Mineral resources are materials of economic interest found in or on the earth’s crust in such quality, quantity and form that can be considered for economic extraction. In Nigeria, mineral resources play a great role in the economic sector. In fact, the Nigerian economic is skewed toward the exploration of minerals specifically petroleum. This makes the discussion of the mineral resources in Nigeria very important and this article will take care of that.
Natural resources in Nigeria are numerous, ranging from agricultural resources to water resources down to mineral resources.
This article will discuss the mineral resources found in Nigeria and their locations.
First, what is a mineral resource? Mineral resources are materials of economic interest found in or on the earth’s crust in such quality, quantity and form that can be considered for economic extraction. This ranges from quartz, to a rock salt down to the highly valued petroleum and gold.
Nigeria is blessed with abundant natural resources in such quantities that are large enough to draw the attention of the government for it exploration or in small quantities that are left for local miners. Let take a look at the most important minerals in Nigeria.
Below are the major mineral resources in Nigeria and where they can be found presently
1. PETROLEUM/NATURAL GAS
Petroleum and Natural gas goes hand in hand, this was first discovered in Oloibiri, Bayelsa state in 1959. Petroleum is by far the most important mineral available in Nigeria. About 2.5 million barrels of crude oil is produced per day while the gas reserves is put at 160 Trillion cubic meters.
This large quantity of oil is produced by only 8 States known as the oil producing States located in the Niger Delta Region of the country. These states includes Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Abia and Imo. Nigeria currently have 4 refineries for refining crude oil though none can be said to be fully functional. These includes 2 in Rivers state, one in Warri that in Delta while the remaining one is in kaduna state.
The list of mineral resources in Nigeria is not complete without these two. Petroleum and natural gas goes hand in hand. This means anywhere there is petroleum, crude oil is also present.
Crude oil is the most important mineral resources in Nigeria and the one our economy largely depends on. It was first discovered in large quantity in 1959 at Oloibiri, Bayelsa state and since then had become the major source of income for the nation.
About 2.5 million barrels of crude oil is produced in a day in Nigeria making it Africa’s largest producer of petroleum and the 6th largest in the world. Currently, Nigeria has a proven oil deposit of 23 billion barrels while that of natural gas reserve is put at 160 trillion cubic meters.
All these are produced in the 9 oil producing states located mostly in the Niger Delta Region. These states include Akwa Ibom (the largest oil producer), Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Abia, Imo, Ondo and Lagos state.
Nigeria has 4 oil refineries that can’t be said to be functioning. Two are situated in Rivers state, one in Warri, Delta state and the remaining one is in Kaduna.
It is worthy of notice that despite the large deposit and exploration of oil in the Niger Delta Region as well as it environmental problems, the people in this area still live in abject poverty.
Coal was first discovered in 1909 at Enugu and exploration of it started at the Ogbete Mine in 1916. The Nigerian coal is one of the best coal in the world owning to low sulphur and ash content making it eco-friendly. From research, it had been discovered that Nigeria have nearly 3 billion tonnes of indicated coal reserves in 17 identified coal fields. Currently, only over 600 million tonnes of proven reserves are present.
This mineral is a very good of energy though it is not widely used in Nigeria owing to the shift to use of Diesel and gas. Internationally, countries like Italy and the United Kingdom shows interest in it. Currently most of the mines had been deserted and the Federal Government is planning of privatisation it. Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau and Zamfara are the states were coal had been discovered in Nigeria.
While petroleum is our main source of energy today, coal was one of the earliest sources of non-renewable energy used in powering engines.
The exploration of coal in Nigeria started much earlier in 1916 at the Ogbete Mine in Enugu although it was first discovered in 1909. The Nigerian coal is regarded as one of the best coal in the world due to its low sulphur and ash content which makes it eco-friendly.
It had been inferred from studies that there are nearly 3 billion tonnes of indicated coal reserve in 17 identified coal field. However, only 600 million are proven to be present. This natural resource in Nigeria is not widely used as a result of the shift from using coal to diesel and gas.
However, foreign countries such as the United Kingdom and Italy had shown interest in it. Currently, the mines had been deserted and the Government is even planning of privatizing it. The states coal can be found in Nigeria include Enugu (largest producer), Benue, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau and Zamfara.
