Working Paper
Mining’s contribution to low- and middle-income economies

In several low- and middle-income countries with important extractive sectors, gross national income has developed favourably. Africa has benefitted most, particularly West Africa. This survey provides an up-to-date statistical analysis of the contribution of non-fuel minerals mining to low- and middle-income economies.

Using the detailed data available for the minerals sector, an analysis is carried out of the current situation for 2014, and of trends in mining’s contribution to economic development for the years 1996–2014. The contribution of minerals and mining to gross domestic product and exports reached a maximum at the peak of the mining boom in 2011.

Although the figures for mining’s contribution had declined for most countries by 2014, the levels were still considerably higher than in 1996. The results of this survey contradict the widespread view that mineral resources create a dependency that might not be conducive to economic and social development.