Mining in Africa

Mining in Africa is a drawcard for many international investors looking for long-term gains. Unfortunately, at this point in time many countries on the continent have, and still do, experience political and economic turmoil. These are red flags for most investors who may have been willing to part with their money and invest in African mining projects.

Because of this, or certainly a contributing factor if nothing else, is the fact that several African mining companies are expanding their operations abroad. In addition to this, there are reports of consolidations across the African mining sector in the form of mergers and acquisitions. As we approach 2018, there is no doubt that the year ahead will prove to be interesting times for those investing in mining in Africa. Investors, contractors and suppliers who subscribe to African Mining IQ are kept abreast of all developments.

And developments there are! The following table shows the number of projects across African countries listed on Africa Mining IQ at the beginning of 2017, which has increased during the year:

Number of projects

Mining in Africa projects increase over 2017

Developments over the course of 2017 show an increase in the number of mining in Africa projects compared to the above table. At the time of writing in December 2017, the number of projects had increased by an additional 237, bringing the total number of mining projects across Africa listed on Africa Mining IQ, excluding dormant, closed and completed projects, to 1 127.

Bankable projects

For easy categorising of our listed projects, Africa Mining IQ has divided the African continent into mining hubs, some of which differ from established geographical locations. These hubs consist of Southern Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, North Africa and the Indian Ocean. Potential investors may be interested to note that the mining hubs across Africa have the following number of projects listed as bankable: Southern Africa 15, Central Africa 6, East Africa 22, West Africa 6, and the Indian Ocean 1. North Africa had 0 for bankable projects, but we are optimistic that this will change during 2018.

Active projects

The number of active mines in these hubs, including those in construction phases, is recorded as Southern Africa 42, Central Africa 3, East Africa 11, West Africa 17, North Africa 4 and the Indian Ocean 1.

Total projects

The total number of projects for each hub, which includes both bankable and active projects as well as those categorised as grass roots, prefeasibility, feasibility and operational are: Southern Africa 441, Central Africa 101, East Africa 220, West Africa 343, North Africa 11 and the Indian Ocean also 11. It is clear from the above that, even with political interference and economic instability, there is growth in at least four of the six African mining hubs. There should be growth in the two remaining hubs during 2018.

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Past developments, future expectations by region

North Africa

North Africa has considerable mineral and metal resources, providing huge potential from a mining investment perspective. Unfortunately, much of its mining infrastructure is underdeveloped. This can be attributed to political instability, which has restricted foreign investment and mining activity taking place on a significant commercial scale. Africa Mining IQ keeps subscribers abreast of all new mining opportunities in North Africa, some of which will materialise during 2018.

Central Africa

The majority of the Central African mining sector is still at an embryonic stage of development, but there is significant potential for growth in the extraction of copper, gold, iron ore and other minerals. The iron ore sector, still a fledgling in this regional hub, is concentrated in the DRC, Congo-Brazzaville and Cameroon. Miners that are willing to overlook the political risks and infrastructure constraints in these countries have the advantage of the current low price environment. There are also significant developments in gold and copper mining, predominantly in the DRC. That said, new local and international legislation may hinder the ability of international groups to develop mining projects at a profit.

West Africa

This region’s growth prospects picked up during the course of 2017 due to improved commodity prices and Chinese demand. The various countries within this African mining hub have vast untapped mineral reserves and a positive foreign investment outlook. This contributes to the region’s promising long-term growth outlook. However, it is envisaged that government regulation will continue limiting investment in this sector, which has been in decline due to weak global gold prices.

As the continent’s largest intelligence database for mining in Africa, Africa Mining IQ is your no. 1 resource for information and key contact details for new projects, ongoing progress on existing mines and new tenders! With over 1 850 projects on record, Africa Mining IQ allows investors, tenders and suppliers to keep their finger on the pulse of mining in Africa.

Southern Africa

The information pertaining to southern Africa is restricted to South Africa and Botswana for the purposes of this article. However, Africa Mining IQ has comprehensive information on all projects in all countries in this region. In Botswana, diamond mining has always been at the core of the mining industry. Now that the government is diversifying from the diamond sector into predominantly coal projects, foreign investment is encouraged. Industry value will be driven by a government-led ramp-up in coal production and it is envisaged that while the diamond sector will remain the dominant contributor to the country’s industry value, it will experience stagnant growth.

