Oyo State is blessed with prominent minerals and endowed with a wide distribution and massive supplies of the sample but easy to utilize igneous and metarmorphic groups of minerals, namely Iron ore, tantalite, columbite, cassiterite, bismuth, gemstones, gold, marble, red clay, sand, gravel, granite, syenite, kaolin and talc. Oyo State has the largest Marble/Dolomite deposits in Nigeria and comes second in its Granite reserves.
In the same vein, it is also the 2nd largest Gemstone concentration in Nigeria and almost all gemstones that have been described can be found in Oyo State. Gemstones are indeed a large market and unregulated trade occurs in the State, this subsector is intended to be further developed and there are growing concerns and ongoing and proposed initiatives to further regulate this sector.
Indigenous pharmaceutical, cosmetics, paints, manufacturing and toilet ware production sectors are in constant demand of some of the solid minerals by products such as Talc, Marble dust, Feldspar and Kaolin. Despite the local demand, a significant quantity of these solid minerals are exported out of the country for further downstream processing. Informal trade in the gemstone industry occurs and most of the products are exported for further processing and value addition. As the major market for granite in South West most of the granite being used in Southern Nigeria are mined from Oyo State. As a result of the initial reconnaissance survey and prospecting in Nigeria, Oyo State emerged as one of the most favourable destinations for mineral resources development which include the following: granite, red clay, tantalite Columbite, kaolin, marble etc. The State has planned to significantly leverage the extensive solid mineral potentials for socio economic development and is also currently in the processing of gemstones in the State.
- Broadly speaking Oy State, currently ranks 3rd in terms of solid minerals production in Nigeria with a production output worth about $3,8 million per annum.
- Oyo State has the largest by land mass deposit of Marble/Dolomite in Nigeria, and this is found at the Igbeti Marble Deposit Site. The exact quantities are yet to be determined, as this would require detailed pre-exploratory studies to determine the reserve quantities. However, studies have shown that the marble forms an elongate body that stretches for about 120km in the N-S direction and varies in thickness from less than O.5km in the lgbeti area and the northern part to about 1 km south of Alagutan in metre thickness of the marble body.
- Some of the world’s most impressive gemstones has on record to have been found in Oyo State, in the same regard also, the site of the famous rubellite tourmaline (red-pink) and spesertite garnet finds of the late 1990’s was Oyo State. The Ofiki and Saki sites in Oyo State are still producing tourmaline and garnet in a range of colours.
Oyo State is naturally endowed with Pyraiba and Emerald and recent explorations has classified Oyo State as a Gold Endowed State. The state is endowed with soil-based resources which include granite chips, red clay, sand and gravel that have high potentials in the construction industry given the increase demands for infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, housing) and related activities both within the state and in neighboring States. There are assumptions that the granite reserves in Oyo State are up to 2 billion tonnes.
Current Mining operations in Oyo State:
- Pacesetter Asphalt and Quarry Limited
- Mineral Buying Centre- a proposed initiative that is currently being developed for the gemstone industry
- Currently 20 Granite Quarries are operational in the State
- 2 nos. Granite cutting Sites
- 3 nos. Clay Bricks Quarrying companies
- The State has also floated a company named the Pacesetter Mining Company which will serve as a vehicle for partnering with foreign and local investors by way of a joint venture to explore the solid mineral deposits existing in commercially viable quantities.
- Investment opportunities exist for mining exploration companies to partner with the State by providing baseline data of the reserves of all our un-explored but identified solid mineral deposit sites.
- Value Addition to Mined Gemstone: The core structure and the operational framework for the Mineral Gemstone Buying Center in Oyo State in conjunction with the Federal Government has been developed. The Mineral Gemstone Buying Centre is open to a number of investors that will ensure that the needed revenue is obtained and regulation of an unregulated sector of the economy is achieved. Although ownership of these minerals is vested in the Federal Government, the State is willing to establish Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements with companies in the business of mineral exploration and mining. The State is in possession of several mining licenses and is open to partnership with investors who have the capacity to mine these solid minerals