20 Most valuable natural resources in Africa and their locations

Natural resources are located in almost all countries across the world today. Africa currently has the largest reserves of natural resources of any other continent in the world. 

At present, Africa is bragged to possess over 30% of the global gold reserve and over 60% of the global reverse for platinum, cobalt, diamonds and uranium. 

This article takes a look at the most valuable natural resources in Africa and the nations that possess these resources. 

List of the 20 most valuable natural resources in Africa and where they are found

1. Petroleum

Petroleum is a natural black liquid often referred to as crude oil. It is a fossil fuel made up of hydrocarbons. 

Petroleum is found in several African countries, including Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Sudan, Egypt, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, Gabon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Tunisia, Cameroon, Kongo-Kinshasa, Niger, and Côte D’Ivoire.

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2. Coal

Just like petroleum, coal is a black fossil fuel formed from sedimentary rocks. It is a hydrocarbon often used to produce energy or power locomotive engines across the world. 

African countries having large deposits of coal includes South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Swaziland, Botswana, DR Congo, Algeria, Zambia, Egypt, Morocco, Niger, C. A. Republic, Malawi, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, S.T. & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, and Uganda.

3. Gold

Gold is arguably the most lucrative resource in the world, with almost all countries accepting gold as a medium of exchange. 

Gold is a naturally occurring metal with a yellowish blend of colours. It is found in ores or at the bottom of large water bodies. African countries where gold can be found include Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Mauritius, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Kenya, and Cameroon.

4. Iron

Iron is one of the most common metals found on the surface of the earth. It has varying uses based on your need, from being made into containers to its use in the manufacturing of engineering equipment and so on. 

Places, where iron can be found in Africa, include Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Gabon, South Africa, Mauritania, Morocco, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Tunisia, and Uganda.

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5. Titanium

Titanium is a durable metal mostly situated as an oxide in the environment. Places, where Titanium can be found in Africa, include South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.

6. Zinc

Zinc is a blackish metallic substance found underneath the earth. African countries having zinc include South Africa, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Morocco, Nambia, Nigeria, DR Congo, and Algeria.

7. Copper

Copper is a naturally occurring element found underneath the earth’s surface. African countries having copper are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and South Africa.

8. Diamonds

Diamonds are clear precious stones made of carbon. They often generate a hard crystallized structure. Diamonds are mostly used for the production of luxury items. 

African countries where diamonds can be found include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, and South Africa.

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9. Gypsum

Gypsum is a mineral made of hydrous calcium sulfate. It consists of sedimentary rocks and other particles. African countries that have gypsum include Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and South Africa.

10. Salt

Salt is a mineral compound majorly consisting of sodium chloride. African countries that have salt include Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Tanzania.

11. Sulfur

This is a naturally occurring element that can be in soil and some plants. It is used for the production of gun powders.

African countries where sulfur can be found include South Africa, Zambia and Morocco.

12. Phosphate

Phosphate is yet another mineral compound found in Africa. Countries, where Phosphate can be found in Africa, include Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia.

13. Bauxite

Bauxite is a heterogeneous element containing aluminium hydroxide. Countries, where bauxite can be found in Africa, include Guinea, Mozambique, and Ghana

14. Uranium

This is a metal that occurs in small quantities in nature. Uranium can be found in Niger, Namibia, and South Africa.

15. Platinum

Platinum is a natural element found in abundance in the earth’s crust. Countries, where Platinum can be found in Africa, includes South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

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16. Limestone

Limestone also referred to as calcium carbonate is made from sedimentary rocks. Countries in Africa having limestones are Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

17. Rubber

Rubber is a plant with a vast range of uses. Countries in Africa where rubber can be found include Nigeria, Zaire, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Central Africa Empire, Ghana, Mali, and Congo.

18. Cocoa

Cocoa takes the spot as the first edible resource on our list. The chocolate market is huge and Africa currently accounts for over 80% of cocoa exports across the world. Countries, where cocoa can be found in Africa, include Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

19. Silver

Silver is a metallic element occurring as a soft, white, lustrous substance. Countries in Africa where silver can be found include Morocco, South Africa, Eritrea, Tanzania, Namibia, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, and Algeria. 

20. Uranium

Uranium is a highly reactive metal found in rocks. Uranium acts as one of the major minerals on the African continent, with Africa claiming over 30% of the global Uranium reserves.

African countries where Uranium can be found include Niger, Namibia and South Africa.


Africa is largely blessed with abundant resources; the continent has been classified as the richest on the planet in terms of natural resources. African resources are the trade of most African nations today. 

Nonetheless, Africa has been plagued by increased wars, theft of natural resources, conflicts and corruption which has contributed significantly to the reduction of the benefits derived from the benefits of the use of its natural resources. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo is sitting on the continent’s largest reserves of mineral resources. 

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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