This mineral resources was first discovered in 1900 and the exploration started in 1905. The Bitumen reserves in the Nigeria is twice the volume of the existing crude oil in the country. It is put at 42 billion tonnes. The irony of it however is, this large reserves are not been exploited and most of the bitumen used in road constructions are imported. States you can find this includes Lagos State, Ogun State, Ondo State, and Edo State.
Bitumen is another important natural mineral resources found in Nigeria. 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.
However, most bitumen used for road construction in Nigeria is currently imported since the mineral is not been exploited.
Most of the bitumen deposit in Nigeria is found in the south western region. These include states like Ogun, Lagos and Ondo. The mineral is also found in Edo state.
4. IRON ORE
Iron ore is another mineral resources in Nigeria with it largest deposit in Itakpe, Kogi state. Aside Kogi, it is also present in Enugu, Niger state and the Federal Capital Territory. About 3 billion metric tonnes of iron ore is said to be present in the country. The National Iron Ore Mining Company was founded in 1979 in order to explore and provide this iron ore to the Ajaokuta Steel Company in Ajaokuta and Delta Steel Company in Aladja. This company cannot be said to have keep to it misson and the two steel companies are even nln-functional.
This is another important mineral resource found in Nigeria with it largest deposit at Itakpe, Kogi state.
There are about 3 million metric tonnes of Iron ore in the country. With this large deposit of Iron ore in the country, the National Iron Ore Mining Company was established in 1979 to explore and provide iron ore to the Ajaokuta Steel Company at Ajaokuta, Kogi state and the Delta Steel Company at Aladja.
However, the exploration of Iron Ore in Nigeria is said to be in a pitiful state with the two steel companies not functional. Aside Kogi state, other states with Iron ore in the country includes the Niger, Enugu and the Federal Capital Territory.
The importance of gypsum cannot be overemphasised, it is used in the production of cement, plaster of Paris (POP) as well as the classroom chalk among others. About 1 billion
tonnes of gypsum deposits are spread across some states in Nigeria. These includes Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Sokoto.
This is one of the mineral resources in Nigeria that is underutilized yet has a lot of application. It is an important input for the production of cement as well as the production of Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) and the popular classroom chalks.
It had been stated that 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.
States that have large deposit of gypsum include: Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Kogi, Ondo and Sokoto states respectively.
Gold is one of the mineral resources in Nigeria that is exploited on a small scale. The exploration of gold is not very dominant and can be found in only in places in States like Sokoto, Zamfara, Oyo, Niger, Kwara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Edo, Ebonyi, Bauchi and Abuja.
Gold need no introduction as a precious mineral. In Nigeria, gold is explored in small scale mostly by local miners and villagers where the gold deposits are located.
In essence, gold exploration is not common and it is done at a small scale mostly in the northern part of the country.
States that have a substantial amount of gold deposit include: Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kwara, Niger, Bauchi, Abuja, Oyo, Edo and Ebonyi states respectively.
This is one of the mineral resource in Nigeria. It is found in places like Niger, Osun, Kogi, Ogun and Kaduna states. The current deposit of talc is put at around 40 million tonnes. The only talc plant in the country is the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC)’s 3,000 tonnes per annum catalytic Talc plant in Niger state.
Talc is one of the underutilized mineral resources in Nigeria even with it large deposit of forty million tonnes found in states such as Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Ogun.
There’s only one talc plant in Nigeria and it is located in Niger state.
The talc plant is the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC)’s 3,000 tonnes per annum catalytic Talc plant.
An estimated 10 million tonnes of lead/zinc veins are spread over Abia, Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Kano, Niger, Plateau and Taraba. Proven reserves in 3 prospects in the east-central area are put at 5 million tonnes waiting for investors to benefit from it.
An estimated 10 million tonnes of lead/zinc veins are spread over 8 states of Nigeria.
These states where lead and zinc can be found in Nigeria include: Abia state, Abuja, Akwa Ibom state, Anambra state, Benue state, Bayelsa state, Cross River state, Enugu state, Ebonyi state, Kano state, Niger state, Plateau and Taraba states.
Proven reserves in 3 prospects in the east-central area are 5 million tonnes.
9. BENTONITE AND BARYTE
Bentonite and Baryte are the main constituents of the mud used in the drilling of all types of oil wells. Currently, over 700 million tonnes of Bentonite is spread across Adamawa, Borno and Plateau state. On the other hand, over 7.5 million tonnes of baryte have been identified in Taraba and Bauchi States.
