Top Major Untapped Mineral Resources In Nigeria
The most economically valuable minerals are crude oil, natural gas, coal, tin, and columbite (an iron-bearing mineral that accompanies tin). Nigeria is one of those countries in Africa that has a wide variety of different natural resources.
Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of Natural Resources raging from precious metals various stones to industrial such as Barites, Gypsum, Kaolin and Marble. There are tremendous opportunities for investments in the solid mineral sector of the Nigerian economy.
Prospecting licenses for investors (both local and foreign) to participate in the exploitation of the vast mineral resources in Nigeria is granted by the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.
Most of these are yet to be exploited. Statistically, the level of exploitation of these minerals is very low in relation to the extent of deposit found in the country. One of the objectives of the new National Policy on Solid Minerals is to ensure the orderly development of the mineral resources of the country.
The country needs to diversify its economy today more than ever because the worldwide demand for crude oil, which was once the nation’s main source of income, has decreased. There are many untapped natural resources that are dispersed over 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Taking advantage of these untapped mineral resources in Nigeria will ensure that the state government, don’t have to be overly reliant on federal funding for all initiatives, but can explore within their own borders for enormous natural resources that may be exploited.
Despite not having oil or as many natural resources as Nigeria, several developed countries with large economies include Singapore, China, and the United Arab Emirates. For survival, they are reliant on tourism, agriculture, and information technology.
Even our neighbors nations, such as Niger, Togo, and Benin, which do not receive any oil revenue, are thriving economically. In this post, we provide a list of ten (10) major untapped mineral resources in Nigeria that can be used to entice foreign investors to the nation, and grow the country economically.
TOP 10 MAJOR UNTAPPED MINERAL RESOURCES IN NIGERIA
Here are the major resources that are untapped in Nigeria today.
Gold is a sturdy mineral, and the government should properly fund its exploration to assist the economy recover. In Nigeria, there are a few small-scale gold mining operations. Kwara, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Zamfara, and the FCT are among the places where it is present.
(lignite, sub-bituminous coal, and bituminous coal) is one of Nigeria’s major natural resources and the country’s oldest untapped supply of commercial fuel. Due to the discovery of oil and gas, diesel, natural gas, and hydropower are now used to generate electricity.
According to information obtained by Economic Confidential, undeveloped lignite deposit locations with over 50 million tonnes include Oriu in the Southeast, Urnuezeala, Umuahia, Nnewi, and Oba in a 20 to 40 km wide strip across the Niger to Ogwashi, Asaba, Mgbiigliba, and Adiase-Uti in Delta State. Additionally, it is abundant in Benue State.
Columbite is a black mineral group that is an ore of niobium. It is a niobate of iron and manganese and has a sub-metallic lustre. For radio transmission valves and heat-sensitive detective devices, it is utilised as a steel alloy to provide weldable high speed steel. Columbite ore’s return on investment (ROI) is estimated to be between 10% and 15%. The states of Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Kogi, and Nassarawa are where it is most common.
Direct crystallization of seawater and the buildup of shell pieces are the two processes that give rise to limestone. Nigerian limestone ranges in specific gravity from 2.70 to 2.86 on average, making it a potential market for the country’s government to investigate. States like Borno, Sokoto, Cross River, and Benue contain significant amounts of limestone.
The government’s ability to discover tin ore will contribute to economic growth and provide jobs for Nigerians. Tin ore is produced and utilised to make electrical lead wires, tin oxide resistors, paint, paper, and ink. It is primarily found in Jos, Plateau State, where there are 10,546 tonnes.
The purest iron ore reserves have been found in Nigeria, especially those at Itakpe in Kogi State. To investigate, develop, and create iron and steel in Nigeria, the Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCL) in Ajaokuta and the Delta Steel Company (DCL) in Aladja might be remodelled. Additionally, iron ore has been found in the states of Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kwara, Nasarawa, and Plateau.
After the Nigerian Uranium Mining Company (NUMCO) was shut down in 1996, the government neglected to explore the resources, which had a detrimental impact on the economy. Deposits of uranium can be found in states like Cross River, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauch, and Kano.
Another natural resource that has the potential to provide millions of Nigerians with jobs is marble. It is widely used for architecture and sculpture in Nigeria. The FCT, Delta, Kogi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, and Rivers states are where it can be found.
