Nowadays, natural resources play a big role in the economic sector of our country. In this article, we are going to look through the main mineral resources in Nigeria and where they can be found.
Mineral resources are materials of economic interest found in or on the earth’s surface in such quantity, quality, and form, which can be be used to improve the economy. In general, the Nigerian economy is partial towards the study of minerals, especially petroleum.
Here is the list of the major mineral resources in Nigeria and where they can be found:
#1 Petroleum and natural gas
Well, petroleum and natural gas go hand-in-hand, and what’s more, this was first discovered in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State in 1959. Petroleum is the most important mineral that is available in Nigeria. Basically, about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day is produced while the gas reserves are put at 160 trillion cubic meters.
This great quantity of oil is produced by just eight states. They are known as the oil producing states and are situated in the Niger Delta Region of the country. These states are Delta, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, Ondo, and Abia.
Nigeria has four refineries for refining crude oil. These four refineries consist of the two in Rivers State, one in Warri that is in Delta, and the last one is in Kaduna State.
Coal was first found in Enugu in 1909. In 1916, its exploration began at the Ogbete Mine. The Nigerian coal is thought to be one of the best coals all over the world owning to its low ash and sulphur content, which makes it eco-friendly. From research, it had been discovered that Nigeria has about three billion tonnes of indicated coal reserves in seventeen identified coal fields. Right now, only about 600 million tonnes of processed reserves are in existence.
This mineral is very rich in energy, but still, it is not widely used in Nigeria because of Diesel and gas. By the way, countries like Italy and the United Kingdom are very interested in it. The Federal Government is now starting to think about its privatization. Coal had been discovered in such states as Ondo, Enugu, Zamfara, Benue, Nasarawa, and Plateau.
As for this mineral resource, it was discovered in 1900, and its exploration started in 1905. Actually, bitumen reserves in Nigeria are twice the volume of the country’s existing crude oil. It is put at 42 billion tonnes. The most surprising thing is that these great reserves have not been exploited, and most of the bitumen used in road constructions are imported. You can find this mineral resource in Ogun State, Lagos State, Edo State, and Ondo State.
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#4 Iron ore
Iron ore is one more mineral resource in Nigeria with its biggest deposit in Itakpe, Kogi State. It is also present in Enugu, Niger State, and the Federal Capital Territory. Nearly three billion metric tonnes of iron ore is thought to be present in the country. In 1979, the National Iron Ore Mining Company was established in order to explore and afford iron ore to the Delta Steel Company in Aladja, and Ajaokuta Steel Company in Ajaokuta.
The importance of gypsum cannot be overemphasized. Usually, it is used in cement production, POP (plaster of Paris) as well as the schoolroom chalk among others. About 1 billion tonnes of gypsum deposits are widespread across some Nigerian states. It can be found in Anambra, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Bayelsa, Benue, Imo, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Sokoto, Kogi, and Ondo.
One of the mineral resources in Nigeria that is exploited on a small scale is gold. Notwithstanding its price, the gold exploration is not very dominant and can be found only in such states as Oyo, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Edo, Abuja, and Bauchi.
The next one on this list of mineral resources in Nigeria is talc. It is present in such states as Kogi, Niger, Osun, Kaduna, and Ogun. It is put at about 40 million tonnes. The only talc plant in the country is RMRDC (The Raw Materials Research and Development Council), which produces around 3,000 tonnes annually, and is the major talc plant in Niger State.
#8 Zinc and lead
According to the latest data, around ten million tonnes of zinc and lead veins are widespread over Akwa Ibom, Abia, Abuja, Benue, Anambra, Bayelsa, Enugu, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano, Tarab, Niger, and Plateau. Confirmed reserves in 3 prospects in the East-Central part are put at five million tonnes waiting for depositors to make a profit from it.
#9 Baryte and bentonite
Speaking about baryte and bentonite, they are the major components of mud, which are used in the drilling of all kinds of oil wells. Over 700 million tonnes of bentonite are widespread across such states as Plateau, Adamawa, and Borno. But still, more than seven million tonnes of baryte was founded in Bauchi and Taraba States.
Actually, gemstones happens to be one of the most important Nigerian mineral resources and they are present in such states as Bauchi, Plateau, and Kaduna. Gemstones like ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, aquamarine, emerald, amethyst, topaz, flour-spar garnet, and zircon are widespread in these areas and are considered to be the best in the whole world.
Kaolin can be found in the Nigerian kaolinitic clay reserves. It has been put at three billion tonnes and is present in such states as Delta, Adamawa, Borno, Katsina, Ekiti, Ondo, Kaduna, Kogi, Ogun, Sokoto, and Plateau.
#12 Rock salt
Rock salt happens to be a very important mineral resource in Nigeria. Usually, it is used for making table salt, caustic soda, sodium hydrochloric acid, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium bicarbonate. In general, the yearly demand for all these items has transcended one million tonnes. Reports say that around 1.5 million tonnes of the rock salt are deposited in Nigeria.
So, as far as you can see, Nigeria is rich in mineral resources. In this article, we gave you the list of mineral resources in Nigeria and their locations. Also, we tried to explain the usage of each of them. We hope you found it interesting.
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