A variety of minerals and materials that are commonly found in Africa are in high demand for the rest of the world. The consumerist sensation of having the latest technology is behind this high demand. Everything from the next iPhone to the hippest hoverboard requires an abundance of raw materials. These minerals and materials include uranium, used for nuclear energy, platinum, used to make jewelry, and nickel, used to produce stainless steel, magnets, coins, and rechargeable batteries. The procurement and processing of these materials pose a problem for the environment of Africa. Processes like surface mining, strip mining, and solution mining are not only degrading the soil but are also making the soil very susceptible to erosion. Erosion caused by mining leads to further problems such as runoff into nearby water sources, resulting in harmful materials in the drinking supply. Additionally, any heating methods, such as burning coal, used to secure these minerals release dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The impacts of taking raw materials from the African continent are causing a plethora of problems for this continent. Everything from soil depletion to dangerous runoff has negative effects on the environment, and can lead to serious long-term damage for both the land and the people.