16 Business Ideas In Nigeria Solid Minerals Sector

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The Nigeria solid minerals sector is one big untapped opportunity for investmet and business.

As Nigeria makes efforts to diversify her economy away from crude oil, the exploitation of solid minerals is the next big thing apart from agriculture.  There are at least 44 solid mineral types in Nigeria’s soil most of which are available in proven commercial quantities but are largely unexploited.  These solid minerals are spread accross153 locations in the 36 states of the federation.  Thus, there is no state in Nigeria where you cannot find at least one solid mineral type.

Some of the solid minerals in Nigeria that are available in proven commercial quantities include: Iron Ore, Coal, Gold, Barite, Aluminium smelter, Zinc, Lead, Bitumen, Lime Stone and Clay amongst many othes. This infographics shows the different kinds of solid minerals that are found in different states of the federation.

Nigeria Solid Minerals Map                                                    source: Nigerian Investment Promotion Council 

Nigeria government objective is to create a conducive policy environment to attract serious investors to solid minerals sector which is at the moment, dominated by artisanal miners.  These efforts as articulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth (ERG) Plan presents good business and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.


In this post I will show you at least 15 businesses that you can easily  do in the Nigeria solid minerals sector.  I have arranged these ideas into Mining and Services business ideas.


Basically mining is the extraction of materials of value from the earth.  This forms bulk of the business activity in the solid minerals sector.  Some solid minerals that are mined in Nigeria include:

Nigeria Solid Minerals Mining

#1. Gold –  Gold deposits are mainly found in the northern part of Nigeria.  It has been said that of all the minerals mined on earth non is more useful than gold.  It is used for a variety of purposes such as jewelry, electronics, electricity and has once in the history of man served as means of payment.  Even in this modern time, currencies are backed by gold.  Gold hardly depreciate in value, hence it has also become a standard investment vehicle in the financial market.

Gold mining is a worthwile business idea for entreprenuer who have the capacity and can afford the resources to mine this commodity.

#2. Coal –  Nigeria has exceptionally big coal reserves estimated to be worth atleast two billion metric tons. The bulk of the country’s coal resources can be found in Enugu, Anambra, Kogi, Delta, Gombe, and Benue.  Coal has many uses.  It is commonly useful for power generation, steel production, cement making and liquid fuel amongst many others.  It is high in demand globally, hence it presents a viable business opportunity in Nigeria solid minerals sector for investors and entrepreneuer who can mobilise resources to exploit the idea.

#3. Iron OreAvailable data shows that more than 3 billion tons of iron ore can be found in Kogi, Enugu, Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna States. Iron-ore can be utilised for making steel, technology works, transformers, motorcars, metals such as electric protectors, equipment racks, acoustic apparatus and many other applications.

The idea behind the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was to utilized the vast deposit of iron ore in the areas highlighted above to produce steel and associated products for Nigerian industries.  Unfortunately, this has not been possible several decades after the complex was set up for reasons that cannot be discussed here.  However, artisanal iron ore mining is thriving and the sector is yearning for investment by capable of entrepreneurs.

#4. Bitumen –  Bitumen is an oil based substance; a byproduct from crude oil refining process. Nigeria has an estimated bitumen deposit of 38 billion barrels.  Bitumen is widely used for road construction and is very high in demand in Nigeria where road infrastructure is still largely inadequate.  Other uses of bitumen is as constituent product for paving and roofing. It is also used in agriculture, railways and industrial conduit.  Large deposit of bitumen is found in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Edo States.

Like many other resources in Nigeria, the vast bitumen deposit is largely unexploited, thus presenting lucrative investment opportunities for entrepreneurs with interest in the Nigeria solid minerals sector.

#5. Lime Stone –  Nigeria has large deposit spread accross many states including Cross River, Ebonyi, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Bauchi, Edo, Enugu, Borno, Imo, Ogun, Ondo and Sokoto. It is used for cement production, road construction, glass making amongst many other uses.  Its wide application makes limestone exploitation a huge income earner for the country.  Though there a good number of quarrying going on including informal or artisanal mining, limestone exploitation still presents viable investment opportunity in the Nigeria solid minerals sector.

#6. Lead Ore –  Lead is one mineral resource with large deposit in Nigeria  and found in many parts of the country.  It is applied in building construction, battery production.

#7. Granite –  Granite is a hard rock that’s used in construction and building works worldwide. It is found in large quantities in Enugu, Ebonyi, Kogi, Plateau, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, and mmany more.

Other mineral resources that are abundant in Nigeria soil include kaoline, gemstone, glass sand, muscovite mica, maganese ore, tantanlite ore, bismuth, calcium floride, and many more. All these are of commercial quantity, largely unexploited and present very viable investment opportunities for entrepreneurs.


For entrepreneurs who may not have the capacity or resources to go into mining, there are many anciliary services that are required by the Nigeria solid minerals sector.  An investment in any of these areas will offer high returns.  I highlight a few of them here:

#8. Equipment Leasing and Rentals:  Mining activities requires heavy equipment to carry out. Some of mining equipment include excavators, mining drills, blasting tools, earth movers, crushers, conveyor and analysis equipment.  Most of these equipment and machines are very expensive for miners to acquire and particularly for small scale operators, buying the equipment may not be economically viable.  As a result of such cost considerations, mining operators resort to hiring and leasing equipment for their sites. 