Bitumen was first found in Nigeria in 1900, and it was initially explored in 1905. In the states of Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, and Edo, there are bitumen deposits. Conoco conducted a scientific and economic examination of the deposit and found that there are more than 13 billion barrels of oil in the bitumen and tar sands spread out over the country.
Last but not least, kaolin is a type of industrial material that is readily available in Nigeria in large quantities. Kaolin deposits are thought to be present in roughly 2 billion metric tonnes across the country, mainly in the states of Edo, Ogun, Nasarawa, and Plateau.
PROFILE OF SOLID MINERAL DEPOSITS IN NIGERIA
The Proven Nigeria oil reserves are 23 Billion barrels; the gas reserves are 160 Trillion cubic meters.
Over 40 million tonnes deposits of talc have been identified in Niger , Osun, Kogi, Ogun and Kaduna states. The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC)’s 3,000 tonnes per annum catalytic Talc plant in Niger state is the only talc plant in the country. The talc industry represents one of the most versatile sectors of the industrial minerals of the world. The exploitation of the vast deposits would therefore satisfy local demand and that for export.
Gypsum is an important input for the production of cement. It is also used for the production of Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) and classroom chalks. A strategy for large-scale mining of gypsum is urgently required to sustain the existing plants and meet the future expansion. Currently, cement production is put at 8 million tonnes per annum while the national requirement is 9.6 million tonnes. About one billion tonnes of gypsum deposits are spread over many states in Nigeria.
There are over 3 billion metric tonnes of iron ore in deposits found in Kogi, Enugu and Niger States as well as the Federal Capital Territory . Iron Ore is being mined at Itakpe in Kogi State and is already being beneficiated, up to 67 per cent of iron. The Aladja and Ajaokuta Steel complexes are ready for consumer of billets and other iron products for down-stream industries.
An estimated 10 million tonnes of lead/zinc veins are spread over eight states of Nigeria . Proven reserves in three prospects in the east-central area are 5 million tonnes. Joint venture partners are encouraged to develop and exploit the various lead/zinc deposits all over the country.
Bentonite and Baryte
These are the main constituents of the mud used in the drilling of all types of oil wells. The Nigerian baryte has specific gravity of about 4.3. Over 7.5 million tonnes of baryte have been identified in Taraba and Bauchi States. Large bentonite reserves of 700 million tonnes are available in many states of the federation ready for massive development and exploitation.
There are proven reserves of both alluvial and primary gold in the schist belt of Nigeria located in the south-western part of the country. The deposits are mainly alluvial and are currently being exploited on a small scale. Private investors are invited to stake concessions on these primary deposits.
The occurrence of bitumen deposits in Nigeria is indicated at about 42 billion tonnes; almost twice the amount of existing reserves of crude petroleum. Analytical results suggest that this potential resource can be used directly as an asphalt binder. Most bitumen used for road construction in Nigeria is currently imported.
Nigerian coal is one of the most bituminous in the world owing to its low sulphur and ash content and therefore the most environment-friendly. There are nearly 3 billion tonnes of indicated reserves in 17 identified coal fields and over 600 million tonnes of proven reserves.
The national annual demand for table salt, caustic soda, chlorine, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide exceeds one million tonnes. A colossal amount of money is expended annually to import these chemicals by chemical and processing companies including tanneries and those in food and beverages, paper and pulp, bottling and oil sector. There are salt springs at Awe ( Plateau State ), Abakaliki and Uburu ( Ebonyi State ), while rock salt is available in Benue State . A total reserve of 1.5 million tonnes has been indicated, and further investigations are now being carried out by Government.
Gemstones mining has boomed in various parts of Plateau, Kaduna and Bauchi states for years. Some of these gemstones include sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, emerald, tourmaline, topaz, garnet, amethyst; zircon, and flourspar which are among the world’s best. Good prospects exist in this area for viable investments.
An estimated reserve of 3 billion tonnes of good kaolinitic clay has been identified in many localities in Nigeria.
What is the new mineral found in Nigeria?
Recently, Nigeria discovered enormous reserves of Lithium, a highly reactive metal used in energy-dense rechargeable batteries used in cell phones, electric vehicles, and grid storage. Most of the world’s Lithium is produced in four countries: Australia (the world’s largest producer), Chile, Argentina, and China.