Direction des Mines et de la Géologie
Ministère des Mines, de l'Industrie et des PME
BuldingAdministratif, B.P.4029, 4 Etage, Dakar
Phone: +221-33 822 04 19

Senegal Mining Code

Source: CIA Factbook



Senegal’s geology is dominated by two broad geological units: i) mainly Proterozoic, Birrimian age, Precambrian basement in the southeast of the country, although including sediments of Cambrian age, and ii) a large sedimentary basin of Mesozoic-Recent age that occupies the remainder of the country west of approximately 130W. A small inlier of Mesozoic metamorphics occurs in the west near Dakar.


Phosphate rock and derivative phosphoric acid production dominate Senegal’s mineral sector. It is the seventh largest phosphate producer in Africa accounting for 1.56% of total output. Production however decreased by 6.7% in 2008 and has declined overall to be at only 41% of output recorded in 2005. This has impacted directly upon exports and GDP. Other commodities produced by Senegal include natural gas, petroleum, gold, salt, fullers earth and a variety of construction materials.
The country has a relatively small gold production (19th equal with Cameroon) but this will change with the opening of the Sabadala gold mine that has a projected annual output of 4.66 tonnes. The Sabodala and related Niakafiri deposit have estimated combined reserves of 50.7 tonnes of gold hosted in shear zones within Birrimian volcanics. The Birimian gold belt, which runs from Mali into Senegal along the Senegal-Mali Structural Corridor, is one of the largest gold belts in the world, but is still largely unexplored. To date 44m oz have been discovered on the belt, Senegal is Africa’s leading producer of fullers earth (attapulgite) accounting for 44.2% of total output in 2008; the country is also a significant producer of salt, ranked sixth in Africa. There has been limited exploration for uranium in eastern Senegal. The area covered is described as "Saraya East" and is 2,992 km2 in extent. It was extensively explored by COGEMA-BRGM in a three phase program during the late 1950's, 1970's and early 1980's. Uranium mineralization was identified as being 'episyenite' hosted, resulting from hydrothermal remobilisation and alteration of the surrounding granites. A historical estimate of approximately 750,000 tonnes at an average grade of 0.24% U3O8, which equates to 3,8 million lbs of U3O8, was completed by COGEMA.

Oil & Gas
Proven hydrocarbon reserves were estimated at 800 Mt of heavy crude oil and 3 billion mof natural gas, in 2009.

Maps and images

Gold Home


Birimian-age volcanics and sediments in eastern Senegal, crossed by two prominent shear systems, host the gold mineralization.
  • Teranga Gold Corporation is a Canadian-based gold company which operates the Sabodala gold mine and is currently exploring 10 exploration licenses covering 1,200km² in Senegal, comprising the regional land package, surrounding the Sabodala gold mine. The Sabodala gold mine, the regional land package, and shares held in Oromin Explorations Ltd. (“Oromin) are collectively referred to as the Sabodala Gold Assets. The Sabodala gold mine, which came into operation in 2009, is located 650 kilometres southeast of the capital of Senegal, Dakar within the West African Birimian geological belt in Senegal where approximately 10 million ounces of gold resources have been discovered over the past six years, and lies about 90 kilometres from major gold mines in Mali. As of December 31, 2012, the Sabodala gold mine had proven and probable reserves of approximately 1.6 million ounces of gold included in measured and indicated resources of 2.9 million ounces of gold and inferred mineral resources of 1.7 million ounces of gold. In February 2012 Teranga Gold cut broad intervals of multi-gram gold on possible mineralized extensions to its Sabodala open pit mine in Senegal. Some of the better intercepts included: 85 metres @ 3 g/t gold, 99 metres @ 1.3 g/t Au and 43 metres @ 1.8 g/t Au, respectively starting 120 metres, 180 metres and 123 metres downhole. Teranga has said there is the potential to expand resources on the Sabodala mine licence to between 2.5 to 3.5 million ounces by bringing in "20 to 30 million tonnes at grades between 1.5 and 2" g/t Au. In total at Sabodala Teranga reports 2.1 million ounces gold @ 1.17 g/t Au in measured and indicated resources. That includes 1.7 million ounces gold in reserves at 1.43 g/t.One of the main areas where Teranga expects to bring better defined resources and reserves into the fold is the Main Flat Extension (MFE) near the Sabodala open pit. "The goal of the MFE program is to add 250,000 to 500,000 ounces of gold to the open pit mineable gold inventory at an average grade between 1.5 - 2 g/t, as well as potentially a similar amount to underground at an average grade of 3 - 4 g/t, in 2012," Teranga states.

