Black, red and gold – metals in Africa

These pages are based on a past exhibition about how Africans make and use metals. It concentrates on the two commonest metals, iron and copper.

Africa is rich in natural resources from the earth. Only gold occurs naturally as a metal in any quantity; metallic iron is locked up in minerals called haematite and limonite, copper is in copper pyrites and malachite. Africa contributed about 7.5 million tonnes of iron in various forms to the world economy in 2004. Although this is only about 1.5% of total world production, Africa’s share of world iron production is likely to rise to as much as 10% by 2010.

You can learn more about metals in Africa from the bibliography page.