In South Africa, the ratings agency Moody’s continues to warn of regulatory uncertainty coupled with a firmer rand against the dollar. It says this will hasten the closure of South Africa’s gold and platinum mines, already buckling under high costs. The country’s long-term coal production growth is supported by massive reserves and strong demand growth for power generation. It is envisaged that gold production will increase although growth will be hampered by perpetual labour unrest and power shortages. Iron ore output growth, it is envisaged, will slow on the back of declining prices, elevated production costs and policy uncertainty, while the platinum industry is forecast to perform worse than iron ore and gold.

Diminishing mine reserves in this sector will continue to raise costs and reduce the sector’s long-term growth outlook. This mining sector will face persistent headwinds due to labour unrest, a muted recovery price and challenging regulations that may lead to divestments.

East Africa

Similarly to Southern Africa above, information in this article is limited, for the time being, to Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Tanzania the business mining environment is deteriorating because of government’s discrimination against foreign mining groups in order to protect local operators. That said, given BMI Research’s outlook for a steady recovery in gold prices, if conditions improve Tanzania has the potential to become a leading mining centre within sub-Saharan Africa.

Zambia’s mining industry, it is envisaged, will steadily expand until 2026. This can be attributed to trending higher prices of key minerals and a favourable regulatory environment, which will drive an increase in mining investment and activity. BMI Research predicts that Zambian mined coal production will grow from approximately 0.58 mnt in 2017 to 0.7mnt by 2026.

As far as Zimbabwe is concerned, foreign investment that drives growth in mineral and metals production is helping the country emerge as an important mining centre in this region. The country is richly gifted with gold, nickel, diamonds, chrome and platinum, among others, and it is envisaged that it will rise in prominence as a producer of platinum, gold and diamonds. Much of this is dependent on government intervention, along with political and economic risks, which may threaten to disrupt development over the coming few years.

Used by over 170 businesses to grow their operations across the continent, Africa Mining IQ give our subscribers:

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  • real-time charting and analysis: identify, track and monitor growth and progress for mining in Africa projects.
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Largest mining projects in Africa

Some of the largest mining in Africa projects include:

Ruighoek Mine

This project has a capital value of R 40 billion +! It is a refurbishment of an older mine and is expected to produce 150 000 to 200 000 tons of chrome per year. It is located north of Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa.

Kinsevere Mine

Located in the DRC, this copper mine has a capital value of R 30 billion+. It is an open-pit mine that has a current Life of Mine expected to run until 2024. It uses conventional solvent extraction / electrowinning in the copper mining process.

Liganga Iron Ore Project

The Liganga Iron Ore Project, located near the City of Njonbe and which commenced production in latter 2016, is propelling Tanzania to the continent’s third largest producer of iron ore! It is a R 17 billion+ project incorporating the Mchuchuma coal mining project.

Glenover Project

This exciting project, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, is an exploration of the rare earth minerals potential of pit material and surface stockpiles that were accrued during phosphate-based mining operations from 1963 to 1984.

All mining in Africa intelligence collated in Africa Mining IQ’s extensive database is subject to a stringent quality control process. Only once information is evaluated and approved, does Africa Mining IQ make it available to its subscribers.

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*Acknowledgements to Moody’s as reported in BusinessLive and BMI Research. Some of the information contained in this article is sourced from BMI Research executive summaries and from BusinessLive.

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Project Contact Information

Africa Mining IQ is the ONLY African mining intelligence database that guarantees a key contact per mine owner / project engineer or project supplier. All African mining projects are carefully researched and verified by a team of researchers.


Africa Mining IQ Reporting

In depth analysis reports delve into African mining project statistics such as number of projects per region per phase, and have been created for you to download and use for tendering and project tracking purposes.

Browse mining in Africa by country:

From South Africa to Morocco, Africa Mining IQ covers the continent’s mining projects with up-to-date intelligence. Our mining in Africa database covers 38 countries, including:

This is just a selection of the countries that comprise our mining in Africa intelligence database.

Mining in Africa: minerals by numbers

Gold mining in Africa is the largest source of gold across the world. In addition to gold, diamond mining in Africa and copper mining in Africa are also key mineral reserves for the world economy. Included in our mining in Africa database are the following:

  • 786 gold projects
  • 171 industrial projects
  • 155 coal projects

This is just a selection of the minerals that comprise our mining in Africa intelligence database.

Africa Mining IQ is used by over 170 mining companies globally as a reputable and comprehensive mining in Africa intelligence database that stretches from specific details of mining companies in Africa to details on small and large mining projects throughout Africa!

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Select and track key African mining projects to follow Identify any new or potential mining in Africa projects across various stages of development – from pre-feasibility to completion

All mining in Africa intelligence collated in Africa Mining IQ’s extensive database is subject to a stringent quality control process. Only once information is evaluated and approved, does Africa Mining IQ make it available to its subscribers.

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