Nigeria is richly endowed with a variety of solid minerals of various categories ranging from precious metals to various precious stones and industrial minerals. The Nigerian Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) reported that there are about 40 different kinds of solid minerals and precious metals buried in Nigerian soil waiting to be exploited.

The sector offers a viable alternative to petroleum for foreign exchange earnings. Globally, the mining industry has been a close rival to the petroleum industry, while Nigeria earns a paltry $89 million per annum from it. The commercial value of Nigeria’s solid minerals has been estimated to run into hundreds of trillions of dollars, with 70 per cent of these buried in the bowels of Northern Nigeria.

The following are the statistical data and analysis obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics on the sector:

•    As at 2014, the contribution of solid mineral sector to the Nigerian economy was one per cent(1%).
•    It has the potential to increase to at least five per cent (5%) by the year 2017 and ten per cent (10%) by the year 2020.
•    It is also capable of creating three million jobs - direct and indirect by the year 2017.

Precisely, forty four (44) solid minerals are found in commercial quantityand are spread across the 36 States and FCT Abuja of the Federation. Out of these, seven (7) strategic solid minerals are being prioritized and promoted for private sector participation and investment by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The selected solid minerals are gold, coal, bitumen, limestone, iron ore, lead/zinc and barytes.


The main objective of the National Policy on Solid Minerals is to ensure an orderly development of the mineral resources of the country by providing clear rules for predictable behavior by the authorities, unambiguous regulations for the exploitation of the minerals and a clearly prescribed pattern of developments with roles of the different actors clearly defined.

In view of the dwindling government revenue from the oil sector, the Nigerian government has made it a priority to encourage investors to venture into this sector and others, in order to diversify the economy. This has led to the introduction of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulation 2011 to streamline procedures for granting licenses to investors (both local and foreign) and guaranteed access to mining sites with minimal encumbrances.

The regulation provided for the right to search for, or exploit minerals in Nigeria, and is obtained through any of the following mining titles:

•    Reconnaissance Permit
•    Exploration Licence
•    Small Scale Mining Licence
•    Mining Licence
•    Quarrying Licence
•    Water Policy

The sector’s legislation guarantees:

•    Security of tenure through mining lease,
•    Transparent procedures for granting access to mining titles on a first come first serve basis by Federal Ministry of Solid Mineral Development,
•    Internationally competitive mining incentives
•    Comprehensive Geoscience Data of mineral deposits and their locations in Nigeria


A comprehensive package of incentives has been put in place to create a favourable environment for investment, some of which are:

•    Deferred royalty payments
•    Capital allowances of up to 95% of qualifying capital expenditure
•    Exemption from customs and import duties for plant, machinery and equipment for mining operations
•    Three(3)  to five (5) years’ tax holiday as applicable; and tax concessions
•    Possible capitalization of expenditure on exploration and surveys
•    Expatriate quota and resident permit in respect of the approved expatriate personnel
•    Personal remittance quota for expatriate personnel, free from any tax imposed by any enactment for the transfer of external currency out of Nigeria
•    In addition to the above fiscal incentives, the NIPC Act 16 of 1995 allows for 100% Ownership of Investment while the Foreign Exchange Miscellaneous Act 17 of 1995, guarantees 100% Repatriation of Capital, Profit, & Dividends through authorized means.


There are tremendous opportunities for investments in the solid mineral sector in Nigeria. 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.

The following are the solid minerals that can be found in commercial quantities in the country for possible investment and exploitation:

a)    IRON ORE: Nigeria currently has the 12th largest iron orereserves in the world. There are over three (3) billion tonnes of iron ore found in Kogi, Enugu, Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna States for possible manufacturing of iron and steel.

b)    GOLD:There are proven reserves of both alluvial and primary deposits of gold in commercial quantities spread across several parts of suprascrustal (schist) belts -in Maru, Anka, Malele, Tsohon Birnin, Gwari-kwaga, Gurmana, Bin Yauri, Okolom-Dogondaji and Iperindo areas - in the northwest and southwest of Nigeria. There are also a number of smaller occurrences beyond these major areas.

c)    BITUMEN:The occurrence of Bitumen deposits in Nigeria is indicated at about 42 billion tonnes almost as twice the amount of existing reserves of crude petroleum. When fully developed, the industry will no doubt meet local requirements for road construction and also become a foreign exchange earner for the country.

