Top 5 Mineral Resources in Mauritania

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Iron Ore

Endowed with significant mineral resources, Mauritania’s mining sector plays a leading role in its economy, with iron ore representing the West African country’s primary export, accounting for approximately $1.6 billion of the country’s export revenue in 2021.

Serving as the second-largest producer of iron ore on the continent, Mauritania’s National Industrial and Mining Company (SNIM) serves as the primary manager of the country’s iron ore mines, operating the Guelb El Rhein, Kedia d’Idjill, and M’Haoudat mines. Meanwhile, lucrative iron ore deposits at the country’s Tamagot, Legleitat, Tiferchai, and Kaouat mines are poised to assist SNIM’s production target of 40 million tons by 2025.

Gold

Mauritania’s Guelb Moghrein copper-gold deposit produced roughly 30,845 ounces of gold in 2022, while the Tasiast Gold Mine – one of the largest mining projects in Africa – generated approximately $3.6 billion in revenue for the country since 2010.

Located roughly 300km north of Mauritania’s capital city of Nouakchott, the Tasiast mine produces approximately 240,000 ounces of gold per year, with the mine’s operator, Canadian-based gold and silver mining company, Kinross, having announced in 2021 its intention to invest $150 million to increase production capacity at the mine from 21,000 tons of gold-bearing ore per day to 24,000 by 2023, while working to extend the mine’s life to 2034 and undertaking new exploration efforts in the region.

Copper

In addition to being a leading producer of iron ore and gold on the continent, Mauritania serves as one of the leading producers of copper in Africa, producing approximately 18,800 tons of the mineral resource in 2021. Through the development of the country’s Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine, which is operated by Canadian-based mining and metals company, Quantum Minerals subsidiary, Mauritanian Copper Mines, copper production in Mauritania has been steadily increasing since commercial operation of the mine began in October 2006 and serves as a vital contributor to the country’s mining and mineral sector.

Gypsum

With reserves estimated at 1.7 billion tons, surveys have indicated huge quantities of highly pure gypsum deposits in Mauritania’s Sebkha Ndaghmecha marine basin, located 50km north of the country’s capital Nouakchott. Fueled by West Africa’s rapid urbanization, the mineral resource is used for the production of cement, both locally and in the sub-region, thus allowing Mauritania to benefit exponentially from exports to regional and international markets while taking advantage of local market opportunities.

Uranium

Anticipated to contain up to 13.4 million kg of uranium resources, the Tiris Uranium Project in Mauritania, situated in the north-eastern region of the West African country approximately 1,200km from Nouakchott, is indicative of the region’s immense and diverse mineral wealth.

Serving as one of the world’s most important energy minerals, uranium – in addition to Mauritania’s vast wealth of strategic mineral – is imperative for the sustainable production of electricity, as well as for its use in the medical, industrial and defense sectors. Uranium reserves in the country are currently estimated to be 10.9 million tons, with a grade of 336 parts per million.

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Onur Yilmaz

Onur Yilmaz

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