The search for natural resources especially precious stones in West Africa started since the colonial era. In Nigeria for example, the search for crude oil can be traced back to the 1903s where exploration for oil, coal and bitumen were intensely undertaken. Nigeria today is the largest producer of crude oil in Africa and probably among the world top 10. Natural gas reserve in Nigeria currently is said to be around 160 trillion cubic feet. Nigeria also has other minerals like tin, coal and iron ore. There are large quantities of limestone deposit in Togo. The country has sparse deposits of phosphate in the Southern part of it.
Ghana has a huge gold deposit with other natural minerals like Manganese, Gold, Bauxite and Diamond. Recently, crude oil was discovered in Southern region of Ghana. Gold accounts for almost 35% of Ghana’s exports.
Burkina Faso has huge deposit of Manganese. Gold, Copper, Uranium, Bauxite, and limestone are found in the Northern part of the country. Aside from cotton, gold is the largest foreign income earner for the country.
Cote d’Ivoire has sparse deposits of Diamond, Iron ore and Magnesium. Crude oil is found in small quantity in the Southern part of Ivory Coast.
There are very large quantities of Uranium reserve in Niger. The country is known to be the 4th biggest producer of Uranium in the world. Other minerals found in Niger are Tin, Coal and Phosphate. Gold mining is also done in a very small quantity in Niger.
Mali’s extractive industry is dominated majorly by the mining of Gold. In Africa, Mali is reckoned as the 3rd producer of Gold. Other important minerals found in Mali are Manganese, bauxite, nickel, tin, Phosphate and Lithium.
Guinea has huge mineral deposits. Basically, 50% of global bauxite reserve is in guinea. They also have other minerals like gold, aluminum, iron ore, graphite, nickel, limestone, uranium and diamond.
Gambia produces minerals such as Zircon, Rutile and IImenite. There are no much mineral deposit in the county.
Sierra Leone is endowed with different types of natural solid minerals which include iron ore, gold, platinum, rutile and diamonds. Other mineral found in the country are base metals, chromite, clays and lignite.
Liberia is richly blessed with vast deposit of diamond and gold. Other minerals found in Liberia are Rutile, Chromium and iron ore.
Senegal has a large deposit of phosphates. The country has relatively low mineral reserve.
Mauritania has vast reserve of phosphates. Copper, Gypsum and Iron ore are the two other major natural minerals found in the country.
Guinea Bissau has a huge deposit of bauxite.
Note that Senegal, Gambia and Benin are examples of countries in West Africa that has relatively low amount of natural resources.