Where's The Movement In Africa’s Mineral Markets?

by Ina King (Potgieter) February 27, 2020

With almost 2 000 registered mining projects and mines on the continent, suppliers to the mining industry know that Africa represents big business.

And yet locating the projects in need of specific equipment, technology and services can be difficult and time consuming.

Suppliers and OEMs need to align their growth strategy to where their markets are most active.

Suppliers of services such as surveying and exploration in the grassroots stages of a mine’s development should look to West African countries Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali, as well as South Africa, which have over 100 such projects between them, to find new business.

Companies providing prefeasibility-stage services, such as drilling and sampling, can consider targeting a variety of projects in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, the DRC and Namibia, among others. Suppliers of specialist gold beneficiation technologies may be interested in the 9 new gold mining projects making excellent progress towards bankability in Eritrea (the Asmara Projects).

If you want to target the mining industries of Africa, you need to know where to look: where are the geographic centres of growing mineral markets? What minerals are driving this growth? Where is each mining project in its lifecycle, and what products and services does it require?

Mining investors and suppliers need to have a clear grasp and knowledge of the markets in which there is potential for profitable mining growth.

What follows is an overview of Africa’s mining markets. (All of this data was pulled from Projects IQ’s Mining Database - Africa Mining IQ.)


Tracking movement in Africa’ mining projects


Considering potential mining opportunities in the grassroots phase, South Africa currently leads the continent with 37 projects, followed by Burkina Faso and Mali at 21 each.

Of the grassroots projects in South Africa, more than half are for gold and the remaining projects are for coal, diamonds, PGM, nickel and lead. Mali and Burkina Faso are also gold-dominated in this phase, as are Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Mali also has grassroots projects for that increasingly key strategic mineral lithium, as well as aluminium.

Many industry observers expect the demand for major mined commodities to grow strongly in the next 10 to 20 years and Africa will play a lead role in meeting that demand.


Suppliers of services in the pre-feasibility stage, such as aeromagnetic/geophysical surveys, mapping, geochemical and soil sampling, first phase drilling, modelling, infill drilling, and so on, can take advantage of a wealth of business opportunities spread throughout the continent.

Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, the DRC, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia have numerous prefeasibility projects. South Africa hosts about 20% of all projects in pre-feasibility, paying testament to the scale of the country’s mineral wealth, after decades of intensive mining. These projects are primarily focussed on gold and coal, with one emerald mine project.

Gold is also the predominant mineral being developed across countries with the larger share of mining projects, although Botswana has 6 diamond projects in this phase.


The feasibility study defines the ore reserves, mining methods, the mineral processing concepts and the scale of a mining project. Tendering and contracting of the Engineering Procurement Construction Management (EPCM) or Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) and any other engineers and consultants required are adjudicated in this development phase. OEMs and suppliers of goods and services providers use this stage to get their products and or services specified for the project, prior to the closed tendering process taking place. This offers them a far better chance of being invited for tenders.

Africa currently has 140 such projects. In addition to South Africa, which has 33 projects in feasibility, Senegal, Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Botswana also have a number of projects in the feasibility stage.


Environmental Impact Studies (EIS), architectural planning, design and consulting are completed, which means mine construction can begin. This provides the opportunity for equipment manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services to be invited for tenders, subject they were specified in the feasibility stage of development of the project. More contracts are awarded and development can begin.

South Africa, Tanzania and Eritrea have the highest numbers of bankable projects across the continent.


South Africa, the DRC and Mozambique have the highest number of active projects, with the 3 countries having more than 50% of the continent’s active projects.

This stage mainly deals with civil works, construction and infrastructure of the project at all levels such as shaft-sinking, process plant construction, accommodation, roads etc. Suppliers should take note of early talks of possible expansions or refurbishments to the mines, which provides the opportunity for future tenders. This phase is complete when the project is commissioned and production of ore begins.


South Africa features over 50% of the continent’s operational (producing) mines, creating a huge, ongoing demand for mining equipment and processing technologies, as well as infrastructural needs such as water treatment and soft services such as catering.

The country’s 196 operational mining projects are followed by a considerable distance by Zambia, the DRC and Namibia (18 projects each), Botswana (17) and Mali (12).


Whatever service or equipment you supply to the mining industry, having an in-depth understanding of the who, what, when, where, why and how of Africa’s rich mining industries will be critical to successfully targeting new business and generate sales.

Would you like to contact key personnel directly at mines that need your products and services? We provide all the up-to-date details you need to get in touch with prospective customers.

Benefits to Subscribing to AMIQ

AMIQ tracks close to 2,000 projects and mines across Africa. If you want to invest in mining, if you want to invest in Africa, if you provide product or services to mines in Africa, you need AMIQ intel. Subscribers to AMIQ's mining intelligence database can identify where investor confidence is flourishing.

Africa Mining IQ has created various analysis reports to provide you with an overview of mining projects in Africa by region, mineral type, and plant type. You can use these reports to analyse growth potential in developing commodity markets and better strategically plan your business development efforts. Africa Mining IQ provides a complete project report for each of the over 1 900 African projects we track, including everything from historical and up to the minute commentaries to contact details for suppliers, engineers and mine owners.

AMIQ has 170 company subscriptions, 20% of which are international. It is becoming easier to do business across the globe. AMIQ is for anyone who supplies a product or provides a service to mines. With key contact details, and being in the know in the early stages of project development, you can build meaningful relationships with the right people and position yourself early for a successful bid for mining projects in Africa. Keep a close eye on developing projects aligned to your business and identify projects, with weekly or monthly alerts. Don't delay, subscribe to AMIQ today and reap the rewards of comprehensive African mining project intelligence.

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