Mineral resources are the primary raw materials for industrialisation. Nigeria has abundant minerals for a wide range of industries. Iron ore and a host of other locally available metallurgical raw materials are being utilised for the local iron and steel industry. Crude oil and natural gas are the basic for the petrochemical and fertiliser industries.
In addition to these heavy industries, the availability of a large number of minerals has supported a dynamic building and construction industry, the chemical industry, and the manufacture of glass, ceramic products as well as other manufacturing processes.
Nigeria exports tin, ferrous and non-ferrous minerals, as well as gemstones. Common industrial minerals such as sand, clay, limestone and marble are intensively utilised. Bitumen and coal are also important.
Inventory of the mineral it raw materials in Nigeria has been undertaken by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council since 1987, as part of the Federal Government's drive for the local sourcing of raw materials s under the Structural Adjustment Programme.
There is a tremendous growth potential for the mineral industry in Nigeria, to meet local demands and that of the Economic Community of West African States. Bitumen and coal mining are priorities to the ir Ministry of Solid Mineral Development, just as the exploration of gold, talc and diamond will be facilitated through technical assistance from South Africa.