d)    LEAD/ZINC: An estimated 10 million tonnes of lead/zinc veins are spread over eight States in Nigeria. Joint venture partners are encouraged to develop and exploit the various lead/zinc deposits all over the country.

e)    BARYTE AND BENTONITE: The Nigerian baryte had specific gravity of about 4.3. There is an estimated reserve of over two million {2,000,000} metric tonnes of barite ore scattered in different parts of the country; especially in Benue, Nassarrawa, Plateau and Cross River States. Similarly, over 7.5 million tons 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 and are available for massive development and exploitation.

f)    COAL: Nigerian Coal is one of the most bituminous in the world owing to its low sulfur and ash content, as well as, environmental friendly. There are nearly 3billion tonnes of indicated reserves in 17 identified coalfields and over 600 million tonnes of proven reserves. In short, there is an abundant coal deposit in the country to power the coal-power plants that can contribute up to 30 per cent to the nation’s power generation by year 2020.

g)    LIMESTONE: Limestone occurrences are reported in almost all the 36 States of the Federation with extensive deposits in Sokoto, Gombe, Benue, Kogi, Edo, Oyo, Ogun and Cross River States These deposits are supporting active lime and cement plants in the country. The resource base of the known limestone deposits is about 2.3 trillion metric tonnes with 568 million tonnes of proven reserves.

As at year 2014, cement production capacity of the country was between an estimated 26 million tonnes and 28 million tonnes per annum, given that all the cement plants are operating at their full capacities. The domestic demand totals between an estimated 18.3 million metric tonnes and 20 million metric tonnes per year.

The massive infrastructural development is capable of increasing the demand for cement to 25 million metric tonnes (MMT) annually over the next five years. Investors have a very lucrative opportunity by taking advantage of these deposits to set up cement factories in different parts of the country to meet domestic demand and export to the sub-region.

h)    ROCK SALT:A total reserve of 1.5 billion tonnes has been indicated, and further investigations are now being carried out to ascertain the quantum of reserves. There are salt springs at Awe (Plateau State), Abakaliki (Ebonyi State) and Uburu (Imo State), while rock salt is available in Benue State.

i)    GYPSUM: Gypsum is an important input for the production of cement. It is used for the production of Plaster of Paris (P.O.P) and classroom chalk, etc. Large-scale mining of gypsum used in the cement industries is urgently required to sustain existing plants and meet future expansion. Current 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.

j)    GEMSTONES: Some gemstones including Sapphire, Ruby, Aquamarine, Emerald, Tourmaline, Topaz, Garnet, Amethyst, Zircon and Flourspar which are among the world’s best are foundin Plateau, Kaduna and Bauchi States. Good prospects exist in this area for viable investments.

k)    KAOLIN:This is one of the industrial minerals that can be found in commercial quantity in Nigeria. An estimated reserve of 3 billion tonnes of kaolin deposit has been identified in Ogun, Edo, Plateau and Nasarawa States.

The market for kaolin is large, sustainable and expanding because of the numerous applications of the product. The importation of the product into the country is being discouraged in order to stimulate the growth of the local industry.

l)    TANTALITE: Commercial quantity of Tantalite deposits are found in Nasarawa, Gombe and Kogi States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The deposits are both alluvial and primary in the numerous pegmatite bodies that infest these areas. In short, grades of well over 50% Tantalum Oxide (Ta2O5) are found in the identified locations in Nigeria.

m)    BENEFICIATION OF MINERALS: It is a common knowledge that most of the minerals are sold in raw form without any value addition. In order to derive more revenue from the products and create more employment opportunities, virtually every mineral should be beneficiated. Beneficiation is a process of increasing the ore concentrate of a mineral through mechanical means. For instance, the concentration of tin ore of 5% can be increased to 50% through mechanical means. The same scenario applies to other minerals that can be beneficiated or processed to manufacture iron, steel andmarble etc.


  •   The Executive Secretary/CEO,

Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)
Plot 1181, Aguiyi-Ironsi Street,
Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria
Tel: +234 (09) 2904882, +234 -704 6346232
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  •     The Honourable Minister,

Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development
Ademola Adetokunbo Street, Wuse II,
P.M.B 107, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  •     The Director General

Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA)
#31, Shettima A. Munguno Crescent (Behind Julius Berger Head Office),
Utako District, PMB 616, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  •     The Director

Mining Cadastral Office
Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development
37 Lobito Crescent; Off Ademola Adetokunbo, Wuse II,
Abuja Nigeria
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Direct Line: +234 (0)816-410-1937


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