The mineral industry of Africa is one of the largest mineral industries in the world. Africa is the second biggest continent, with 30 million km² of land, which implies large quantities of resources. For many African countries, mineral exploration and production constitute significant parts of their economies and remain keys to economic growth. Africa is richly endowed with mineral reserves and ranks first or second in quantity of world reserves of bauxite, cobalt, industrial diamond,phosphate rock, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium. Gold mining is Africa’s main mining resource.
The Central African Mining and Exploration Company (CAMEC), one of Africa’s primary mining enterprises, is criticized for its unregulated environmental impact and minimal social stewardship. In the spring of 2009, retired British cricket player Phil Edmonds’ assets were seized by the United Kingdom’s government due to CAMEC’s illicit association with self-appointed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. CAMEC recently sold 95.4% of its shares to the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. It is under restructuring and is no longer trading under the CAMEC brand.
African mineral reserves rank first or second for bauxite, cobalt, diamonds, phosphate rocks, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, and zirconium. Many other minerals are present in quantity. The 2005 share of world production from African soil was bauxite 9%; aluminium 5%; chromite 44%; cobalt 57%; copper 5%; gold21%; iron ore 4%; steel 2%; lead (Pb) 3%; manganese 39%; zinc 2%; cement 4%; natural diamond 46%; graphite 2%; phosphate rock 31%; coal 5%; mineral fuels(including coal) & petroleum 13%; uranium 16%.