These are the main constituents of the mud used in the drilling of all types of oil wells. In Nigeria, the baryte has specific gravity of about 4.3.
Gemstones are one of the important mineral resources in Nigeria found and exploited heavily in Plateau, Kaduna and Bauchi.
Sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, emerald, tourmaline, topaz, garnet, amethyst; zircon, and flourspar are some of the Gemstones in these areas and are regarded as part of the best in the world.
Gemstones mining have 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.
kaolinitic clay reserveat in Nigeria had been put at 3 billion tonnes and are found in places like Adamawa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau and Sokoto.
An estimated reserve of 3 billion tonnes of good kaolinitic clay has been identified in many states in Nigeria.
These states include: Adamawa, Borno, Delta, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau and Sokoto state.
12. ROCK SALT
This is a very important mineral resource in Nigeria, it is used for making caustic soda, table salt, chlorine, sodium hydrochloric acid, sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. In fact, the annual demand for these items had exceeded 1 million tonnes. Currently, there are indications that about 1.5 million tonnes of rock salt is deposited in this country.
There are indications that there is about 1.5 million tonnes of rock salt deposited in Nigeria.
This is a very important mineral resource in Nigeria which is used in the production of caustic soda, table salt, chlorine, sodium hydroxide acid, hydrogen peroxide and sodium bicarbonate.
The importance of rock salt in Nigeria is so high that it annual demand had exceeded one million tonnes.
Limestone is one mineral in Nigeria with a lot of uses. However, most of the limestone exploration in Nigeria are done for the production of cement. Aside cement production, this strategic natural resource in Nigeria is also made into crushed stone and used as a construction material.
It is used as a crushed stone for road base and railroad ballast. Some also use it in the production of concrete. Simply put, limestone is an important mineral in the construction industry in Nigeria.
It had been observed from studies that limestone deposits in Nigeria are about 2.3 trillion metric tons with 568 million tons of proven reserves.
Most of these are located in the Southwest and Middle belt regions of the country. The states where limestone is found in commercial quantities are Kogi state, Sokoto state, Cross Rivers state, Enugu state, Gombe and Benue states respectively.
Nigerian States With The Highest Mineral Resources
This post outlines the states in Nigeria with the highest number of mineral resources and also the part of the country that is richly blessed in terms of natural deposits.
The importance of natural resources in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. This is because, the country is rich blessed with abundant mineral deposit and agro-raw materials used for her upkeep and human development.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is ranked among the countries with the highest poverty rate due to the negligence of the government to harness this solid mineral resources and use them for the citizens welfare.
The 36 states and their capitals are divided into six geo-political zones and each Nigerian state have their mineral resources that can be found there.
Take for example, crude oil is found mostly in the south-south region that has most of the Niger-Delta states while coal and agricultural products can be found mostly in the northern region where farming is at its best.
With all these, one might be wondering what part of Nigeria has the most natural resources and why is crude oil seen as the most important mineral among all?
This post answers it all as we expose the state with the highest natural mineral resources in Nigeria and the number of these deposits found in the country and many more.
Its no news that Nigeria makes money through oil and gas exploitation. In fact, Nigeria’s oil reserves are more than 22 billion barrels while her gas reserves is more than 150 trillion cubic meters.
There are major oil and gas companies operating in the country that makes this possible – Shell, Chevron, Total PLC, Oando, and their regulator, NNPC are just a few of them exploring our oil in the Niger Delta.
The states where crude oil can be found in Nigeria include: Akwa Ibom state, Delta state, Rivers state, Bayelsa state, Ondo state, Edo state, Imo state and Abia state.
All these states are found in the southern region of the country and they are very rich as seen in their internal generated revenue (IGR). When you compare the development of these states to the north that boast of land mass, there is a wide chasm between.
Which State in Nigeria Have the Highest Mineral Resources?
Plateau is the state in Nigeria that has the most mineral deposits followed by Kaduna state and Nasarawa state. Plateau state has 22 recorded mineral resources, the highest so far while the later has 20 each.
Others such as Sokoto, Taraba, Oyo, Ondo states are not left out. The states with the lowest number of mineral resources are Kebi state with Gold as its only recorded solid mineral deposit, Gombe state with two natural deposit, Yobe state (2), Zamfara state (3), Enugu state (3) and Kastina state (3).