Components of the Nigerian Mining Industry

Mineral resources are substances that are formed naturally in the earth. They can be referred to as free gift of nature because they are not brought into existence or produced by any human intervention.

Mining is the process by which minerals are extracted or removed from the earth. Nigeria is richly endowed with 34 different minerals which include coal, gold, columbite, lead barites, cassiterite, gemstone, talc, feldspar, bitumen, iron ore and so on. At the moment, Nigeria economy depends heavily on crude oil and natural gas. However, seven other minerals deposits have been prioritized by the Ministry of Solid Mineral Development for reforms in the mining sector. These include coal, bitumen, limestone, iron ore, barites, gold and lead or zinc.

Classification of Mineral Resources

Mineral resources can be classified into solid and non-solid minerals based on forms. Solid minerals are hard and firm with a definite shape e.g. coal, gold, bauxite, bitumen, iron, ore, while the non-solid minerals are without form or shape e.g., gases and crude oil.

Although organized mining of solid mineral started in Nigeria as far back as 1903, the industry only accounts for about1% of the nation’s GDP until the discovery of vast deposit of oil resources in 1956. This however, shifted attention away from solid mineral to oil resources. The civil war of 1960s also affected the industry as many mining expatriates had to leave the country.  These had altogether led to the dead state of the industry until recently (starting with the creation of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development).

Meanwhile, the oil and gas mining industry remain vibrant and accounts for about one-fifth of Nigeria’s total work force.

Importance of Mineral Resources in Nigeria

  1. Mineral resources generate revenue for the government
  2. They generate employment opportunities for people in the area of mining and marketing.
  3. Royalties from mineral resources are used for infrastructural development
  4. They serve as sources of foreign exchange for government.
  5. They improve the term of trade of Nigeria
  6. Some minerals like coal, crude oil serve as sources of energy for both domestic and industrial use.
  7. They help in the establishment of subsidiary companies
  8. They increase the national output thereby improve the standard of living of people.


  1. Mention two classes of mineral resources.
  2. List five importance of mineral resources in Nigeria.

Location and Uses of Some Mineral Resources Found in Nigeria

Mineral resourcesLocation (where they are found)Uses
CoalEnugu, OgbetePower generation
GoldMaru, Ankpa, Malele, Tsohon,
Birnin, Gwari-Kwaga, Bin Yauri,
Okolom-Dogondaji and Ipinrindo
In Osun state.
Jewelries and ornamental
BitumenLagos, Ogun, Ondo and Edo StateRoad construction
Iron OreItakpe in Kogi StateSteel and aluminum
Columbite and TantaliteNassarawa StateElectronics manufacturing


  1. Iron ore can be found in ——————

BONUS VIDEO From Federal Ministry of Mining

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