The occurrence of minerals is associated with the geological structure of the continent. On the shields, where the crystalline rocks of the foundation of the platform come to the surface, and deposits of ore minerals are found in the folding belts of different ages. The so-called “copper belt”, which extends through all of East Africa along the East African rift, is rich in metal ores. The ores were formed during the introduction of magma into the earth’s crust, which poured from the depths of the earth through the faults. The largest deposits of diamonds are concentrated in the south of the continent. The zone of the Atlas mountains is rich in ores of iron, mercury, lead, zinc and other metals.
Where the basement of the platform is covered with a layer of sedimentary rocks, nonmetallic fossil deposits, in particular oil and natural gas, occur. Therefore, the largest areas of oil and gas production on the mainland are its northern part and the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. These deposits are associated with sedimentary rocks of the cover of the African-Arabian platform.