The African continent has always been wealthy in terms of natural resources. It has been endowed with lots of natural riches since forever. Which countries are currently the richest countries in Africa based on natural resources that can be extracted on their territories? Find out the list of richest African countries which possess the largest amount of natural resources.
List of countries in Africa that are rich in minerals
Africa is known to be blessed with numerous natural minerals and rich soils, and there are multiple locations in many countries where you can find these minerals in unimaginable quantities. In fact, Africa is a home to the major amount of mineral deposits of the world, and this makes room for more natural resource industries in the world, located in Africa. While the continent may not be as rich in other things, it is clearly extremely fertile and wealthy in terms of natural mineral resources.
Tracing back in history, it is quite obvious that the colonial conflicts between Africa and the West were caused by the natural wealth of Africa’s soil. Nowadays, the governments of those countries which are rich in minerals need to learn how to put them to proper use and boost the economic development of their countries through exports.
In particular, African countries are the leaders in such minerals as diamonds, platinum, zirconium, cobalt, bauxite, and others. The mining of these natural resources has significantly decreased in the latest years, but this does not deny the fact that African mineral potential is really rich and can be used for the best economical purposes by the governments.
Here, you can see ten countries which are especially wealthy in their natural resources. All of them have a big supply of valuable minerals, and they can potentially export them all over the world. If you want to know which country is the richest in Africa in the certain mineral extraction and export, you can go through this list below.
1. Niger – rich in uranium, coal, cement, and gold
This country has been a home to the largest underground mine in the world, where one can extract uranium. Lately, Niger has received a lot of benefits from selling their raw minerals on the world’s market, even though uranium still brings them the biggest income. Niger supplies 44% of African uranium all over the world, and this makes the country one of the richest in this mineral.
40% of all Niger’s exports are from uranium trade, which helps increase the national economy. Being a naturally radioactive mineral, uranium is useful in producing a nuclear weapon. This is why Korea and China mostly benefit from Niger’s natural resources and trade with them. Apart from this material, Niger also has many other useful ones in stock, like coal, gold, and cement. The whole mineral potential of Niger has really attracted a lot of buyers to the country where they can export their resources.
2. Namibia – rich in uranium, diamonds, zinc, lead, sulphur, salt, tantalite, and copper
Here is another country which is a productive uranium supplier. In fact, it proudly holds the fourth place in the world at uranium. China’s biggest investment on the African continent is their mining company in Namibia, which specializes in uranium. It is estimated that 15 million pounds of uranium oxide can be produced out of Namibian resources. International companies are invested in the country’s uranium resources for the production of energy. Uranium was first discovered in the desert Namibia, and its exploration began in 1960.
3. Democratic Republic of Congo – rich in copper, cobalt, diamond, oil, coltan, gold, and tin
DRC has one of the richest deposits of mineral resources. Since 1960, DRC has been known for its mineralization as one of the most industrialized countries in Africa.
In 2010, the government made a decision to suspend the mining of minerals because they had to investigate the legality of the treasure theft. In 2011, about twenty foreign mining enterprises were functioning in the country. DRC is endowed with oil, copper, coltan, cobalt, gold, diamonds, and other natural minerals.
4. Zambia – rich in copper, emerald, and cobalt
If you wanted to know what the richest African country in copper is, it is, beyond dispute, Zambia. It is known for being a number one copper producer and supplier – it produces 77% of African copper. Zambia is also a place where Copperbelt, the mass copper production region, is situated. Also, this country has the biggest underground mine on the whole continent, which has 10,000 workers. Generally, this mine produces about 300,000 tons of copper annually. There are other minerals in Zambia, the production of which is smaller than copper, but still quite pmpressive. These are emerald and cobalt.
5. South Africa – rich in diamonds and gold
The whole world is aware that South Africa’s economy has risen in the past couple of decades because of its rich mineral industry, especially the natural resources of precious minerals.
There are large amounts of diamonds and gold deposited in South Africa, and they have really contributed to the nation’s development. According to the historical facts, the Anglo-Boer war broke out because people have discovered huge deposits of gold in Witwatersrand.
The mineral industry annually adds 20% to GDP of South Africa, and the income per year is approximately 550 billion rand. Apart from gold and diamonds, which South Africa is so popular for, there is a plenty of other minerals like platinum, copper, uranium, vanadium, coal, chromium, iron, zirconium, nickel, and many others. South Africa is surely a wealthy country in mineral resources, which the nation owes its development to.
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6. Mozambique – rich in aluminum
Mozambique is a diverse country when it comes to natural resources because it has got a lot of them. But the most common natural mineral in this country is, without doubt, aluminum. The annual production of it is approximately 580,000 tons, which is a huge number. Consequently, it forms 30% of the country’s exports. Aside aluminum, Mozambique also exports beryllium and tantalum all over the world. Mozambican soil is rich in limestone, cement, marbles, gemstones, coals, iron, gold, oil, gas, and steel. All of these minerals have made the economy of the country more stable and their production has become really active in the past years.
7. Guinea – rich in bauxite
The important part of Guinea natural potential is bauxite, which the country clearly holds leadership in. Actually, the production of bauxite really contributes to the production of aluminum: bauxite is an important ingredient of aluminum. Guinea is a clear leader in bauxite potential and export, producing 95% of the entire bauxite production of Africa. The country is followed by Mozambique and Ghana respectively. Except for Guinea, which produces the natural ingredient for aluminum, all the other countries use the synthetically made product.
8. Tanzania – rich in tanzanite, gold, diamonds, and silver
As the name of the country implies, Tanzania is the only supplier in the world of the rare gemstone called tanzanite. Except for that, the country also produces gold – it is the fourth richest country in Africa in terms of gold.
Throughout the decades, the gold mining industry of Tanzania fluctuated. This was happening until the 90s when some famous foreign companies decided to invest in the Tanzanian treasures. Nowadays, they have the standard mines multiplied, to enhance investment and development of their resources. While agriculture is a large contribution to the economy of the country, the gold and tanzanite trade does, too. Mineral exports really help and boost the Tanzanian economic conditions.
9. Ghana – rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, manganese, crude oil, silver, and salt
Currently, Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in Africa. Ghana can owe their successes to establishing more golden mines with modern facilities. There are about 90 enterprises which specialize in gold mining. Ghana export its gold abroad, and this helps to enhance their economy.
10. Botswana – rich in diamonds, copper, coal, soda ash and nickel
This country’s economy highly depends on mining, and this is why the mining industry there is in the process of development. Botswana has huge resources of gem diamonds, which is the main focus of its export. It has become the large supplier of diamonds, which trades with many countries all over the world. Even though the main competitor of the country in the sphere of diamonds is Angola, Botswana still holds a major place among the known diamond producers in Africa. Except for diamonds, the country is also leading in the coal production, which in turn is used for the production of the synthetic fuels.
If you would like to know about the most valuable natural resources in Nigeria, these are clearly oil and gas. Nigeria is one of the biggest oil producers oil. You can find marble, clay, tantalite, salt, gold, coal, uranium, and gemstones in the different locations throughout the country.
We can only hope that the rich natural resources of African countries will help them raise their economy and conquer poverty. The exports of valuable minerals can significantly enhance the economic state of these countries, and in turn, the whole continent. Hopefully, it happens soon, and people who are responsible for natural resources will be able to find a proper use for them.