At the dawn of the 20th century, European geologists described Congo as a geological scandal. Today economists estimate that Congo has an estimated $24 trillion worth of mineral wealth. According to the World Bank, Congo has “80 million hectares of arable land and over 1,100 minerals and precious minerals.” Congo is a storehouse of strategic minerals such as cobalt, coltan and uranium. It is the largest producer of copper in Africa. Its minerals are vital to several global industries such as aerospace, military, technology, electronics, and automobile. Two key minerals stand out in the Congo:
Coltan – Coltan is short for Columbite-tantalite – a black tar-like mineral found in major quantities in the Congo.
Cobalt – a shiny metal that is a byproduct of the mining of nickel and copper.
Minerals and Elements in the DRC (PDF)
By Edward R. Landa