By Abdulkadir Abiikar Hussein 

The mining sector of Somalia is still in its infancy stage with activity being predominantly artisanal in nature. However, Somalia has significant potential, and large proportions of its landmass have yet to be explored. Although mining activities in Somalia are minimal, the known mineral targets constitute less than 20%. The country has never had an overall geological and mineralogical survey. Past reconnaissance and exploration efforts were erratic; something here and something there and unfortunately that meagre data (though old) generated was lost during the civil war.

The known mineral targets can be classified in these five main categories:

1) Mining for precious and semi-precious minerals: Only artisanal miners are involved in this activity in their search for gold, diamond, platinum and gemstones such as emerald, ruby, sapphire,  tourmaline and meteorites.

2) Industrial mineral targets include phosphates, kaolin, bentonite, potash, lithium brines, sepiolite, talc, iguana, pegmatites and quartz.

3) Target ores: Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), rutile for Titanium, tin (Sb), gold (Au) and silver (Ag)

4) Target energy minerals: These include uranium, lignite, coal, and hydrocarbons – oil and gas

5) Mining for building materials and ornamental stones: Granite, limestone, marble, kaolin and lime production.

Read more:  An overview of the mineral potential of Somalia

Abdulkadir Abiikar Hussein
Technical Director
The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
Federal Government of Somalia


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