M a r k e t N e w s

Africa seen as increasingly big player in the steel industry

Posted on : Wednesday, 17th December 2014

 Given its large mining potential, African economies are expected to play an increasingly important role in producing raw materials for the production of steel.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said it was expecting growth from  South Africa, in particular, which accounted for 74% of Africa’s total production of iron-ore and 80.4% of its exports in iron-ore in 2012.
Mozambique was also an increasingly important player, with its status as one of the largest coking coal producers.
Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina told an OECD steel committee workshop, in Cape Town, that the exploitation of Africa’s rich mineral wealth was expected to drive steel demand. 
“It is estimated the mining industry will grow at a rate of 7% a year in sub-Saharan Africafor the next 15 years. A proportional steel demand growth is expected.”
He said African countries were expecting a considerable increase in the demand forfabricated structural steel for construction, pressure equipment, underground rail systems, conveyor belts, pumps, compressors, processing plants and heavy mining equipment.
The World Bank estimated current investment on mineral exploration, extraction and processing in Africa to be higher than $45-billion.
Masina added that more than 500 companies were currently exploring for oil across the African continent, while six of the top ten global discoveries in 2013 were made in Africa.
Africa contained about 30% of the world’s mineral resources and had large reserves of key minerals for steelproduction, including iron-ore, chromite, manganese and coal.
An OECD report outlined that South Africa was the largest manganese producer in the world, followed by Australia,China and Brazil. South Africa accounted for 75% of the identified world resources of manganese, an alloying element for strength and tenacity. The OECD said it expected additional manganese deposits to be discovered in other African countries.It also dominated world chromium mining, with exports heading mostly to China
Zimbabwe was the fifth-largest exporter of nickel ore and ferronickel to China from January to June this year.
Several countries in West Africa had not been as fortunate. The recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West African countries, such asLiberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the mining industry represented a significant share of the economy, had seriously affectedmining activities. The mining industry in Guinea accounted for 16.3% of its gross domestic product. In Sierra Leone, it was 15.8% and nearly 3% in Liberia.

Source : www.engineeringnews.co.za
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