West African Countries is mostly refers to the countries north of the Gulf of Guinea in the north-western part of the continent. West Africa is located in the southern part of the so-called hump of Africa; it is bounded in the north by the Sahara desert and the Sahel zone.
There are sixteen countries in West Africa and one British Overseas Territory, Saint Helena. According to the United Nations Population Division, an estimated 392 million people live in West Africa.
Talking about West African Countries and their mineral resources , the region is considered one of the richest endowed with varieties natural resources in Africa. West African Countries are endowed with Gold, Copper, Uranium, Bauxite, and limestone country, cotton, gold.
Cote d’Ivoire has sparse deposits of Diamond, Iron ore and Magnesium. Crude oil is found in small quantity, Nigeria. include bitumen, gold, coal, iron ore, limestone, lead/zinc ores, limestone, barites, oil and gas in states across the country and so on.
A mineral is a naturally occurring substance or compound found in the earth’s crust. It occurs in a pure form usually solid and inorganic, and has a crystal structure. Some examples of these minerals include Gold, Bauxite, Limestone, Diamond, Iron ore.
List Of West African Countries:
The United Nations defines West African into 16 countries. The West Africa region includes the following countries:
- Burkina Faso,
- Cape Verde,
- Côte D’Ivoire,
- Saint Helena,
- Sierra Leone,
The region has a long history of post-colonial civil wars that have created an obstacle to economic development. In recent years peace has widely been achieved with the signing of treaties.
West African Countries Mineral Resources:
West Africa is known for its richness in Mineral Resources with Nigeria being one of the richest in terms of these resources.
The United Nations defines Western Africa as comprised of 16 countries which include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea – Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Let us now examine these countries mineral resources one after the other.
1. Benin Republic Mineral Resources
The West African country of Benin was a producer of cement, clay, gold, and sand and gravel. Other reported mineral occurrences included iron ore, limestone, marble, phosphate rock, rutile, silica sand, and stone (Ministère des Mines, de l’Energie, et de l’Hydraulique,
2. Burkina Faso Mineral Resources
The natural resources of Burkina Faso are limited and include gold, manganese, limestone, and marble. Phosphates, pumice, and salt are also available in small quantities.
3. Cape Verde Mineral Resources
Most of the major natural resources of the islands of Cape Verde are mineral in nature. Basalt and limestone are two types of abundant rock; other types of mineral are salt, pozzolana (volcanic ash used in hydraulic cement), and kaolin (a clay used in porcelain
Nature has endowed Cape Verde with salt, basalt rock, pozzuolana (a component of hydraulic cement), limestone, kaolin and, of course, fish.
4. Côte D’Ivoire Mineral Resources
Cote D’Ivoire has a variety of natural resources including diamonds, petroleum, natural gas, copper, gold, manganese, iron ore, cobalt, bauxite, nickel, tantalum, and silica sand
5. Gambia Mineral Resources
Gambia has limited natural resources consisting of laterite, titanium, rutile, ilmenite, tin, zircon, and silica sand. The mining industry does not play a significant role in the country’s economy and the economy relies more on tourism, imports and agriculture.
6. Ghana Mineral Resources
The main minerals extracted in Ghana are gold, diamond, bauxite and manganese. However, gold currently accounts for more than 90 percent of mining sector revenue and activity.
7. Guinea Mineral Resources
Guinea has rich bauxite reserves – 27% of the World’s total supply – and considerable iron ore, diamond and gold reserves.
Other mineable resources include uranium, cement, and salt. Guinea also has significant water-based resources, with strong hydropower and fishing industries
8. Guinea-Bissau Mineral Resources
Guinea-Bissau’s key natural resources include phosphates, granite, clay, bauxite, unexploited deposits of petroleum and limestone.
In 2010, the mineral production in the country was restrained to small-scale production of granite, sand and gravel, clay and limestone
9. Liberia Mineral Resources
Besides the production of iron ore, gold, and diamond, Liberia remains largely unexplored and has shown other minerals such as beryl, tin, columbite-tantalite, phosphates, zinc, copper, lead, rare earth minerals, nickel, molybdenum, beach sand (zircon, rutile, ilmenite, and monazite), bauxite, kyanite and chromite.
10. Mali Mineral Resources
Despite its arid climate, the country is endowed with a host of mineral resources which include gold, uranium, diamonds, copper, iron ore, precious stones, zinc, manganese, bauxite, lead, lithium, bitumen schist, marble, gypsum, kaolin, phosphate, lignite, diatomic, and rock salt.
11. Mauritania Mineral Resources
Mauritania’s mineral sector was dominated by iron ore mining and beneficiation. Other mineral commodities produced in the country included cement, copper, gold, gypsum, petroleum, salt, and steel.
Mauritania’s extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas.
12. Niger Mineral Resources
Niger has resources of uranium, coal, iron ore, tin, phosphates, gold, molybdenum, gypsum, silver, salt, and petroleum. Niger’s mineral sector accounted for about 3% of the GDP and for about 40% of exports.
13. Nigeria Mineral Resources
Nigeria is endowed with about 34 solid minerals identified in 450 locations in the country. metallogenic provinces of Nigeria. include bitumen, gold, coal, iron ore, limestone, lead/zinc ores, limestone, barites, oil and gas in states across the country.
They include gold, tantalite, silver, gypsum, diamonds, sand, gravel, gypsum, halite, Uranium and dimension stone.
14. Senegal Mineral Resources
Senegal is one of the top producers of phosphate rock in the world. The country also produces other mineral commodities such as gold, laterite, basalt, cement, lime, limestone, clays natural gas, petroleum, salt, and sand. Phosphate mining plays a major role in its export industry.
15. Sierra Leone Mineral Resources
The main minerals mined in Sierra Leone are diamonds, rutile, bauxite, gold, iron and limonite. Mining in Sierra Leone has been seen as one of the key factors for instability in the country and one of the reasons for the country’s recent civil war.
16. Togo Mineral Resources
The mineral products produced in Togo in 2010 include phosphate, cement, diamond, gold, clinker, and limestone.
The country has many undeveloped mineral resources such as iron ore, manganese, bauxite, gypsum, marble, rutile, and zinc.