What riches conceal the depths of the Black continent? The minerals of Africa are very diverse. And some of them are of world importance.
Geology, Relief and Minerals of Africa
The distribution and diversity of mineral resources is closely related to the nature of the relief and the geological structure of the territory. This geographical pattern, of course, applies to the hottest continent on the planet. Therefore, first we should pay some attention to this issue.
The relief and minerals of Africa are directly dependent on the geological structure of the continent.
Most of the continent is located on the ancient African platform, whose age is Precambrian. Atlas is the only young mountain system in Africa (it is also the largest). The eastern part of the continent from north to south is dissected by a powerful rift valley, at the bottom of which a number of the largest lakes were formed. The total length of the rift is impressively high: up to 6 thousand kilometers!
In the orographic sense, the whole continent is divided into two parts:
- Low Africa (northern part).
- High Africa (south-eastern part).
For the first, absolute heights of less than 1,000 meters are characteristic, and the combustible minerals of Africa are associated with this part of the continent. High Africa is also named so not by chance: its absolute heights exceed 1000 meters above sea level. And here are concentrated rich reserves of coal, non-ferrous metals, as well as diamonds.
The highest continent
This is what Africa is often called, because its topography is dominated by "high" forms: plateaus, highlands, plateaus, volcanoes and ostentsev-type peaks. In this case, there are some patterns in their distribution over the territory of the continent. Thus, the mountain ranges and highlands are located "along the perimeter" of the continent, and the plains and flat plateaus - in its inner part.
The highest point in Tanzania is the Kilimanjaro volcano, whose height is 5895 meters. And the lowest is in Djibouti - this is Lake Assal. Its absolute elevation is 157 meters above sea level.
Minerals in Africa: briefly on the main
The continent is a large and important supplier to the world market of non-ferrous metals and diamonds. It's amazing how it turned out that most African states are considered very poor? Many metallurgical plants also work on iron ore mined in African minerals.
The minerals of Africa are also oil and natural gas. And those countries, in the depths of which there are their deposits, live pretty well and safely (against the background of the rest of the continent). First of all, Algeria and Tunisia should be distinguished.
But deposits of non-ferrous metals and precious stones are concentrated in southern Africa, within economically backward countries. And the development of such deposits, as a rule, is very costly, so the extraction of these resources is carried out with the involvement of foreign capital.
The main deposits on the continent
Now it is worthwhile to dwell in more detail on the parts of the continent in which mineral resources are being developed. The main mineral deposits in Africa are very uneven throughout the territory. Below follows the table, which presents the first ten mineral resources of the continent. It clearly shows how the basic minerals of Africa are unevenly distributed.
Now we clearly see how the main minerals of Africa are located. The table gives a clear picture of the peculiarities of the territorial distribution of their deposits.
Oil production in Africa
12 percent - this is how much world oil is extracted on the African continent. Many European and American companies are trying to access the largest oil and gas fields on the mainland. They are eager to allocate investments for the development of new deposits and geological surveys.
According to the latest research, the subsoil of Africa contains about 25% of the total oil reserves in the world. The most attractive countries in this regard are Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, as well as Sudan. In all these countries, oil production has been increasing in recent years.
The most active in the African oil production market are Chinese, Norwegian, Brazilian and Malaysian companies.
As we see, Africa is quite rich in various mineral raw materials. The minerals of Africa are primarily oil, diamonds, gold, non-ferrous metal ores, bauxites and phosphorites. However, very often rich deposits are concentrated in economically backward countries (most of them on the mainland), therefore their development is usually conducted at the expense of foreign capital and investments. And this has its own, both bad and good sides.