquitous across the continent, and are largely untapped. From Nigeria to South Africa, Egypt to Ghana and everywhere in between, African resources are gaining increasing importance in a world fueled by commodity consumption.

Here we will delve into each of the aforementioned resources, providing valuable information on the rarity, prevalence, extraction techniques, and uses of various raw materials in Africa.