Nigeria is blessed with numerous reserves of mineral resources and the sector is virtually
stagnant. Recent economic policy reforms have brought the solid minerals sector into the fore.
The focus is on encouraging massive foreign investors’ participation. Solid mineral deposits in
Coal – It is on record that Nigerian coal is one of the most bituminous in the world. It has low
sulphur and ash content and therefore is the most environment friendly. There are nearly
3billion tonnes of indicated reserves in 17 identified coalfields and over 600million tonnes of
Gemstones – Mining of gemstones has boomed in various parts of the country for quite a
number of years. Some of these gemstones include Flourspar, Zircon, Amethyst, Topaz, Garnet
and many more
Talc – with an estimated reserve of over 100million tons available in Osun, Kogi, Ogun, Kwara,
Niger, Kaduna and Taraba States
Lead/Zinc – There is an estimated 10 million tons of lead/zinc veins spread over seven states in
Bentonite and Baryte – main constituents of the mud used in drilling of oil wells. Over
7.5million tons of barite have been found in Taraba and Bauchi States. About 700 million tons of
bentonite are available in different parts of the federation.
Kaolin – an estimated reserve of 3 billion tonnes of good kaolin clays has been identified in
several locations in Nigeria.
Gold – There are proven reserves of deposits of gold in various parts of Western Nigeria. A
number of primary deposits sufficiently big enough for large scale mechanised mining has been
discovered in the northwest and southwest parts of the country. It is important to note that the
primary deposits are of relatively high grade and at shallow depth. Costs of production could be
as low as £40 per ounce.
Rock Salt – The demand, nation-wide, for table salt, chlorine, sodium hydrochloric acid,
hydrogen peroxide, caustic soda and sodium bicarbonate exceeds one million tonnes per
annum. A very huge sum of money is spent annually to import these chemicals by various
companies dealing in tanneries, food beverages, paper and so on.