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Africa's natural resources fuel the world

From electronics to oil, Africa's natural resources fuel the world and those minerals make the world go round. There are some statistics to prove it.

Diamonds (Photo: outsidethebeltway.com)


Cars. In 2012, South Africa produces 72% and 83% of the world's platinum and rhodium respectively. Platinum and rhodium are key components of catalytic converters that are fitted to cars to reduce pollution. South Africa is a major producer of gold, diamonds, coal, iron ore. As of July 2013, the market price of platinum was $1,411/oz and the one of rhodium $1,000/oz.

Electronics. Cellphones, laptops and other small electronic devices use parts made of tantalum. In the 2011 global production, Africa's tantalum represented a total of 71% with countries such as Mozambique (24%), Rwanda (20%), Democratic Republic of Congo (11%), Ethiopia (9%) and others (7%). Mozambique's economy still heavily relied on agriculture. As of July 2013, the market price of tantalite ore was $262/kg.

Jewelry. In 2011, Africa produced more than half of the world's diamonds with countries such as Botswana (19%), Zimbabwe (16%), Democratic Republic of Congo (7%), South Africa (7%), Angola (7%), other (1%). Botswana is qualified as a middle-income country, as stated by CNN. As of July 2013, the market price of diamond 4/4 carat was $6, 270.

Batteries. In 2011, Africa produced 58% of the cobalt's global production with countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (48%), Zimbabwe (5%), Botswana (2%), South Africa (2%) and others (1%). Rechargeable batteries often use cobalt in their electrodes. Mineral mining is linked in funding conflict in the country. As of July 2013, the market price of cobalt was $13,50/lb.

Airplanes. Jet engines use superalloys that often contain cobalt and chromium. Many aircraft parts are made of aluminum alloys which can account for up to 80% of a passenger jet's weight. Chromium  is produced from chromite and aluminium from bauxite. In 2011, South Africa generated 47% of the chromite's global production; Guinea generated 8% of the bauxite's global production. As of July 2013, the market price of ferrochrome is $2.42/kg and the one of aluminium $0.8/lb.

Electricity. Africa produces coal, gas and uranium. Uranium is the source of nuclear fuel, which provides around 14% of the world's electricity. In 2011, Niger generated 8% of the uranium's global production, Namibia 6% and Malawi 2%. Namibia's economy heavily depends on mineral exports and besides uranium,  the country produces zinc and diamonds. The market price of uranium is $38/lb.

Oil. In 2012, Africa produced a tenth of all world's oil, with around 9.4 million barrels per day. In 2011, Nigeria generated 3% of oil's global production, Angola 2%, Algeria 2%, Libya 2%, Egypt 1% and others 1%. As of July 2013, the market price of oil is $102.47/barrel.

Africa's natural resources fuel the world. And world, you're welcome.


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