What riches conceal the depths of the Black Continent? Minerals of Africa are very diverse. And some of them are of global importance.
Africa's geology, relief and minerals
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, at first it is worth paying 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. The Atlas is the only young mountain system in Africa (it’s also the largest). The eastern part of the continent from north to south is cut by a powerful rift valley, at the bottom of which a number of largest lakes have formed. The total length of the rift is impressively large: up to 6 thousand kilometers!
In orographic terms, the whole continent can be divided into two parts:
- Low Africa (northern part).
- High Africa (Southeast).
The former is characterized by absolute heights of less than 1000 meters, and the combustible minerals of Africa are associated with this part of the continent. High Africa is also so named not by chance: its absolute heights exceed 1000 meters above sea level. And here rich reserves of coal, non-ferrous metals, and also diamonds are concentrated.
This is how Africa is often called, because “high” forms prevail in its relief: plateaus, highlands, plateaus, volcanoes and peaks of the residual type. At the same time, there are some regularities in their distribution over the territory of the mainland. Thus, the mountain ranges and highlands are located "along the perimeter" of the continent, and the plains and flat plateaus are located in its inner part.
The highest point is located in Tanzania - it is Kilimanjaro volcano, whose height is 5895 meters. And the lowest is in Djibouti - Lake Assal. Its absolute elevation is 157 meters.
Minerals Africa: Briefly on the main
The continent is a major and important supplier to the world market for non-ferrous metals and diamonds. Surprisingly, how is it that most African states are considered very poor? Many metallurgical plants also work on iron ore mined precisely in the African subsoil.
Minerals in Africa are also oil and natural gas. And those countries in the depths of which there are their deposits, live quite well and safely (against the background of the rest of the continent). Here it is necessary to allocate first of all Algeria and Tunisia.
But deposits of non-ferrous metal ores and precious stones are concentrated in southern Africa, within the limits of economically backward countries. And the development of such deposits, as a rule, is particularly expensive, therefore the extraction of the above resources is carried out with the attraction of foreign capital.
Major deposits on the continent
Now it is worthwhile to dwell in greater detail on the parts of the continent in which certain mineral resources are being developed. The main mineral deposits in Africa are spread over the territory very unevenly. The table below shows the first ten mineral resources of the continent. She clearly shows how unevenly located the main minerals of Africa.
Now we clearly see how the main minerals of Africa are located. The table gives a clear idea of the features of the territorial distribution of their deposits.
Oil production in Africa
12 percent - just as much world oil is produced on the African continent. Many European and American companies are trying to gain access to 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 recent studies, the African subsoil contains about 25% of the world's total oil reserves. The most attractive countries in this regard are Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Egypt, and Sudan. In all these countries, oil production has been increasing in recent years.
The most active in the African market for oil production are Chinese, Norwegian, Brazilian and Malaysian companies.
As we can see, Africa is quite rich in various minerals. Minerals in Africa are primarily oil, diamonds, gold, non-ferrous metal ores, bauxites and phosphates. However, very often rich deposits are concentrated in economically backward states (most of which are on the mainland), therefore their development is usually carried out at the expense of foreign capital and investments. And this has its own, both bad and good sides.