Discovering Earths Untapped Land, Part 4/5: "the lost worlds of the African continent"

TRANSLATED BY MELANIE JOUD AND THOMAS SHACKLOCK

The world has not yet revealed all its treasures. Many biodiversity reserves remain untouched by human activity. Faced with the depletion of natural resources, Man is stretching its limits and is reaching more and more isolated areas of the globe. These rare lands could be his passport to life for centuries to come. For one week, le Journal International is reviewing them. The treasure hunt has only just begun

Previously in this file:

Part 1/5: “Under the ocean…”

Part 2/5: “Antarctica, Artic… beyond the glaciers”

Part 3/5: “At the heart of the virgin forests”

The African continent is sometimes said to be placed “on a drip”. This diagnosis can be contrasted. In Africa, many regions remain unexplored and the continent have great potential. This is due to the inaccessibility of some regions and to the lack of infrastructures. Africa is the continent of the future. It represents 30% of the global mineral resources. Its reserves in chrome, manganese and uranium are particularly important.

Diembéring in Senegal. Photo credit Angel Hernansaéz.

The term “Rare lands” also gains meaning in referring to metals such as scandium, cerium or neodymium. These substances are dispersed across the earth and deeply rooted in the earth’s crust. They can be found in eastern south Africa. They have become essential for mankind because they are used to produce computers, smartphones and electric cars.

As a result of this exploitation, toxic waters are being pumped into the air. It represents a health danger for human beings. Africa is a great supply point which attracts great powers. In 2016, a new treasure was found on the western coast. Oil and gas extraction opportunities have been demonstrated. More than a thousand oil barrels could be extracted just in Senegal.

Till the end of the world…

So many territories remain unknown and represent unexpected resource reservoirs. Bolivia and its “white gold”, lithium, appears to be a new energy source. Bituminous sands are making Canada a great oil producer. The competition for natural resources is not only on earth as the conquest for space is becoming the new Eldorado.

More to come in this file…

Part 5/5: “the Asian paradises under rock”

 

 

 

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