Mineral Resources A mineral resource is a concentration of natural solid inorganic or fossilized organic material, including metals, coal and minerals in sufficient quantity and quality to have reasonable prospects for economic extraction. Mineral Resources in Nigeria In Nigeria, mineral resources play a great role in the economic sector. In fact, the Nigeria’s economy is skewed towards 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. 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. LEAD / ZINC
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.
9. BENTONITE / 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.
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.
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.
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.