The African non-fuel mineral wealth places the continent as a prominent player in the international market. The continent’s sizeable untapped potential and an increase in the global demand for minerals to be used in technological advancement provide significant opportunities for Africa. However, mineral production also presents several challenges, including economic, societal, and environmental pressures.
This report explores the non-fuel mineral sector in Africa. It first provides insights into the continent’s importance to the global mining industry and the current status of key mineral production (non-ferrous metals, ferroalloys, precious metals, and diamonds). It then tackles the economic significance of the mining industry, social and environmental issues, and Africa’s role within the increasing mineral need for new technologies.
Mining industry in Africa
Africa is endowed with diverse mineral resources and has large mining operations. The continent is a crucial player in the global mining sector, accounting for over 50 percent of the world’s platinum, manganese, and ndustrial diamond production. Currently, non-fuel mineral exploration and extraction present several opportunities and challenges.
- Africa’s mining industry has strong growth potential. While the continent has significant mineral wealth, it is also highly under-explored due to a lack of investment and infrastructure. In 2020, African countries accounted for only around 12 percent of the mining exploration budget allocated worldwide. International players, including the major global mining corporations, are showing interest in filling the gap by investing and operating in Africa.
- The presence of minerals varies significantly across African countries in terms of volume and type. Nations with considerable mineral resources usually export them extensively, generating large revenue. However, mineral-exporting countries are often highly vulnerable to price changes, unemployment, and socio-political instability.
- The mining sector presents risks for local communities. Mining activities are hazardous, and Africa registered the highest miner activities are hazardous, and Africa registered the highest miner activities are hazardous, and Africa registered the highest miner the development of mining sites also leads to people displacements and migration flows of workers toward the mine.
- The industry also raises environmental concerns. Water pollution is a key issue in Africa, where drinking water resources are already scarce, and climate change is intensifying water stress. Globally, companies and initiatives are increasingly addressing environmental and social issues.
- Driven by the clean energy transition, the rising global demand for critical minerals will present opportunities for Africa, a leading global producer of cobalt, copper, and lithium. Between 2020 and 2030, the continent’s revenue from copper and battery metals is set to more than double. Yet, developing infrastructure, improving the socio-economic conditions of workers and local communities, and limiting environmental hazards are among the hurdles Africa will face.
By addressing these topics, this report will explore the current status, prospects, and challenges of the African mining industry. After providing an overview of the sector, it will dive into the production of key minerals, economic dependence, social and environmental concerns, and future opportunities. To narrow the research, hydrocarbons were excluded from the scope.
Table of Contents
Overview of Africa’s mining industry
Key mineral resources
Economic relevance of minerals
Social and environmental issues
Rising mineral demand
1. Overview of Africa’s mining industry
2. Key mineral resources
3. Economic relevance of minerals
4. Social and environmental issues
5. Rising mineral demand
Source from Statista
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