Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Giants of mining in Africa

Mineral exploration worldwide declined in 2016 due to slower investment. In fact, operating budgets were only $ 7.2 billion last year, according to the 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on mines released Wednesday (June 7th) in Johannesburg. The regions that have experienced the most development projects are 17 in the world, including four in Africa.


With 5% of the world’s farm budget, West Africa is the largest beneficiary of mining investments across the continent in 2016, according to the report “Mine 2017: Stop. Think … Take action

Ghana for its gold, its diamonds, its bauxite and its manganese remains historical is of the biggest mining countries of the sub-region. This sector contributes 5% of national GDP and accounts for about 35% of exports. In the field, about twenty major national and foreign groups are active, while small farms are in the hundreds (about 300). After two to three years of decline, mining production performed better in 2016, with a very small gold mine, whose production jumped 46% from the previous year to 4.4 million ounces , the highest level of production in nearly 40 years.

Ivory Coast has also become a preferred destination for foreign mining companies and the country is constantly increasing its efforts to boost this sector.

Guinea is also in the forefront of mining destinations in the sub-region recently. The country is fueling the lust of foreign companies for its important bauxite reserves, representing half of those known in the world.

South Africa: The country of Mandela wins the second continental place in terms of hosting investments in mineral exploration last year, with 4% of the world budget. Rich in gold, platinum, diamonds, uranium, or coal, South Africa is traditionally the most active African country on the international mining scene.

The Democratic Republic of Congo comes next with 2% of the world mining exploration budget in 2016. Here many national and especially foreign companies are active in the Congolese basement. Gold, tin, cobalt, coltan (which reached a record production in 2016 to 2414 tons, according to the Central Bank of Congo), diamond, … are all resources that attract. But in recent years, activities have slowed down due to political social unrest in the country.

The East African sub-region is on the same level as the DRC with 2% of the world mining exploration budget in 2016. Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania or even Kenya (which has just experienced a scandal after the death of four people in the explosion of a mine) are all attractive countries for the companies candidates for exploration.

Overall, Africa is one of the regions that experienced the biggest slowdown in mining investments last year, according to the report. “The entire continent has absorbed only 13% of global spending in 2016,” says the same source. In addition to the cyclical reasons that lead to a global fall in investments worldwide, analysts explain Africa’s poor position at this level by the tendency of mining companies in 2016 to minimize risks, by “heavily relying on the resources of the safest political geographical areas “.

AFRIC Editorial Article.


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