Who Controls Africa’s Raw Materials?

TWENTY-SEVEN RAW MATERIALS COMPANIES, MOST REPRESENTING THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH raw materials cartel, dominate between 80 and 90% of all African metal and mineral output and refining. This excludes energy generation. The table below provides the list.

AMAX, U.S.A.
America Mineral Fields,* Canada
Anglo American, South Africa
Anglovaal, South Africa
Ashanti Mines, Ghana
Banro International,* Canada
Barrick Gold, Canada
Broken Hill Proprietary, Australia
BRPM and OCP, state companies, Morocco
Consolidated Goldfields, South Africa
Debswana and BCL, state companies, Botswana
Delta Gold,* Australia
Gecamines, state company, Zaire
Gencor, South Africa
Inco, Canada
International Panorama,* Canada and British Cayman Islands
Iskor, South Africa
JCI, South Africa
Lonrho, England
Phelps Dodge, U.S.A.
Rio Tinto Zinc, England
Rembrandt Group, South Africa
Royal Dutch Shell (minerals), England & Netherlands
SOMINKI, Kivu province company, Zaire
Tenke Company* (formerly Consolidated Eurocan), Canada
Union Miniere, Belgium
ZCCM/Zimco, state company, Zambia

* denotes a junior company

Notice three features of this list. Only two of the 27 companies with significant mining projects in Africa, are American: AMAX (formerly American Metals Climax), and Phelps Dodge. Phelps Dodge’s engagement arises from a single investment, in the Black Mountain Mineral Development in South Africa, which produces copper, lead, zinc, and silver. Contrary to the story that American firms are gobbling up Africa, the American presence is very small.

Second, five of the entities represent state mining companies. Four represent the federal mining companies of the nations of Botswana, Morocco (a big producer of phosphate), Zaire, and Zambia. A fifth entity, is the mining enterprise of Kivu province, Zaire, called Sominki. Laurent Kabila is facilitating the privatization of most of the rich holdings of Zaire’s Gecamines, and Sominki. As the May 9 meeting between Kabila and financiers in Lubumbashi, and other events make clear, the raw materials cartel companies are snapping up these properties. Likewise, in Zambia, privatization is beginning. Among the bidders for Zambia’s copper properties are Anglo American Corp. and Rio Tinto Zinc. Thus, soon, only two state enterprises, those of Botswana and Morocco, may exist in their current form.

Third, of the remaining 20 entities on the list, 19 are headquartered in either Britain, Canada, South Africa, or Australia (Union Miniere of Belgium, the 20th company, is part of this network, as is also the nominally American company, AMAX). The British Commonwealth companies dominate and produce the lion’s share of Africa’s resources: The 27 companies produce between 80% and 85% of all of Africa’s metal and minerals output, and the Commonwealth raw materials cartel component produces at least four-fifths of that amount. (It is estimated that the South Africa-based Oppenheimer family’s Anglo American/DeBeers empire controls one-quarter of all of Africa’s raw materials output, all by itself). Since Africa has little manufacturing or infrastructure, this places the life-or-death existence of most African nations, including the export earnings of several nations, in the cartel’s hands.

The cartel, which is consolidating those properties it does not already own, is moving to dispense with the nation-state, and to gather up those parcels of land where the raw materials lie. The genocidal policy of depopulating much of the continent, whose people the cartel views as superfluous, and even as interfering with its project, goes forward. This policy was spelled out in U.S. National Security Memorandum 200, in 1974, by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

With respect to destroying this cartel, Lyndon LaRouche stated May 17: “If the President moves against the genocide in Africa, the President must move against that cartel, one of the most powerful assemblies of international corporate power, which, like a pack of hyenas, is feeding on the corpse of Africa, the hyenas who are gobbling up the concessions, the raw materials concessions, the gold concessions, the diamond concessions, the strategic minerals concessions, the petroleum concessions, like George Bush and his friends. This includes Anglo American [Corporation] of South Africa; it includes Oppenheimer-DeBeers of South Africa; it includes, in fact, the hard-core of the entire British Commonwealth apparatus, centered upon the City of London, and backed by, and associated with the Privy Council of the British Monarchy. These are people who kill, like George Bush” (emphasis in original). [ref]