The Democratic Republic of the Congo possesses more than 60% of the world's cobalt ore deposits. China Molybdenum, which owns the world's second-largest cobalt mine, Tenke in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently purchased the Kisanfu deposit from Freeport McMoRan for $550 million. China is now the number one owner of the world's cobalt industry.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been plagued by conflict for much of its recent history. Despite this, it remains one of the most resource-rich countries on Earth. The wealth from these resources is controlled by a few foreign companies that operate under license from the government.
In fact, some estimates show that as much as 90% of the country's gold and copper are owned by foreign companies, while other minerals account for almost all of the country's exports.
The only indigenous group that can claim ownership over some parts of the continent are the Bantu peoples who were originally enslaved by Arabs and then brought into the heart of Africa to work the mines. In time, they established small farming communities that survived within the mining towns themselves. Although not considered owners of the land, they do receive some royalties from the mining companies.
Miners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have rights similar to those in other countries. If they are fired without just cause, they can take their employers to court and win compensation.
Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (KINSHASA) produce more than half of the world's cobalt and a large portion of its copper. Guinea and Ghana are major suppliers of the aluminum mineral bauxite; Zimbabwe is a major producer of asbestos; and Gabon is a major supplier of manganese.
In addition to these metals, there are significant amounts of gold, silver, zinc, petroleum products, and natural gas in some African countries. Nigeria has the greatest amount of oil in sub-Saharan Africa, while Angola is the largest supplier of crude oil to Europe.
Most African nations are still relatively poor, but some are becoming richer due to increased foreign investment and trade. South Africa is an example of how not all African countries can be considered equal; it is the only African nation that is considered economically stable and prosperous. However, extreme poverty remains widespread throughout most of the continent.
Africa has vast resources including oil, minerals, and agricultural products that remain untapped because of political instability and conflict. In order for these resources to be extracted and exported, there needs to be stability and peace so business can continue as usual. No two countries on the continent are exactly alike; they have different environments, populations, and opportunities that cause them to develop differently over time. It is important to understand the differences between countries in order to better understand the continent as a whole.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) mining industry consists mostly of cobalt, coltan, copper, gold, diamonds, zinc, cassiterite, and wolframite. The DRC also has large deposits of coal, petroleum, natural gas, and timber.
Mineral resources account for more than 70% of the DRC's exports, with copper accounting for almost half. Other significant exports include rutile, tantalum, gold, and columbite. The DRC is one of the world's largest producers of cobalt. It is also a major supplier of copper and gold.
In 2009, the DRC had the third-largest iron ore reserve in Africa after South Africa and Nigeria. However, due to conflict within the country, most of these mines are not being used.
The DRC has the second-largest diamond supply on the continent after Canada. Most of the diamonds that reach market size come from three regions: the eastern part of the country near the Burundi border, north of Lake Kivu; the south-western region near Angola's border; and the northeast area near the Rwandan border.
Kitco is one of the world's top ten biggest copper mines in 2020.
|Mine||Major owner / operator|
|2||Collahuasi||Anglo American / Glencore|
Kibali Goldmines, a joint venture (JV) of Barrick Gold Corporation (45 percent), AngloGold Ashanti (45 percent), and Societe Miniere de Kilo-Moto (SOK IMO), owns the project (10 percent ). In January 2019, project operator Barrick acquired Randgold Resources and became the sole owner of the mine.
Barrick has not published its ownership structure for the Kibali JV but it is known that the three partners have different international shareholders. Barrick's parent company, Canadian mining giant Barrick Group, is listed on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. It has operations in more than 40 countries around the world.
The Congo is one of the largest producers of gold in the world and Kibali accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country's total production. But the resource is estimated to be worth $750 million at current prices, which is less than 1 percent of the country's GDP. The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) controls all gold mining through its state-owned corporation, Gecamines. It was established by law in 2001 and is responsible for "the development of mineral resources" in the DRC.
Gecamines has a 30-year lease on Kibali until 2041 and receives 90 percent of the profits. The remaining 10 percent goes to local communities where the project is located.