Cover Image
close this bookMining in Africa Today - Strategies and Prospects (UNU, 1987, 91 pages)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
close this folder1. Deficit in the north, specialization in the south
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMineral specialization in Africa
View the documentMining countries and mineral specialization
View the document2. Africa in world mining geography
close this folder3. Trends in mineral specialization
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAfrica's specialization and world demand
close this folder4. Control of the world mineral industry
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe aluminium oligopoly
View the documentThe copper oligopoly
View the documentConcentration in the iron and uranium sectors
View the document5. The technology of mining and metallurgy
close this folder6. The strategies of transnationals
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentTechnological strategies
View the documentInvestment diversification strategies
View the documentCollective investments
View the documentFinance strategies
View the document7. Control of African mineral fields
View the document8. Mine rents and mineral prices
close this folder9. Mining or industrialization specialization?
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe unbalanced processing of copper in Africa
View the documentBauxite processing and aluminium production in Africa
View the documentIron ore export and steel production
View the document10. The myth of relocation
View the document11. Conclusion

Iron ore export and steel production

Africa provides about 7.5% of world iron ore output but its relative share of steel production is almost nil. Steel output in Africa amounts to some three million tons (excluding South Africa, which produces six to seven million tons) while the world output oscillates around 700 million tons. Steel production in Africa is concentrated in a few countries in the north and south of the continent. Elsewhere, we find only small electric furnaces fed with scrap which produce reinforcing bars for the construction industry. The main iron ore producing countries, Liberia and Mauritania, have no processing facilities, while the big investment projects are located in Algeria and Nigeria and although their implementation has begun they have suffered many delays. Other, less important, projects which have been considered in Liberia, Mauritania, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Zambia and Kenya have simply been abandoned. The US steel enterprises in Liberia considered building a steel plant of 150,000 tons for export to the neighbouring countries, but, like its predecessor of the 1960s, this project has not been carried out.

Unlike copper and aluminium, the consumption of steel in Africa is currently much greater than its production. African steel consumption (South Africa excluded) is about eight million tons, mainly covered by imports. The development of local processing in the iron ore producing countries would, therefore, imply the substitution of steel exports for iron ore exports for these countries, but not necessarily for the continent as a whole.