The basement of Senegal has a wide variety of minerals including precious metals (gold and platinum), base metals (iron, copper, chromium, nickel), industrial minerals (phosphates, limestone industrial salt, barite etc. .) heavy minerals (zircon and titanium), ornamental stones and building materials etc.

The supply of mining products:


PHOSPHATE 1: Senegal soon in the top ten world producers of phosphate

Modern mining in Senegal dates back to the period 1940 – 1950 with the opening of two large phosphate mines Taiba and Lam-Lam in Thies, 80 -100 km from the capital Dakar.

The operation of these large deposits of phosphates contributed to the success of the Senegalese economy for decades. To the east, north and south of these deposits Taiba, major mining phosphates projects are underway in permits Niakhene, Coki and Gossas.

In the northeastern part of the basin, in the Matam region, has since been confirmed

1984 the existence of a large phosphate deposit with proven reserves of around 40 million tonnes and a potential of over 100 million tonnes of phosphate of lime of very high quality. Part of this deposit is exploited across a small factory producing natural fertilizers for the agricultural industry in Senegal.

Confirmation of these deposits and showings could result in the coming years to important discoveries that could reach 500 to 1000 million tonnes, which would place the operating Senegal in the top ten producers of phosphates in the world.

In the Thies-Lam Lam, there are large reserves of aluminum calcium phosphates (80 million tonnes) recoverable by calcination in the fertilizer industries, natural and feed.

Industrial scale

the answer to the satisfaction of the regional cement demand and opportunities for the production of lime

Central West part of the sedimentary basin contains large limestone resources and limestone clay. The Eocene limestone clay exposed in the tray Bargny 30 km from Dakar, are at the origin of the first cement plant in West Africa in operation since 1948.

There are large deposits of limestone Paleocene located between the South and Mbour

Pout in the North. A second cement factory was opened there Kirène during 2002.

Encouraged by national and sub-regional demand growing strongly, the cement companies are trying to achieve a doubling of their capacity which will supply approximately 6,000,000 tons of cement from the year 2010.

A large international cement group is planning the implementation of a cement plant

2.5 million tonnes per annum of cement in the near future Pout area and a new cement project of 1.5 million tonnes per annum is approved in the area Bandia.

The Paleocene limestone Bandia Thies and Pout, highly titled in their upper layers (+95% CaCO3), are very suitable for the production of lime. Opportunities are to be seized to satisfy domestic demand, and subregional expanding driven by the development of the gold mining industry.

Gold ORE

Production of the first ingot of Sabodala gold mine in the first quarter of 2009 was the epilogue of a long process that began almost there

50. Operated for a short period (1997-1998) a small scale mine now can bring a real contribution to the Senegalese economy.

Today, exploitable resources are estimated at 1,63Moz gold, with resources 3,55Moz.

A company has been granted for an exploration license for the surrounding area with an area of ​​230 km2. Twenty (20) mineralized targets have been discovered including four (04) show significant potential, with resources estimated to date


Adjacent to the two aforementioned projects, twenty-five (25) gold exploration licenses are held by eight foreign companies and nine national companies.

South of Sabodala deposit, another large international mining company discovered a significant gold potential in the area 3Moz Massawa.

Further east, along the border with Mali, another company doing work on the ground, where interesting results were obtained in areas of Guemedji.

Iron ore

Deposits located in four distinct areas are estimated at 750 million tonnes.

The mining of iron Falémé in the South East of the country is an integrated project planned on a greenfield site and requires the construction of a railway line of 750 km for the transport of iron ore to new port ore and deepwater bulk to be built in Bargny-Sendou near Dakar.

The project is expected to produce 15-25 million tonnes per annum of iron ore. The potential benefits for Senegal are creating 4,000 direct jobs and 16,000 indirect and opening up this remote part of the country tends to become an industrial center jobs.


Attapulgite is perhaps one of the most sought after minerals, but it will definitely be helpful in the Senegalese economy. The ore is extracted from clay, dried and granulated, and then exported to Europe mainly as cat litter.

Three companies operate attapulgite from deposits Allou Kagne, Sébikotane, Mbodiene, Saly, and Warang, all located within 100 km from the port of Dakar.

There are still investment opportunities in these areas for the production and processing of attapulgite to supply different sectors: animal bedding, drilling muds, pharmaceutical, pollution, minerals etc.

Heavy Minerals

Interest in heavy mineral sands of Senegal has grown rapidly in recent years. This type of deposit can be an important source of industrial minerals such as zircon.

An Australian mining company plans to operate a 50 km strip of heavy mineral sands that contain a world class deposit. Construction of the project on the Grande Côte will cost $ 200 million, with a production of 85,000 t per year of zircon (making it the fourth largest zircon mine in the world) 20,000 t of rutile and leucoxene and 650,000 T ilmenite (by-product of low value).

The project is estimated at 26 MT heavy metal resources (1,300 million T sand 2% heavy minerals) with a projected life of 25 years; production of zircon represent 8% of global consumption and 25% of European consumption.


The search for uranium that has evolved significantly between 1965 and 1984, was revived in 2007 with the arrival of a particular junior mining company acquired in the meantime by a major international player who holds the license for Saraya East.

The graphitic schists Mako Diale and may also stimulate interest in research in uranium.


• The lithium, tin and molybdenum: The Paleo-Proterozoic granites window Kédougou contain a high concentration of lithium, tin and molybdenum.
• Copper and chrome: the airborne geophysical survey and geochemical soil surveys have identified indications of copper and chromium in the area and Gabou Diabal. These results have been since 2008 the resumption of exploration in the area and Gabou Boulbi.
• Nickel – copper and platinum: A Cu-Ni and traces of platinum were discovered in 1978 Other work anomaly were made in the areas of Simpampou, Koulontou and Dioudiou-Konko confirming this potential.

• Marble: The eastern Senegal contains large reserves of good quality marble estimated at several million cubic meters. These marbles are mainly located in the southeast of the country Ndébou, Bandafassi and Ibel; There are up to six (06) varieties of marble.
• Extra silica sands Malika and Diogo on the coastal area, which are used in the manufacture of glass.
• diatomite (diatomaceous earth) Lake Tanma can be recovered after separation for the production of mineral fillers and filtration agents.
• accumulations barite Kidira Kouroudiako kaolin, asbestos to Nangare Bassaris and indices zinc, lead, tungsten Birimian in rocks.

For more informations

The Mines and geology directorate has prepared a document on the senegalese mineral resources available Here (French only)