East and Central Africa countries are richly endowed with a variety of mineral resources whose most are yet to be explored and exploited.
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Mining in Angola is an activity with great economic potential since the country has one of the largest and most diversified mining resources of Africa. Angola is the third largest producer of diamonds in Africa and has only explored 40% of the diamond-rich territory within the country. Production rose by 30% in 2006 and Endiama, the national diamond company of Angola, expects production to increase by 8% in 2007 to 10,000,000 carats (2,000 kg) annually. Angola has also historically been a major producer of iron ore.
Natural mineral resources include oil, diamonds, gold and copper.
Burundi is a producer of columbium (niobium) and tantalum ore, tin ore, and tungsten ore, and some deposits of gold which are designated for export. Burundi has resources of copper, cobalt, nickel, feldspar, phosphate rock, quartzite, and rare reserves of uranium, and vanadium. The country is also a producer of limestone, peat, sand and gravel for domestic consumption and as building materials. As of 2005, manufacturing accounted for 8% of the country's gross domestic product.
Central African Republic
Mining industry of the Central African Republic. The Central African Republic's mineral resource endowment includes copper, diamond, gold, graphite, ilmenite, iron ore, kaolin, kyanite, lignite, limestone, manganese, monazite, quartz, rutile, salt, tin, and uranium.
The Mining industry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a significant factor in the world's production of cobalt, copper, diamond, tantalum, tin, and gold. It is the Democratic Republic of the Congo's largest source of export income. In 2009, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including the world's largest reserves of coltan and significant quantities of the world's cobalt. The United States Geological Survey estimates that the DRC has 1 million tons of lithium resources.
Mining and manufacturing in Djibouti accounted for 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2004, which stood at around $1.6 billion. Djibouti has been known to produce occasional small quantities of clays, granite, limestone, marble, salt, sand and gravel, and crushed and dimension stone for domestic construction projects.
China’s Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corp. is gearing up to kick off copper, zinc, gold and silver production in Eritrea in 2019. The Asmara project, a group of four deposits on the outskirts of the capital, holds 574,000 tonnes of copper, 930,000 ounces of gold and 1.2 million tonnes of zinc.
Mining is important to the economy of Ethiopia as a diversification from agriculture. Currently, mining comprises only 1% of GDP. Gold, gemstones (diamonds and sapphires), and industrial minerals are important commodities for the country's export-oriented growth strategy. Tantalum mining has also been profitable. It was reported that in the late 1980s, the mineral industry lacked importance given that it contributed less than 0.2 percent of Ethiopia's GDP. Mining for gold is a key development sector in the country. Gold export, which was just US$5 million in 2001, has recorded a large increase to US$602 million in 2012.
Gabon was the richest of the former French Equatorial African colonies in known mineral deposits. In addition to oil, which accounted for 80% of the country’s exports in 2004, Gabon is a world leader in manganese. Potash, uranium, niobium, iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, marble, and phosphate have also been discovered, and several deposits are being exploited commercially.
Kenya has four belts of minerals - the gold green stone belt in western Kenya, which extends to Tanzania; the Mozambique belt passing through central Kenya, the source of Kenya’s unique gemstones; the Rift belt, which has a variety of resources including soda ash, fluorspar and diatomite; and, the coastal belt, which has titanium.
The mining industry of Malawi, includes a number of gemstones and other minerals. However, the value of mining is dominated by the extraction of fuel minerals, particularly uranium. Malawi's production of uranium has contributed 1% to the global production of this mineral. Since 2009, with new licenses granted to extract it from the Kayelekera uranium mine in Karonga District, in the northern region of the country, its production has contributed to an increase of Malawi's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1% to 10% as of 2013.
Rwanda has deposits of cassiterite, a tin ore, which is a very important ingredient of electronics components. The mineral is also found in Walikale, in DRC’s Northern Kivu Province, a part that borders Rwanda in the east. Other potentially profitable minerals include wolframite, columbite-tentalite, amblygonite and tantalite (colttan). Gold has also been explored in some parts of the country. Some semi-precious stones including tourmaline, topaz, corundum, chiastolite, amethyst, opal and agate have been discovered.
The mineral industry of Somalia produces small quantities of gemstones and salt. The country also has deposits of feldspar, gypsum, iron ore, copper, gold, kaolin, limestone, natural gas, quartz, silica sand, tantalum, tin, and uranium. The mineral industry makes a small contribution to Somalia’s exports and economy in general.
Tanzania has a wide variety of minerals including diamonds, gold, base metals, gemstones (including the unique Tanzanite) and a variety of industrial minerals (such as phosphates, mica, gypsum, limestone, graphite, quartz and vermiculite) that have a wide range of applications in ceramics, pottery, brick and tile-making, and glass manufacture as well as nickel, cobalt, copper, apatite, niobium, iron ore and coal.
Uganda also has a variety of mineral resources including copper, cobalt, tin, iron ore, tungsten, beryllium, limestone, phosphates, salt, clays, feldspar, diatomite, silica sand, glass, sand gravel, and construction materials such as granites and gneisses.
Mining companies in Zambia are focused on extracting the country’s vast copper and uranium deposits, as well as the more limited gold, nickel and industrial deposits.
The country's main commodities include metallurgical-grade chromite, as well as asbestos, coal, copper, gold, nickel, and iron ore.
Early development of the country was spurred by the European discovery of gold, in many cases they found evidence of previous goldmining.