Canadian involvement in African resources

From Canadian Exploration Activity Around the World,

In 2002, the larger-company mineral exploration market in Africa was valued at over $325 million, or more than 15% of the $2.1 billion larger-company market worldwide. The larger Canadian-based companies planned to spend more than $50 million in Africa, equivalent to over 15% of the market on that continent. At the end of 2002, companies of all sizes listed on Canadian stock exchanges held interests in over 530 mineral properties in 35 countries on the African continent, roughly the same number as at the end of the previous year. Canadian companies held interests in 80 properties in South Africa, more than 40 in each of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Tanzania, and more than 30 in each of Mali and Zimbabwe.

CANADA & AFRICA (Source: Mining Weekly)
Canadian resources firms set to pour billions into African mining and oil ventures

By: Innocent Madawo
Published: 24 Aug 07 - 0:00

At a time when Canada is scaling down trade with, and aid to, Africa, its mining and oil sectors are increasing their presence on the continent, where they are already a dominant foreign force.

Natural Resources Canada director-general Denis Legace says in a report that Canadian companies are set to pour some C$46-billion inot new mining projects and more than C$90-billion into the oil and gas sector on the continent by 2010.

Legace said the majority of the 53 countries in Africa have significant mineral potential, with huge resources of platinum, gold, chromium, uranium, cobalt, copper, coal, manganese, phosphate, titanium and nickel, besides other minerals.

“However, [Africa’s] development has lagged behind that of other mining regions elsewhere in the world,” Legace says, adding that this is the reason why Canadian companies are leading the way in a new push to exploit African mineral resources.

Currently, some 33 Canadian companies have an estimated C$7-billion to C$8-billion worth of mining assets in Africa, mostly in South Africa. The existing investment value is expected to increase more than twofold to about C$20-billion, in 2010, over and above the estimated C$46-billion worth of new investment.

More than 100 Canadian companies have ongoing exploration operations worth US$278-million in 37 African countries. This represents 24% of all exploration expenditure in Africa, the highest foreign investment in that sector anywhere in the world.

“Important discoveries [of various mineral deposits] have been made in Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Eritrea, Kenya, Niger, and so on,” says Legace.

He adds that C$13-billion worth of new investment is being planned for the next four to five years in 15 African countries, including Madagascar, Tanzania, South Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Zambia and Botswana.

“Mining is a key element of relations between Canada and Africa which presents new business opportunities for Canadian mining-equipment and -services companies,” Legace says.

He says that Africa has been a “missed opportunity” for Canadian suppliers who have been supplying equipment and services through South African and Australian companies but are now geared to make direct supplies.

Canadian political leaders have been accused of closing diplomatic missions and trade commissions in parts of sub-Saharan Africa or combining operations, arguing that there is not much business the country can do with Africa.

In fact, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was quoted last year as saying that Africa “is a lost cause”, but the mining industry has sought to prove him and others wrong.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu


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