The Sabodala Gold Mine

Diamond drill core from Sabodala

Teranga Gold has slightly increased its takeover offer for TSX-listed Oromin Explorations. Teranga in June 2013 formally started its friendly takeover of Oromin Explorations, offering 0.582 of its own shares for every Oromin share held. The junior has now increased this offer to 0.60 of its own shares for every Oromin share held, bringing the total number of Teranga shares on issue to 71.2-million. The varied offer would expire on August 6, 2013. Through the takeover offer, Teranga would acquire Oromin’s 43.5% shareholding in the Oromin Joint Venture Group (OJVG) deposits, and intended to work with the other JV partners to develop the deposits. The OJVG reserves were estimated to host some 1.44-million ounces of gold, and would provide Teranga with the ability to blend ores from multiple deposits, which would enhance the company’s cost profile. It would further provide Teranga with the ability to leverage its Sabodala project’s existing mill, infrastructure and mobile equipment fleet through increased production from the company’s interest in the OJVG reserves, and anticipated toll-milling opportunities. The OJVG licences are adjacent to the Sabodala gold mine. “We expect that the combination of assets will result in an entity with increased production and improved financial metrics as a result of the addition of Oromin’s interest in the OJVG open pit reserves,” said Teranga executive chairperson Alan Hill. “This is a transaction that makes good sense for all shareholders and once complete, we look forward to working with the OJVG partners and the government of Senegal to develop the asset as soon as possible, leveraging off our existing mill and infrastructure.”
  • Oromin Explorations Ltd's (Canadian, OLE.V) exploration program  focused on three priority areas, Golouma, Niakafiri South and Masato. The company announced in July 2010 that a feasibility study for a proposed open pit and underground mine at its Oromin Joint Venture Group Limited  (OJVG) gold project in eastern Senegal has shown that the venture is economically viable. “We are pleased with the conclusions of the feasibility study despite the fact that, due to time constraints related to issuance of the mining licence, it presents only a portion of the overall project value as it was based on the production from only five of the nine known gold deposits. The five deposits are all open to considerable expansion and the value of the remaining mineralised targets will be evaluated by drill testing during the remainder of 2010. Further resource updates are expected in August and again by year end 2010,” Oromin chief executive officer, Chet Idziszek, said. The positive results from the feasibility study demonstrate that the OJVG gold project is currently economic and clearly shows significant upside potential. For example, indicated resources at the higher grade Golouma deposits currently contain 1.2 million ounces of indicated gold resources to approximately 300 metres vertical extent, however, the deposits remain open at depth. “The completion of the feasibility study at this time was done to fulfill the requirements of the mining licence granted to OJVG in January this year and represents a crucial step forward in the development of the OJVG gold project. The study confirms a robust rate of return for investors and a project that will see significant investment into Senegal for the benefit of both the local community and the country as a whole,” Idziszek noted. Oromin expects that detailed value engineering studies, followed by construction, will begin in the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Randgold Resources Ltd (Nasdaq:GOLD; LSE:RRS) has 15 targets for drilling and is modelling the advanced targets of Bambaraya, Sofia and Delya for further diamond drilling. In February, 2008, the company announced high-grade results from drilling and continuous mineralization over a 2.8 kilometre strike length at Massawa.

