Natural resources in Africa are the continents economic bedrock. They continue to offer significant opportunities for development for the people. Its is home to about 30% of the worlds mineral reserves. Africa is also home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Discovery of natural mineral reserves has accelerated the growth of these economies. Oil and gold constitutes some of the minerals offering great potential for economic growth and development though some countries continue to experience problems in terms of exploration and harvesting of these resources.
Nigeria is Africas leading producer of oil. Its daily output stands at approximately 2.4 million barrels. Its ranked 13th in the world and has the worlds second largest proven oil reserves in Africa and 10th in the world. Its Nigerias major export. Angola ranks second in Africa and 16th in the world producing 1.75 million barrels on a daily basis. Their economy is largely dependent on oil exports. They export about 90% of their oil.
Algeria is the worlds 17th largest producer of oil. Daily production of barrels is at 1.72 million. Their oil reserves that have been proven are estimated to be at 12 billion barrels. Its the 3rd largest producer of oil in Africa. Following Algeria is Egypt whose daily output is at 667,000 barrels per day and ranks 4th in Africa and 27th in the world. It has the largest capacity for oil refining in Africa and thus refines most of its crude oil.
Libyas daily oil production is 516,000 barrels. It has the largest proven oil reserves standing at 48 billion barrels. Its Africas fifth largest producer. Equatorial Guinea is the sixth in oil production rankings in Africa. Daily production stands at 269,000 barrels making the 34th largest producer of oil in the world. There are 1.1 billion barrels that are proven in their reserves.
Africa produces about 30% of global gold production. South Africa is the leading producer in Africa and its average cost of production is the highest in the world. It also holds about 35% of global gold reserves. 99% of its production is exported. The gold mining contributes about 27.4% of South Africas mining revenues. There is no anticipation of increase in production of gold owing to labour problems, political instability, depletion of gold deposits and prohibiting economic standards that make exploration almost impossible. Ghana comes in second in African ranking of gold producing countries. However, their production has been declining over the years.
Zimbabwe is an outstanding producer of gold in Africa though its production levels have been hampered by political and economic issues. The sector comprises of small operations largely located in Zimbabwean Archaean greenstones. Tanzanias production is rapidly increasing to almost doubling its production year on year. Malis production is steadily increasing with commissioning of new mines and while others are at their final stages of feasibility studies. Their operations are majorly on open cast scale. Ghana is a stable producer of gold.
Almost the entire of South Africas production is on Witwatersrand gold deposits and mining is almost entirely underground. Underground mining constitutes high costs of production per unit and thus, exploration in West Africa and other East African states are largely centered on surface rocks. Exploration in these regions is in top gear.
Cattan, H. (1967). The Evolution of Oil Concessions in the Middle East and North Africa. Published for the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law [by] Oceana Publications.
Hartnady, C. J. H. (2009). South Africa's gold production and reserves. South African Journal of Science, 105(9-10), 328-329.
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