The opportunity here is big and you can the advantage by starting equipment leasing, rental and supply services focused on the Nigeria solid mineral sector.

#9. Transport and Haulage Services –  This includes the transport of products and minerals from mining sites to processing and storage sites or warehouses. The business you can do in this subsector is vast and largely untapped.

#10. Processing Facilities – At the moment there are very few solid mineral processing plants in Nigeria and that is why most of the solid minerals that are mined here are exported as raw materials to Europe and America.  A lot of value is lost as a result. A processing plant will separate the valuable minerals from their ore and increase the worth of the product in terms of price.  This is a huge investment opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Nigeria solid minerals sector and what more, a potential investor can start with small scale processing plants and still smile to the bank.

#11. Consultancy – If you have some solid experience in the sector but wish not be in the mainstream solid minerals business, why not set up a consultancy outfit to offer operators the benefit of your expertise.  Your outfit may specialise in preparing business plans and feasibility studies for potential investors, conducting technical researches and surveys for government and corporate bodies, helping potential investors to obtain required approvals, conducting training and building capacities, helping mining companies to recruit technical staff, provide safety eduction and training amongst many other things.  There’s a whole lot of services you can render to the Nigeria solid minerals sector as a professional consultant.

#12. Publishing – Yes, publishing! There is a dearth of information about mining and the Nigeria solid minerals sector generally.  If you have some journalistic interest or you can write, why not start publishing magazines and newsletters on mining and solid minerals. fortunately with the internet today, you can start an online publication easily.  Write generally about the extractive industry, highlights government policy frameworks, showcase potentials of the sector, highlights developing stories and activities of the mining companies and other service providers.

Soon your publication will become a go to resource for information and guide on the Nigeria solid mineral sector and you will start earning revenue through adverts, special projects, features, etc. Closely related to publishing is production and broadcasting of mining or solid minerals shows on TV or radio. 

This will require that you buy time on radio or TV stations to air your programmes on a weekly basis. If you do it well, you will begin to receive sponsorship request and advert placement, speaking engagement and consultancy gigs.

#13. Sale Safety Equipment –  Mining and generally the extractive industry lay emphasis on safety of workers and as a result consume a lot of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other types of safety equipment.  There are quite a number of businesses that sell safety equipment in Nigeria, some manufacture this equipment yet.  Most of them are found in Port Harcourt and Lagos States focussing on the oil and gas sector.

Set up your safety company focussing on the Nigeria solid mineral sector and watch your pocket swell.  Some of the PPE materials that are needed in the industry include protective clothing, head gear, eye gear, hand protection, fall protection, respirators and mask, footwear etc.

#14. Software Sale and Services –If you know something about IT and the computer world consider setting up a company to render IT servicers to mining operators and other businesses in the extractive industry. Your company will sell applications to maintain mining data base, geological records or enterprise applications to help solid minerals companies run their operations effectively.  If you have the intellectual and financial capacity, consider developing a proprietary solution that you can license to the extractive industry or partner with developers overseas to provide the solutions locally.

#15. Waste Management –  Waste managment is very important in mining and other extractive activities, hence professional waste managers are always high in demand in Nigeria solid mineral sector.  A lot of waste is generated during mining which if not properly disposed lead to air and water pollution as well as land degradation.  As a matter of fact, one of the conditions for giving mining license is that the operator must produce sound waste management plan.  This is where you come as a Waste Management consultant or operator.  If you have the right expertise and equipment, mining operators are there to partner with you all year round.

#16. Mineral Merchant – As s merchant you will buy mineral resources such as gold,  lead one,  zinc,  lime stone,  nature,  etc from miners and supply to processors both domestically and overseas. The major part or this business is to source buyers. 

At the moment there is a dearth of solid mineral processing facilities locally as well as manufacturing industries that use these resources as input.  It means that your market is essentially overseas particularly China, India and Europe. You will be earning foreign currency by engaging in this business. 


A lot of business opportunities abound in the solid minerals sector and the time for entrepreneurs and investors to begin to think solid minerals or mining is now.  This is because government is also thinking solid minerals is one of the major windows stopping the country’s dependency on oil.

Steel smelters need iron ore, glass makers need quartz, electronic manufacturers need mica, and jewelry makers will always need precious stones just as gold will always be relevant to keep wealth. Fortunately, all these are available in Nigeria’s soil in proven commercial quantities waiting to be fully exploited. Come in and partake in the new wealth.

As I always advice, do your own research and due diligence before you go into any business no matter how lucrative it may appear. Ensure you understand the essential things about what you intend to do, from licensing requirements to technical and commercial viability.

Good luck.



Buchi creates content and leads the Team at Kobotalk Management Services; a business development and investment consultancy firm. He provides strategic advisory to help SME's, small business owners and HNI's grow profitable business and make informed investing decisions.

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