Unity, Work, Progress
Minerals: Sodium carbonate or natron, gold, wolframite, bauxite, uranium, silver and alluvial diamonds.
Independence: 11 August 1960
Area: 1,284,000 km2
Mining fact: Most of the mining activities in Chad are conducted by small-scale artisanal miners. Although there are several national and international mining companies actively exploring the potential for gold and uranium mining in Chad, there are no large-scale mines operating in the country. There are reports that the Biltine Prefecture has large deposits of gold-bearing quartz, but the lack of foreign investment is interfering with development opportunities in this regard. This is mainly because of political instability caused by several years of civil war and ongoing corruption.
In the 1960s, the mining industry in Chad produced natron, also known as sodium carbonate. From 1979 until 1982, civil war discouraged exploration and growth in the mining industry. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) conducted several studies in the 1990s, after which the Chad Direction de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (DRGM) outlined several areas likely to be rich in mineral wealth and have mining potential. Again, no significant progress took place. The country’s economic prospects were boosted in 2000 when major direct foreign investment into the oil sector began. ExxonMobil invested $3.7 billion to develop oil reserves, and the World Bank partially financed a pipeline. After its completion, oil production began in 2003. In March 2009, the government and the Ministry of Mines and Energy established a Mining Code to replace the antiquated code that had been in place since 1970. The code was implemented to provide tax incentives for new projects.
Gold Mining in Chad
There are several active gold mining centres around Chad and all of them use small-scale artisanal mining techniques. The Tibesti region in the north of Chad is the best known for this. Alluvial gold is mined at the Mayo N’Dala River known to host several tons of gold. Gold has also been discovered in the Quaddai region, which includes areas like Ardelik, Ade, Goz Beida and Am Ouchar.
Diamond Mining in Chad Although the diamond mining industry in Chad is also largely undeveloped, alluvial diamond deposits reportedly exist in the Guera, Baibokoum, Biltine and Quaddai areas.
Bauxite Mining in Chad The south of Chad is rich in bauxite reserves, particularly in Koro. Ore reserves are estimated to have a grading of 57% Al2O3.
Other Commodities in Chad Besides gold, diamonds and bauxite, other major commodities in Chad include silver deposits located in Ofoni, wolframite in Tibesti at Yedri Massif, titanium deposits at Guera Massif and uranium in Tibesti at Mayo Kebbi.