Find Mining expertise in Nigeria

The mining sector is dominated by joint venture operations between the Nigerian government and six major international oil companies, namely Shell, Mobil, Chevron, Agip, Elf and Texaco. The federal government is currently looking to attract investment into the sector to promote growth. The Nigerian Investment Promotion Council Decree deregulation of the mining sector allows for 100% foreign ownership of mining operations and related enterprises.

Nigeria’s solid mineral resources include tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, gold, talc, rock salt, gypsum, bitumen, gemstones, kaolin, tantalite and columbite. In recent years the British Geological Survey discovered several significant uranium deposits in a handful of states.

The mining of solid minerals in Nigeria accounts for less than 1% of GDP (2010), since oil and gas dominate the nation’s extractive industry. The main solid minerals in Nigeria’s mining industry include coal, tin, niobium and gold. In 2010, Nigeria produced an estimated 21,200 metric tons of aluminium, 600 kg of gold, 50,000 metric tons of iron ore, 450,000 metric tons of bituminous coal, 190 metric tons of niobium (columbium) and 230 metric tons of tin (US Geological Survey).

Before the discovery of oil in the 1950’s, solid minerals played a central role in the economic development of Nigeria. Indeed, the export of solid minerals was once a major foreign exchange earner. Having become monopolised by state-owned corporations, the industry became privatised in the early 2000s. As a result of the immense concentration on the oil and gas industries by domestic and multinational companies, the mining of solid minerals in Nigeria remains underdeveloped and thus contains much potential. Various reports suggest that Nigeria may have the largest coal deposits in Africa.

A number of international and Nigerian companies are engaged in the mining sector. The activities of Dangote Group, started up by a Nigerian and one of West Africa’s largest industrial conglomerates, include mining as well as food products, cement, textiles, real estate, oil and gas and maritime operations. Izabella Nigeria Limited is a Japanese/ Nigerian company, and is one of the few primary silver, lead and zinc exploration and mining companies in Nigeria. Examples of smaller mining companies include Proper Technologies, Rhodium Limited and A. G. Nassima Minerals Limited.

Exact employment figures for the mining sector were unavailable. Data suggests that there are a lot of people employed in artisanal and small-scale mining, and that there is significant amount of illegal mining taking place.

Mining and Minerals organisations in Nigeria
Diamond Development Initiatives
Ministry of Solid Minerals Development
Nigerian Coal Corporation