A Mineral Rich Country
Minerals: Gold oil and copper
Official languages: French
Independence: 7 August 1960
Area: 322,463 km2
Mining fact: There are crude oil reserves of 100 million barrels
Cote D’Ivoire is seldom mentioned in the list of top ten mining nations in Africa, focus tending to be on regions to the south. But this small African nation has some of the continents biggest mining potential and an array of natural resources that make the country one of the more attractive investment opportunities on offer.
While many prefer to think of Cote D’Ivoire as the world’s top exporter of cocoa beans, the nation has much to offer in terms of mining, mines and other natural resources.
Mining Potential and Mineral Resources
Of the mineral-rich Birimian Greenstone Belt that stretches from Senegal to Ghana, more than two-thirds lie within the borders of Cote D’Ivoire. Unfortunately this mineral wealth lies untapped and accounts for only 5% of the Belt’s output. Compared with 14% from Ghana, the Cote D’Ivoire is a massive resource waiting to be exploited. It’s not just gold either, though that is the predominant resource of the belt. Cote D’Ivoire is a mineral-rich country that is on a stable and improving path to real economic riches.
In 2011, newly elected President Alassane Ouattara promised to expand and diversify the Ivoirian economy. To this end mineral and mining laws have been rewritten, dozens of new mineral licenses have been granted and gold production has increased over the past few years. Despite the attractive potential of the nation, investors remain uneasy after the 2010/11 Ivorian crisis, many preferring to take a wait-and-see attitude. The introduction of the 2012 Investment Code and the renewed interest in the industrial sector have prompted more interest in the mining industry overall. Cote D’Ivoire could one be as popular as a gold producer as the great nations to the south.
Natural Resources in Cote D’Ivoire
Apart from gold, Cote D’Ivoire is rich in palm oil, silica, clay, natural gas, diamonds, iron, cobalt, nickel and manganese.
Raw and Roasted Cocoa Beans
Cote D’Ivoire is ranked #1 in terms of cocoa beans exports. And when it comes to overall goods exports, the country ranks at #4 in the sub-Saharan Africa region with Angola, Nigeria and South Africa ahead of Cote D’Ivoire. Back in 2009, Cote D’Ivoire cocoa-bean farmers generated earnings from cocoa exports of $2.53B. The production quota in 2013 was forecast at 630K metric tonnes. In terms of other raw materials, Cote D’Ivoire also features 100,000 rubber farmers that generated $105M in collective earnings in 2012. As at 2014, Cote D’Ivoire supplied 30% of global cocoa, with more than 500,000 metric tonnes more than the competition. The country’s total production totaled 1,485,822 tonnes. But Ivory Coast has been coming under increasing scrutiny for harsh child labour conditions and reports of 100-hour workweeks.
The Impact of the Civil War on Cote D’Ivoire
The aftermath of the 2010 general election led to the outbreak of civil war in Cote D’Ivoire. The 2010/11 Ivorian crisis erupted and threw the country into complete disarray. This was known as the Second Ivorian Civil War. The violence resulted in thousands of casualties, with hundreds reported dead in cities like Bloleqin and Duekoue. Such was the devastation to the country that international observers commented that President Ouattara would find it difficult to reunite the deeply divided nation.
Mining companies operating in Cote D'ivoire
Taruga gold limited, Perseus mining limited, Rangold resources LTD