A Guide to Africa's Mineral Wealth

The future of mining in Africa is bright for mining companies and auxiliary operations such as earth moving equipment hire and other related mining machinery providers. Not only are several countries expected to unearth billions of dollars worth of minerals from the ground this year, but billions more in the way of foreign direct investment are also expected to be pumped into the continent.

A great infographic we stumbled across shows that China has become one of the most important consumers of minerals mined in Africa. In the 14-year period (1995 -2009) African exports to China rose from $1.4 billion to $42 billion. Here is a brief overview of the economic windfall being experienced by some of the major countries contributing to Africa's current mining boom.


The sky seems to be the limit for Africa's fourth largest gold producer as investors are lining up to grab a piece of the Tanzanian mining industry. Along with the 40 tons of gold a year that Tanzania unearths, the country is rich with other minerals like iron ore, nickel and copper. The mining sector represents 2.8 percent of the country's GDP and has created more than 14,000 jobs.

Sierra Leone

Mining in Sierra Leone is recovering from an economically crippling civil war that held the country hostage for the whole of the 1990s. Today, however the future looks bright for both the country and its industries. Mining accounts for 5 percent of the country's GDP and 80 percent of income generated from exports has come from minerals like diamonds.


Boasting the world's largest untapped coal deposits, Mozambique is expected to be a major economic player in the near future. Not only is the country rich in rare metals like tungsten and thorium, mining in the area of gems and precious metals like gold is also on the rise.


Although iron ore has accounted for a large portion of its mining industry, gold and diamonds abound in this West African country. In recent years, foreign investment from countries like China has allowed the Liberia to reduce its debt and reliance on institutions like the World Bank and the IMF.

The Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo's mining sector has suffered from allegations of corrupt practices for quite some time. Despite this, investment continues to flow into the country driven mainly by the presence of its rich resources. It is estimated that there is still $54 trillion worth of untapped mineral resources in DRC including unexplored gold copper and diamond deposits.


Copper is the current king of the Zambian mining industry. It accounts for about 85 percent of all the country's exports. The country's mining industry is also turning its attention to the exciting future it has in the area of gold prospecting. The interest in mining Zambian gold has attracted foreign investment that could only mean positive things for mining and the country in general.

African Earth Moving Equipment Hire

Zambia is also the home of African Plant & Equipment is a complete earth moving equipment hire specialist servicing the African mining and civil construction sectors, offering a range of plant hire solutions. Contact African Plant & Equipment on 011 100 2391 or via our website to discuss the requirements for your next project.