|Minerals are basically the important economic substances of the earth. Minerals found in developing countries can significantly relieve a country economically. When gold was discovered in the mid 19th century, people were quick to realise that there was money to be made from mineral resources. It is found in the deep underground in nugget form and as flecks between the rocks under river beds. It is also found in the volcanic regions of the world. |
Gold is a very heavy substance and is used to make jewellery and for the decoration of royal artifacts such as the crowns that queens and kings adorn. There are estimated to be over 1900 tonnes of gold reserves in the world now, 30% of which can be found in South Africa. Silver is a rival to gold in terms of its wealth as well as its attractiveness and it is thought that there are around 13000 tonnes of silver in the world.
Many of the world's wealthy minerals can be found in Africa, including gold and vast quantities and reserves of iron ore and bauxite. These are metals that can present a country with good economic assets. Other valuable metals include nickle, chrome, mercury, tin, zinc, lead, copper and zinc. Precious stones when mined successfully can also be a wealthy asset for any country. Examples of precious stones include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, amethyst and emeralds.