Mineral of the month: GARNET


Garnet is popularly known as a semi-precious stone




Garnet g

Garnet is a group of closely related minerals that display a wide variety of colour ranging from deep red and orange to green and purple. While Garnet is popularly known as a semi-precious stone, it is mostly used as an industrial mineral. Harder species of garnets such as Almandine are used as abrasives and in water jet cutting. Garnet is also used in water filtration.

With increased awareness of the occupational health and safety risks associated with sand-blasting, industrial garnet is replacing silica sand as an abrasive in many parts of the world. Silica is not as hard or inert as garnet and silica produces hazardous dust during blasting that can cause silicosis and other serious health problems. Even while sand-blasting has been outlawed in Europe since the 1960s, it is still a technique used in textile manufacturing in some countries, to give denim jeans a pre-worn look. Investigative reporting has found that sand blasting is still in the supply chain of some popular jeans brands, while other brands have recently ruled out the practice.



ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme

‘Development Minerals’ are minerals and materials that are mined, processed, manufactured and used domestically in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Development Minerals are economically important close to the location where the commodity is mined. They include industrial minerals, construction materials, dimension stones and semi-precious stones.

  • Africa

    The African Union Commission has called member states to prioritize 'Development Minerals' as part of Africa's industrialization agenda. Find out more about our twenty-eight participating countries and four focus countries in Africa.

    All about this region

  • Caribbean

    "Development Minerals" underpin the construction and tourism sectors in the Caribbean. Find out more about our six participating countries and one focus country in the region.

    All about this region

  • Pacific

    The Pacific is literally built on sand. Find out more about our six participating countries and one focus country in the region.

    All about this region


East Africa

Population growth is creating a huge demand for housing and infrastructure, as well as the Development Minerals needed for the construction industry.


West Africa

Guinea-Conakry is one of the world's top bauxite producers, but it also has the potential to realise opportunities from the mining of Development Minerals.


Southern Africa

Zambia is paving more than 2000 km of roads with locally sourced pavers and cobblestones and in the process is creating tens of thousands of jobs.


Central Africa

The Government of Cameroon requires contracting authorities to incorporate local materials in the construction of public buildings.



Ancient coral, long ago compressed into limestone under the weight of mud, sand and yet more coral, accounts for 65% of the Jamaican island by weight, and 85% of its surface coverage.



Of the 68 active mineral extraction sites in Fiji, 66 mine Development Minerals.

Participating Countries

Forty (40) countries are participating in regional level training and knowledge exchange. Find out which ones.

[Africa] [Caribbean] [Pacific]

Focus Countries

Six (6) countries are undertaking in depth capacity building and country level training.

What are Development Minerals?

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