The copper ore malachite is found worldwide. The main reserves, however, lie in the 'Copperbelt', which runs from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Zambia.
In the nineteenth century, industrial success depended on the possession of raw materials. If they were not available in the home country, colonies had to be acquired elsewhere in the world to provide access to them. In the twentieth century, things changed. Factors like a skilled workforce, political stability and the availability of investment capital now became more important. And where commodities were concerned, it was less important to own them than to have access to global reserves.