Inventory of Africa's mineral reserves to 'benefit development'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
30 August 2016

Work is taking place to develop a continent-wide inventory of mineral reserves in Africa.

The aim of the African Geological Mineral Information System (GMIS) strategy is to improve geological and geospatial information and its use in mining and development across Africa.

A summit took place in Cape Town, South Africa, last week where bosses of African Geological Survey Organisations, representatives of economic commissions and geological initiatives and experts from international organisations discussed the GMIS strategy.

The event was organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Minerals Development Centre.

Frank Dixon Mugyenyi, senior industry advisor of the AUC, said: “The GMIS strategy is a crucial first step in bringing together essential geological information that could benefit the entire African resource industry.

“This is a first, consolidating geological information of the African continent to benefit social and economic development of the African people.”

The AUC said GMIS would “promote the development of spatial data infrastructure among African countries” and “provide open access and facilitate data sharing and distribution across various levels of users, including private sector and government agencies”. It said the strategy would “increase regional and national mapping and exploration activities and support the development of a continent-wide mineral inventory”.

Minerals are vital to Africa’s economy, accounting for more than 90% of export earnings for countries including Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Libya and Nigeria. This figure is 80% for countries including Botswana, Sierra Leone and Sudan and 50% for Mali, Namibia and Zambia.

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