Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 29 April 2010 – South Africa is the world’s richest country in terms of its mineral reserves – worth US$2.5 thousand billion, according to research by the American banking group Citigroup, reports Bloomberg.
Reporting from here, Fin24 quotes the Citigroup report, which was compiled by its mining analyst Craig Sainsbury, as saying that Russia comes second after South Africa, and Australia third.
The research states that South Africa, Guinea, the Ukraine, India and Kazakhstan all have mineral reserves unrelated to energy worth more than US$200 billion. Mines in these countries also all have average life spans of more than 100 years at current rates of exploitation.
Countries like Guinea and Kazakhstan with high resource values but limited mining activity could see greater demand from the world’s biggest mining companies and foreign wealth funds, the report continues.
Sainsbury goes on to say that Chinese mines have an average 17-year life of mine, according to surveys by the US Geological Survey system.
He adds that it is no wonder that China continues to invest massively in metals and mining, and that China is expected to continue investing in copper and iron ore, together with energy resources like coal and uranium.
Of South Africa’s US$2 500 billion worth of reserves, US$2 300 billion resides in the platinum group metals. Russia’s iron ore reserves are valued at US$794 billion “’ more than the Australian iron ore reserves, which are estimated to be worth US$737billion.
In dollar values Guinea, South Africa, India, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan are the countries that under-produce the most in terms of their reserves, says Sainsbury.