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5 Sub-Saharan African Countries with the Richest Mineral Reserves Outside Oil.

Deep in the motherland of Africa lies an abundance of natural resources. These minerals, with proper exploration and extraction, can make the continent one of the richest in the world, as opposed to its current economic state.

According to WorldAtlas, Africa has the richest concentration of natural resources of any continent, with 30% of the world’s entire mineral reserves.

Unfortunately, when the conversation on natural wealth is brought up most people immediately imagine oil, as oil-rich countries seem to rake in the most revenue as it relates to natural wealth.

According to Statista; in 2019, over 80 percent of Nigeria’s export value was generated by its mineral fuels, oils, and distillation products, accounting for approximately 47 billion U.S. dollars. That is until supply and demand waned due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent global crises.

Nigeria is the richest country in Africa, with a GDP of $441 billion for 2021. Also, some of Africa’s wealthiest nations, like Algeria, Egypt, and Angola, are among the ten wealthiest nations in Africa, thanks to their petroleum reserves.

With this data, it’s easy to buy into the narrative that oil is the one true source of natural wealth, but this is far from a fact. There are other natural resources that can create a massive amount of wealth for any economy.

Precious elements like gold, copper, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, timber, coltan, and coal amongst many others are valuable enough to create immense wealth for the continent. There is a need to dilate profit margins for these resources. Fortunately, there are already a number of countries in Africa that have taken this initiative.

Below are five African countries that maximize their natural resource, aside from oil and agriculture, in GDP revenue:

Copper mine in Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): GDP ($12.52 Billion)

Located in Central Africa, DRC is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, second only to Algeria on the entire continent. It boasts numerous natural resources some of which are predominant in the country. It has been estimated that there is 28 trillion dollars worth of unexploited mineral resources within this country. This large country has a population of 89.56 million people. DRC is rich in minerals, predominantly cobalt and coltan. It has the largest coltan reserve of any country, supplying 80% of the world’s coltan. Coltan is used in the production of tantalum capacitors. Tantalum capacitors are used in almost every kind of electronic device, especially mobile phones. The democratic republic is also the world’s largest supplier of cobalt, producing an estimated 120,000 metric tons that year. To top it all, it is the highest supplier of copper in Africa. In 2021 alone the country generated around 1.88 million metric tons of copper.

South African gold miners

South Africa: GDP ($418.02 Billion)

South Africa occupies most of the southern tip of Africa, with a coastline that stretches a little over 3000 kilometers. Although South Africa owes a lot of its wealth to industrialization, financial and government services, and, agriculture, 10 to 20% of its GDP each year is generated from its natural resources. It has a population of 60.14 million people. South Africa has one of the most extensive mining industries in the world, mining for resources like platinum, chromium, manganese, gold, diamonds, iron ore, cobalt, and phosphate. The income South Africa generates per year on minerals is approximately $55billion to $125 billion depending on the year. The country also accounts for 4.2% of global gold production, having distributed 100 tons of gold in 2021.

Detecting gold mining in Ghana

Ghana: GDP ($72.35 Billion)

Bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and situated in West Africa, Ghana is rich in numerous natural resources including; bauxite, aluminum, diamond, and timber. Ghana has a population of 31.07 million people. Ghana’s wealth is a product of proper resource management. Of these resources, Ghana is most dependent on its arable land and gold reserves. Aptly nicknamed the gold coast, Ghana is the single largest supplier of gold on the entire African continent. Ghana produced around 117 metric tons of gold in 2021. Prior to the global pandemic that affected many businesses, Ghana produced around 140 metric tons of gold on average each year. Ghana makes anywhere around 5$ billion to $7.2 billion annually from gold alone.

Largest diamond found in Botswana

Botswana: GDP ($17.61 Billion)

Botswana is a country known for its beautiful wildlife. 38% of its land is devoted to national parks, reserves, and wildlife management areas. Landlocked in the southern part of Africa, and spotting a population of a little over 2 million people, Botswana is one of those quiet yet prosperous countries on the African plain. Botswana like most African countries has a number of natural resources, but for this nation, its chief export is diamonds, a natural resource of tremendous value. About 80% of its export are diamonds. The total value of its diamond exports in 2021 stood at $3.466 billion. Botswana is currently the second largest producer of diamonds in the world, second only to Russia. Botswana is also rich in nickel, copper, coal, and of course, its arable lands.

Livingstone Zambia

Zambia: GDP ($19.32 Billion)

The Republic of Zambia is yet another wildlife-friendly country located in the southern region of Africa. Also landlocked, this country has a population of 18.38 million and is largely known for its national parks and the beautiful Victoria falls. Zambia is rich in natural resources, but its chief export is copper. It is the world’s tenth largest copper producer and the second largest copper producer in Africa second only to DRC. It produced 830,000 metric tons of copper in 2022. Other natural minerals can also be found in Zambia including, emerald, and cobalt.


source – Business insider

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