Benin offers gold, iron ore as well as phosphate potential and it has awarded several pursuit licenses for gold exploration in the united kingdom to foreign traders. There are debris of brick as well as china clay, feldspar, the Loumbu Loumbu reduced grade iron ore deposits and also the Mekrou phosphate debris. The development from the Loumbu Loumbu as well as Mekrou deposits depends on the proposed development of the hydro electric energy scheme that will be constructed on the actual Mekrou river. Gold mineralisation may be identified in the actual Atacora and Alibori areas, where hard rock and roll and alluvial deposits are recognized to exist. At Alibori, the 350 km2 potential area includes alluvial as well as vein hosted precious metal occurences.
Benin’s three cement companies, the Société des Ciments d’Onigbolo and the clinker-grinders Cimentierie du Bénin S.A. (Scancem International, 48.7% interest) and Société des Ciments du Bénin, have a nameplate production capacity of about 875,000 metric tons per year (t/yr) sufficient to fulfill the domestic demand that was estimated at just more than 500,000 t/yr (Hargreaves and others, 1998). Severe power shortages affected Benin from March through June 1998 to the extent that the cement companies were authorized to import cement to cover production shortages.
Benin’s transportation infrastructure consisted of 16,200 km of roads and the 438-km railroad from Cotonou to Parakou. To enhance the country’s active reexport sector, the Government proposed a number of transportation sector reforms. The Government also hoped to increase the mining sector’s contribution to national economic and social development, including job creation, increased diversity of exports, and as a source of foreign exchange and royalty revenue. It has proposed to establish a geologic information management system, to prepare a development strategy for the mining sector, and to revise the mining code.
Mineral-resource development opportunities identified by the Government included 10 million tons (Mt) of brick clay deposits at Zogbodomé, 5 Mt at Gbédji-Kotovi, and 1 Mt at Massi-Lomé; 1 Mt of kaolin at Adakpamé; feldspar; 506 Mt of iron at 46% to 52% iron with 13% to 15% silica at LoumbouLoumbou and Madécali; more than 90 Mt of limestone usable for cement at Onigbolo and 17 Mt at Massé; about 33 million Mt of sandy limestone at Bakpodji; 6 Mt of marble at Idadjo; 12 Mt of peat near Cotonou; the 5.5 Mt of phosphate grading 25.2% P2O5 at Mékrou; silica sand; and a number of potential ornamental stone quarrying sites, including charnockite at Pototoumana, granite at Gobada and Parakou, granodiorite at Tebou, monzonite at Bétérou, and rhyolite at Pako.
OBEMINES also had documented occurrences of columbiumtantalum, industrial diamond, gypsum, mica, nickel, rare earths, rutile, tungsten, and zirconium in Benin (Ministry of Energy, Mining, and Hydraulics, 1992; Ministère des Mines, de l’Energie, et de l’Hydraulique, written commun., 1997;
Based on previous positive results, the ministry hopes to see a gold industry developing around the Atacora gold province, with investment from the private sector. Gold exploration agreements have been signed with eight mining companies from South Africa, Germany, Australia, Canada, Ghana, UK and Nigeria.
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