The mineral resources of Chad remain largely unexplored but the country is tempting investors with tax and import concessions
Chad has had very little exploration or development of its mineral wealth. However, studies conducted by the United Nations Development Programme and the Chad Direction des Recherches Géologiques et Minières (DRGM) have outlined several areas that are highly prospective for gold, bauxite, uranium, silver and alluvial diamonds. Since 1995, Chad has had a Mining Code designed to lure foreign investment to the country.
Greenstone belts have been identified in the southwest of the country and include the Mayo Kebbi belt (containing the Lere, Mourbame and Pala areas). Gold mineralisation has also been found in the Ouaddaï region (including the Am Ouchar, Ade, Ardelik and Goz Beida areas) these regions have been likened to the gold-bearing Birnimian rocks of West Africa.
Alluvial gold is mined, particularly along the Mayo N’Dala river (here a substantial alluvial deposit exists, estimated at hosting several tonnes of gold). South Korea’s Aflko has opened Chad’s first gold mine at Pala, some 300km south of the capital, N’Djamena, and then Chinese took over.
The mine is also proximal to the major Doba oilfield development, currently being a consortium composed by exploited Exxon, Petronas and Chevron.
Due to the extremely arid nature of the Sahara region, conventional stream sediment sampling is made very difficult. However, alluvial diamonds have been reported from the Ouaddaï, Biltine, Guera and Bailokoum areas.
Bauxite reserves have been identified at Koro northeast of Moundou in the south of Chad Ore resources are estimated at 7Mc grading at 57% A1201. Other commodities include silver (at Ofoni), wolframite (at the Yedri Massif in Tibesti) uranium (at Mayo Kebbi and Tibessu) and titanium (at Guera Massif).