Last Updated on March 30, 2023

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Importance of mineral resources in Nigeria and where to find them

The importance of mineral resources in Nigeria plays a vital role in its development both for the environment and its people.The reason why people should know their mineral resources in Nigeria is to be able to make use of them wisely and preserve them for future generation’s use.Because of this, let us take a look at Nigeria’s beautiful bounty! In this article, you will know answers to the questions: “What are the natural resources in Nigeria and their locations?” as well as “How many mineral resources are there in Nigeria?” Curios? Read on for you to find out!

What is mineral resources?

Before dwelling on the bountiful blessings that nature has gifted Nigeria, let us discuss what mineral resources mean.

These are useful materials for the country’s economy.

To add, they are also on earth’s crust.

These are sources of economic use that can then be a great contributor to the country’s economic growth.

Mineral resources in Nigeria and where they can be found

Nigeria is a rich country.

Because of its abundance in natural resources that are wisely taken , well-taken cared of, and are preserved for future use.

Here is a list of mineral resources in Nigeria, together with states where they can be found:

1. Petroleum or natural gas

This is of great abundance in Nigeria.

Because of this abundance.

Nigerians are blessed with the use of petroleum due to the many revenues that can be taken from it.

Nigeria has one of the best deposits of coal in the entire world.

What makes it the best is its low deposits of sulfur and ash contents, making it useful and eco-friendly than any other crude oil deposits in the world.

As one of the mineral resources, petroleum is dubbed as the country’s


“Black gold” which has the most contribution to the country’s growth in the economy.

However, too much dependence on the said mineral resource could also overwhelm the country.

Indeed, too much of anything is bad.

If people rely too much on crude oil, this may exhaust the country’s reserve.

As a result, this too much reliance may lead to total depletion of the said mineral deposits.

Where to find petroleum or gas in Nigeria?

As one of the mineral resources in the country, Nigeria boasts its many sources of the said mineral resource.

As a result, crude oil can be found in the following Nigerian places:

  • Abia State
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Bayelsa State
  • Delta State
  • Edo State
  • Imo State
  • Lagos State
  • Rivers State

2. Coal

Coal was in discovery in the year 1909 and was explored 7 years after in the Mine of Ogbete.

Nigeria has almost 3 billion tons of coal reserves.

As one of the most common mineral resources, coal is a good source of energy.

Even though Nigeria is not widely using coal as its source of energy because of Diesel.

Nigeria exports it to international countries such as the UK and Italy who take great interest in the coal reserves found in the country.

However, most of these mines are closed for the privatization of the government.

Where can we find coal mines in Nigeria?

Coal mines are visibly found in these places in Nigeria:

  • Ondo
  • Enugu
  • Nasarawa
  • Zamfara
  • Plateau

3. Bitumen

Bitumen hailed its first discovery in 1900, and it was further explored 5 years after.

Nigeria has double the number of reserves in crude oil.

Certainly, it is estimate to have reached 42 billion in tons.

One of the wonderful uses of bitumen is its direct use as an asphalt binder.

Because of this, bitumen is widely used in Nigerian roads and highways.

Even though bitumen has the largest reserves in Nigeria, it is not yet exploit as much.

And most of the bitumen that is used in roads and highways constructions are imported to other countries.

This mineral resource is widely used not just locally, but internationally as well.

Because of this, Nigeria partners with international companies and exports their rich bitumen resource to the world.

Where can you find bitumen in Nigeria?

  • Lagos State
  • Ogun State
  • Ondo State
  • Edo State

4. Iron Ore

Another rich mineral resource in Nigeria is iron ore.

Nigeria opened its National Iron Ore Mining Company for the exploration and provision of its iron ore to steel companies such as Ajaokuta and Delta.

Nigeria has about 3 million tons of this said mineral resource.

However, it is quite unfortunate that the two steel companies in Ajaokuta and Aladja were not able to be fully functional.

And did not live up to their words of using, preserving, and promoting the natural resources of iron ore in the country.

