Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Maxfield, Donald W.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Linear programming; Copper industry and trade--Africa


The derivation of maximum benefits from natural resources is a goal of all nations, but this becomes especially important for the developing nations of Africa who rely heavily upon the revenues obtained from their natural resources for their economic survival. Copper is one such natural resource important to African nations. One of the ways in which the entire continent of Africa can improve their revenues from the mining of copper would be to align trade partners so as to produce a total least-cost transportation solution. Linear programming has provided us with the means to determine the market areas for the individual states in Africa under the constraint of total least-cost for transportation. Estimates were made for the cost of transporting copper from the mine site to nations which in reality do import copper of African origin. Volume of production and export of copper by each of the involved African states, along with the amount of copper required by the importing nations was obtained. Linear programming was applied to produce four models changing restraints of amount of copper exported and the transportation costs. In this manner the relative locational advantage of each of the exporters of copper in addition to the locational advantage of each of the importers of African copper was calculated. Finally, using the estimates for the transportation costs of copper the amount of money saved by each successive run of the linear program was determined in relation to the cost of transportation for the actual trade flow pattern.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [50]-51)


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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