Welcome to Somalia
By Will Soutter - Mine Expo - Somalia is a country located in Eastern Africa bordering the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The total area of the country is 637,657 km2, and it has a population of 10,085,638 as of July 2012. The country’s climate is desert-like.
The national flag of Somalia.
Since becoming an independent country, Somalia has had to continually face violent civil strife, political instability, lack of national governance, and huge IMF debt. The country’s economy depends on the agriculture sector more than any other sectors. The GDP of the country was $5.896 billion in 2010.
The exploited natural resource of Somalia is mainly uranium. However, there are many unexploited reserves of bauxite, copper, iron ore, tin, gypsum, salt, natural gas, and probable oil reserves. The country’s mineral sector is largely underdeveloped and only makes a small contribution towards exports and economy in general.
Overview of Resources
In recent years, Somalia has produced small quantities of gemstones, niobium (columbium), salt, sandstone, granite, marble, and tantalum. The country also has deposits of feldspar, kaolin, limestone, quartz, and silica sand. Granite, marble, and sandstone are mostly produced by private companies, while gemstones and salt mining is performed by artisanal miners in small scale.
In 2010, Range Resources Ltd. of Australia and Africa Oil Ltd. of Canada explored the Dharoor Valley and the Nugaal Valley onshore blocks in Puntland in search of crude petroleum. On completion of the exploration work, the two companies will undertake drilling work.
Somalia has a long way to go before being able to rely on its mineral sector for revenue as the collapse of the central government has caused ambiguity over mineral rights and hesitation among foreign investors.
Experts feel that only the oil and gas sector of Somalia is likely to see some progress in the coming years. However, the framing of regulatory policies, the negotiation process and finally striking a contract or agreement are all conducted in a random manner.
The government has to update itself with international mining regulations, seek advice from authorized organizations and work towards providing a secure environment for investors.