One of the reasons why there was a discontinuation of their words is the lack of financial support.

Without proper and sufficient finances, they will not be able to be fully functional and would, eventually, lead to failure.

Where to find iron ore in Nigeria?

  • Enugu
  • Niger State
  • Itakpe
  • Kogi State

5. Gypsum

Different cement plantations in Nigeria rely very much on gypsum.

Apart from that, they use this mineral resource as plaster of Paris and chalk in classrooms.

Nigeria has an estimated 1 billion tons of deposits found in the country.

Because of its abundance in gypsum, Nigeria has been exporting its local resource to different international partners.

This paves the way for more
International partnerships are also a great deal in the economic growth of the entire country.

These are the places where we can find gypsum in Nigeria:

  • Borno
  • Bayelsa
  • Adamawa
  • Ondo
  • Sokoto
  • Kogi
  • Imo
  • Gombe
  • Edo
  • Delta
  • Bauchi

6. Gold

Of course, we do not need to introduce what gold is.

Local Nigerian miners are exploring gold in almost all parts of the country.

However, it was noted that gold is richer in the northern part of Nigeria.

With gold’s high value, it is understandable as to why many are coming after the most valued mineral resource.


Although there is not a minor scale of gold mining in the country, there is continuing research of the best and largest gold mining in the entire country.

When exploiting the use of gold, most of its products are in jewellery.

Nigeria boasts its amazing abundance in gold as well as its ability to make them into wonderful and eye-catching pieces of jewellery.

These pieces of jewellery then undergo in process for importation and exportation, in the different parts of the country and the world.

These are the places where you can find gold in Nigeria:

  • Sokoto
  • Zamfara
  • Kebbi
  • Kwara
  • Nier
  • Abuja
  • Kaduna
  • Bauchi
  • Oyo
  • Edo
  • Ebonyi

7. Talc

As one of the mineral resources, Nigeria has about 40 million tons of talc.

The Raw Materials Research and Development Council or RMRDC is the only talc plant in Nigeria.

Above all, he said the council has an estimate of 3000 tons of annual extraction in the country.

Although Nigeria has an almost unlimited source of talc, the resource is not much put to good use.

However, with its continuing exploration and discovery, most local and international researchers are digging more into the possible other uses of talc.

A few of the many uses of talc are in ceramics, paintings, paper, cosmetics, and dusting agents.

Talc has varied uses, and this makes it a versatile mineral resource in the country.

It does not only have one focal point in its end-product.

And its multiplicity in its end-results makes it even more useful than it already is.

These are the places where you can find talc:

  • Kaduna
  • Ogun
  • Osun
  • Kogi
  • Niger

8. Lead or Zinc

Lead or zinc has an estimated 10 million tons in the different parts of Nigeria.

However, 3 prospected east-central areas are waiting for possible investors.

Having these investors means a lot in the income-generating project for the country.

A few of the uses of lead and zinc are in metals.

Mostly 60% of a lead-product has a composition of lead and zinc combination.

As end-products, alloys, bronze, and silver are few of the end-products of lead or zinc.

These mineral resources in Nigeria are widely available in 8 states.

Below is the list places in Nigeria where lead or zinc is abundant:

  • Abuja
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Bayelsa
  • Kano
  • Niger
  • Taraba
  • Abia
  • Anambra
  • Benue

9. Bentonite and Baryte

You can find bentonite and baryte in the drilling and oil wells.

As one of the richest mineral resources in the country, bentonite, and baryte in the mud that are present in the drilling of these wells are rich with bentonite and baryte.

Above a staggering 700 million tons of bentonite and baryte can be found in the rich country of Nigeria.

As a result, a few of the uses of bentonite ad baryte are in the medical and construction industries.

Most construction industries involve the use of the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria.

These are the places that are abundant with bentonite and baryte:

  • Adamawa
  • Plateau
  • Borno
  • Taraba
  • Bauchi

10. Gemstones

All over the country, gemstones are important mineral resources in Nigeria.

