Where do they get this bollocks from?

The DRC should be one of Africa\’s richest countries. It has a mineral wealth estimated to be around $24 trillion (£15tn). There are huge deposits of cobalt, diamonds, gold, copper, oil and 80% of the world\’s supplies of coltan ore – a valuable mineral used in computers and mobile phones.

So, \”coltan\” is the NGO name for columbo-tantalite. Which is an ore. So \”coltan ore\” is stupid right from the start.

Secondly, the Congo doesn\’t have anything like 80% of the world\’s reserves. This is simply a myth which has been repeated so often the idiots actually believe it. It\’s more like 8 or 9% (although to be sure, no one\’s ever really done a complete geological survey of the country\’s minerals).

Thirdly, what the buggery is this $24 trillion number?

Well, what that actually is is the value of all of the minerals after they\’ve been dug up, processed and then sold. At current prices and entirely ignoring the fact that if you dumped 9% of global tantalum reserves onto a 1,000 tonne a year global market then tantalum would be worth 3 cents a tonne.

And it\’s ignoring the costs of digging it all up and processing it as well.

On which basis I declare the North Sea to be worth $240 billion for the gold in it: ignoring the $1.2 trillion cost of processing it out of the seawater.

Oh, silly me, it\’s by Greg Palast.

That\’s where they get the bollocks from.

7 comments on “Where do they get this bollocks from?

  1. Which all rather bears out the point I made in an earlier thread that you don’t/can’t expand an economy by adding “resources” to it. It’s nothing to do with “resources” and everything to do with what you do with them, wherever they come from.

  2. Ian B – although you can grow an economy by adding inputs.

    How difficult is this stuff to mine? Obviously all the value-adding processing is unlikely to take place there for some time to come, but is the basic extraction feasible if you have enough chaps, picks and spades?

  3. How difficult is this stuff to mine?

    Trivial. But currently next-to-impossible to sell (the coltan at least). Thanks to apparently well-meaning lefties.

    Tim adds: Trivial in The Congo, true. Because the ore is so rich and is pretty much lying on hte surface. Bloody difficult in other parts of the world though (the largest miner, in Oz, went bust a few years back what with hte expense of mining).

  4. SE, Tim – cheers. Had heard tales of extraction by massed unskilled labour in primitive and deeply unpleasant conditions, but wasn’t sure whether it could be taken at face value (usually reported via war correspondents or campaigners with an agenda to push, so was wary of accuracy or neutrality issues respectively).

  5. Since the original artical is about vulture funds, this post is bordering on the insane.

    Of course what should have been said is that 80% (est) of the available workforce in DCR have moved from farming to coltan.

    But lets sue them for $100M anyhow, whilst we exploit.

  6. Since the original artical is about vulture funds, this post is bordering on the insane.

    Why? Just because the original article is complaining about something a lot of people feel strongly about doesn’t make the use of inaccurate facts to support the complaint any less arguable.

    It’s like this:

    In 2010, Britain passed a law banning vulture funds from collecting in UK courts. But the legislation failed to mention Jersey. Because Jersey is not specifically mentioned, it is automatically excluded under British law, a loophole that FG Hemisphere immediately exploited.

    Now replace ‘Jersey’, an independent jurisdiction by another, say ‘the USA’, to see how bonkers that argument is. Who are the UK to determine what can or cannot be litigated in Jersey or US courts?

    And no mention of Dodd-Frank at all. But because that was generated by nice cuddly lefties rather than evil venture capitalists, the fact it is also preventing the DRC from profiting from its mineral wealth is just an unfortunate side effect, yes?

  7. So glad to see Johan Harri got fucked. He lied about this subject aswell annoying the fuck out of me. Karma’s a bitch innit

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