Spotlight on Africa
Africa. The geological, geographically, and culturally diverse landmass boasts some of the greatest underexplored mineral wealth of any continent. Current biggest raw material production in Africa is accounted for by gold, diamonds, and copper and many country’s economies are largely supported by their mining exports, industry, and associated foreign investment. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania remain the continents largest mining economies.
The world-famous and geologically exceptional Bushveld complex is an important global source of platinum-group metals palladium, platinum, and rhodium as well as vanadium. Zimbabwe also hosts some of the world’s largest platinum reserves which are currently in production. Malawi is an important producer of uranium and rare earth materials and Angola remains a significant diamond producer for the continent. The continent also produces aluminium, bauxite, and iron. Developments in African geopolitics in recent decades is increasing the number of safe and encouraged exploration jurisdictions, and many regard West Africa as the next big exploration frontier as regional geology spanning Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, and Burkina Faso is known to be highly prospective.
Perhaps more encouraging than the extraordinary natural wealth of Africa is the increasing awareness of and commitment to corporate social and environmental responsibility by the mining and exploration sector. With notable projects such as the relocation at Bombore by Orezone Gold Corp. in Burkina Faso, it is easy to see that companies are increasingly providing for, giving back, and respecting the communities and natural landscapes in which they operate. There is a long way to go in moving past the exploitative narrative that surrounds resource production in Africa and part of the journey will be the actual and noticeable improvement in economic, social, and educational benefits for the countries with high natural wealth as well as collaboration in the creation of value.