Not all countries have this abundance.

That is why Nigeria is so blessed to have gemstones.

For instance, a few of the famous gemstones found in Nigeria are ruby, emerald, amethyst, topaz, garnet, sapphire, and aquamarine.

Because of this, a lot of miners have decided to explore the different gemstone minings in the entire country.

Not only are these gemstones favourable in their local economy, but in the international market also proves to have great demand in these gemstones.

These are the places where you can find these gemstones in Nigeria:

  • Bauchi
  • Kaduna
  • Plateau

11. Kaolin clay

Kaolin has about 3 billion tons in reserves in the entire country of Nigeria.

This comes in with so many uses.

For instance, It can be used in cosmetics as a skincare remedy.

Most users apply the kaolin clay to reduce oily skin and as a cleansing product.

These are then exported to different parts of the world.

The wide demand for cosmetics all over the world is a contributing factor for most Nigerians to explore more on kaolin clay sources.

There are many places in Nigeria where you can extract kaolin clay.

These places are:

  • Ondo
  • Kogi
  • Ogun
  • Ekiti
  • Delta
  • Plateau
  • Sokoto
  • Adamawa
  • Borno

12. Rock salt

Rock salt has a wide list of uses in Nigeria.

Mostly, rock salt is used in chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrochloric, and of course, table salt.

These and many more are the possible uses of rock salt that are used daily.

Nigeria has an estimated 1.5 million tons of rock salt in its reserves all over the country.

Because of the daily demands of rock salt all over the world, Nigerians are extending their efforts in looking for more resources in rock salt in the country.

Here are the top locations of rock salt reservoirs in Nigeria:

  • Ebonyi
  • Abia
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Benue
  • Anambra
  • Imo
  • Nasarawa
  • Sokoto

13. Limestone

Limestone is one of the bounties, which is emphasized the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria, also known for its many uses.

One of its main use is in construction purposes.

Because of this, it can be turned into cement which is widely used in the construction industry.

Apart from that, limestone can also be the main part of the road and railway repair and construction.

As of now, Nigeria has an estimated 568 million tons of limestone in Nigeria.

This is one of the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria, which is something to be proud of.

Limestone, being one of the most abundant mineral resources, can be found in these Nigerian places:

  • Cross Rivers
  • Kogi
  • Sokoto
  • Enugu
  • Gombe
  • Benue

Which state in Nigeria has the highest mineral resource?

Now that we have discussed the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria and locations let us know the answer to the question,

“Which state in Nigeria has the highest mineral resource?”

We know that there is a need to emphasise the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria.

It is a blessing that no man could fathom and helps the country in its economy.

Above all, Nigeria will never be in the bottom list of the countries worldwide, which his rich in natural resources.

All 36 states in Nigeria are blessed with their resources that are used, preserved, and cultivated for further use.

One good citation to give is crude oil which can be found mostly in the southern regions of the country.

Coal and other agricultural-related sources are also found in the north.

Similarly, the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria is just a few of the essential pieces of evidence that all point to how rich the country is.

So, which state in Nigeria has the highest mineral resource?

Nigeria generates most of its income in oil and gas.

Nigeria has recorded approximately 22 billion barrels of oil and 150 cubic meters of gas.

Because of this, Nigeria generates sufficient.

Of course, the generation and exploitation of the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria will not be possible without the help of several partner industries in the oil and gas industry.

For instance, these companies are Shell, Chevron, and NNPC are just a few of the partners who make the economic success of Nigeria possible.

Where can you find crude oil?

This richness is in Akwa Ibom, River state, Ondo, Edo, Bayelsa, Imo, and Abia.

All of these states are in the southern part of Nigeria.

Importantly, this part of the country is the richest, as reflected in their internally generated revenue.

Nigeria states and its mineral resources are very rich.

Certainly, there is no doubt as to how one should know about the importance of mineral resources in Nigeria.

With its abundance and proper use, it helps the country and its people to have a better life, an enhanced economy, and a brighter future.

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