In 2013, for the very first time, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) overtook Zambia to become Africa’s leading copper producer, with an output of 925 000 tonnes. This is an extraordinary accomplishment, given that barely 10 years earlier,...
1. It is the heaviest element in the universe Uranium is heavy, and is nearly three times as dense as iron. This makes it atomically unstable, which contributes to it being radioactive. Uranium’s natural radioactivity – the emission of particles...
The rewards in mining can be high, but so is the risk. Starting a new mining venture is a long and arduous journey, and there are many reasons why it could fail."It takes an average of 12 years between...
1. It is very rich in minerals The DRC has the largest reserves of coltan and is the biggest producer of the metal, which is needed in almost all electronic devices. The DRC produces more than half of the world’s...
There is something about “uranium” that connotes a rare — and even foreboding — substance, at least partly because of the way the word sounds. Compare “uranium” to good old “tin”, and it is somehow difficult to believe that...
Liberia is Africa’s oldest independent republicThe American Colonization Society founded Liberia as a haven for freed slaves who wanted to return to Africa. Around 10,000 men, women and children made their way across the Atlantic between 1821...
It’s been discovered on every continent on earth, it’s edible, our oceans contain nearly 20 million tonnes of it, and it’s perhaps the metal most infused with symbolism. Most people may associate gold with high-quality jewellery or wealth, but...
1. It is one of the world’s biggest producers of diamonds In 2017, Sierra Leone produced nearly 450 000 carats of diamonds, making it the world’s eighth-biggest producer. Other minerals mined in Sierra Leone include gold, rutile, iron ore, and...
Smelting is an extremely important part of the overall mining process, facilitating the extraction of all kinds of metals – including silver, and base metals like iron and copper – from their ores. But how much do you really...
Considering that the per carat value of coloured gemstones like emeralds and rubies is growing faster than diamond prices, it may finally be time to rewrite Marilyn Monroe’s 1950’s hit, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. The growing popularity...

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