Petroleum and Mineral Sector

Somalia is recognized to hold large, untapped reserves of numerous natural resources such as iron ore, uranium, copper, tin, bauxite, gypsum, salt, and natural gas. Its proximity to countries such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia makes it a potential reserve of oil.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources- The opportunity is huge – Somalia is a nation rich in hydrocarbons. Geological structures indicate that the potential is at least as significant as neighboring basins located in Seychelles, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. As a result, Somalia could become one of the most significant oil plays in offshore East Africa, which is why we are already attracting very significant interest from the oil and gas majors.

According to the World Atlas:


Somalia’s proximity to the Gulf of Arab states such as Yemen and Saudi Arabia makes it a huge potential for oil reserve. However, oil has not been exploited in the country.


It is believed that Somalia has one of the largest gypsum reserves in the world.


Uranium was discovered in Somalia in the late 1960s by UN geologists who also discovered several other minerals in the country. The reserve was one of the largest in the world, with researchers estimating that the country’s deposits accounted for 25% of the world’s known uranium reserves which was approximately 800,000 tons. In 1984, the country was reported to hold about 5,000 tons of the mineral reasonable assured resource, 11,000 tons of estimated additional resource of calcrete deposits, and possibly 150,000 tons of speculative resources. Somalia was once a world’s major uranium supplier, with the United Arab Emirates, the US, Brazilian, and Italian mineral companies competing for mining rights.


Somalia once had the biggest salt factory in the world. The Hafun Salt Factory was established in the Hafun area in northern Italian Somalia. The factory was destroyed by fire during the British conquest of Italian East Africa. Before the destruction of the salt factory, the plant produced about 200,000 metric tons of salt which were mainly exported to Far East Asia. After two decades of civil unrest, Somalia is seeking to revive the salt sector in the Hafun and Hurdiyo regions.

Other Minerals Of Somalia

In recent years, several other minerals have been produced in Somalia including gemstone, sandstone, niobium, granite, tantalum, and marble. It also has deposits of several other non-metallic minerals such as kaolin, silica sand, feldspar, and limestone. These minerals are mainly explored by artisan miners on a small scale. There are also small deposits of copper and iron ore in the country.