  • GoldStone Resources Ltd entered into a joint venture agreement with Randgold in relation to the exploration, evaluation and, potentially, the development and mining of the Sangola project in Senegal (the "Joint Venture"). Randgold will hold 51% of the Joint Venture and GoldStone 49% and a committee comprising three representatives from Randgold and two from GoldStone will manage the project. Under the terms of the Joint Venture, Randgold has agreed to undertake exploration over the Sangola permit and fund all work up to and including the completion of a pre-feasibility study ("PFS") on the project. The committed work includes the execution of at least 10,000 metres of reverse circulation (or equivalent) drilling per annum up to the completion of a PFS which indicates that mining of at least 1Moz of gold is economically feasible. Subject to the PFS satisfying this condition, GoldStone will have the option to maintain its 49% interest through funding its share of the costs of a feasibility study (the "FS"). In the event that GoldStone elects not to fund its share of the FS, its interest in the Joint Venture would reduce to 35%. If, following completion of the FS, the decision is taken to develop a mine, GoldStone will have the right to retain its interest through funding its share of the costs. If the PFS indicates that the mining of at least 1Moz of gold will not be economically and commercially feasible, the Joint Venture will cease to have effect. In addition, Randgold may terminate the Joint Venture at any time by giving GoldStone 90 days' notice. The area covered by the licence locates in the highly prospective Kenieba Inlier of Birimian Formation where modern exploration resulted in the discovery of more than 30 million ounces ("Moz") of gold in Mali and Senegal. The licence covers the south-western part of the Main Transcurrent Shear Zone (“MTZ”), a major shear system that also controlled the formation of the recently discovered 3.6 Moz Massawa gold deposit (Randgold Resources Ltd). The Massawa gold project is presently undergoing a feasibility study and might be the second modern gold mine in Senegal after first gold was poured at Teranga’s Sabodala gold mine during March 2009. Further to the north the same gold belt is targeted with extensive exploration by Teranga and Bassari.  Both companies have discovered mineralisation (Sounkounkou and Sanbarabougou) within this 70 km long gold anomalous belt. The licence also covers the very prospective volcanic rocks (Mako Formation) which host the 3 Moz Sabodala deposit and Toro Gold’s recently discovered 1 Moz Petowal deposit. Despite its strategic position the licence area was still largely unexplored when GoldStone was granted the permit in October 2010. The surface sampling programme consisted of approximately 10,000 samples taken from termite mounds at 400 metre by 100 metre and 200 metre by 50 metre spacings, covering the largest part of the permit area. Results included gold values of up to 259 ppb and defined four robust gold anomalies, named Baraboye, Thiabedji, Tiobo and Ibel. In order to gain a better understanding of the geology and the hydrothermal processes that resulted in the gold mineralisation, the samples were also analysed for a range of other trace elements, such as silver and arsenic. RAB drilling during the 2012 dry seasons was limited to the more than six kilometre long Thiabedji gold anomaly where 11,348 metres were drilled along 13 lines in 418 drill holes averaging 27 metres in depth. Results from the central part of the anomaly delineated a 1.2 km long mineralised trend which is up to 70 metres wide and remains open along strike. Results from this area include 9 metres @ 4.7 g/t gold (including 3 metres @ 11.8 g/t gold) and 3 metres @ 4.9 g/t gold. The programme also yielded a large number of low grade intersects; i.e. 117 intersects between 0.1 g/t and 0.5 g/t. Drilling in the south-western part of the Thiabedji anomaly identified gold mineralisation along three drill lines.

  • Mineral Deposits Limited (Australian), at its Sabodala deposit and satellite Niakafiri deposit, has outlined an initial measured and indicated resource of 8,22 million t grading 2,9 g/t Au, plus an inferred resource of 4,36 million t at 2,5 g/t Au. An initial study on the Sabodala gold project has indicated mineable reserves of over one-million oz to a vertical depth of 210 m based on a 1,2 g/t cut-off. Between a cut-off of 1 g/t to 1,2 g/t, some 2,5-million tons will be stockpiled and probably treated in the final year of operations. Plant throughput of two-million tons a year will produce an average of 150 000 oz a year over the mine life.
  • AXMIN Inc.(TSXv:AXM) who recently announced that Harmony Gold Mining Company (NYSE:HMY; JSE:HAR) will fund at least US$4 million of exploration at three of its permits in Senegal, will use the funds to further explore a large number of gold targets identified at its Sonkounkou, Sabodala NW, and Heremakono permits.
  • IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG; NYSE:IAG) is doing detailed geological and geophysical surveys on their remaining concessions to learn more about the geological controls affecting the mineralization identified to date.

Oil and Natural Gas

  • Natural gas production: 50 million cu m (2004 est.)
  • In 2006, Hunt Oil planned to conduct seismic research on the Sangomar-Rufisque license offshore Senegal. Analysts estimate that the license area could contain upwards of 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Hunt Oil is the operator of the license with a 60 percent interest, and is joined with partners First Australian Resources (30 percent) and state-owned Societe des petroles du Senegal (Petrosen) (10 percent).
  • In March 2005, Malaysian-based, Markmore Energy (a private oil and gas company wholly owned by investor Tan Sri Halim Saad) acquired a 55 percent stake in the Dome Flore Block. The block is located in a joint maritime exploration zone, which is controlled by Senegal and Guinea-Bissua and administered by the Agence de Gestion et de Cooperation (AGC). The Dome Flore Block contains an estimated 800 million barrels of heavy oil. Thirteen wells have been drilled on the block, and several have penetrated 10 - 13 API heavy oil deposits. Additionally, two wells have found much smaller deposits of 30 - 35 API light oil. Markmore Energy is joined with partners Sterling Oil (UK) (30 percent) and AGC (15 percent).
  • Eni, as operator of the AGC-administered Cheval Marin Block, has a 48 percent interest and is joined with ExxonMobil (37 percent), Sterling Oil (10 percent) and AGC (15 percent). Seismic surveys were completed on the Cheval Marin Block in April 2002, and additional seismic surveys are being planned.
  • Tullow Oil operates the St. Louis exploration licence with a 60% interest. Partners include Petrosen, Senegal's state oil company and Dana Petroleum plc. The licence covers the northern-most inshore section of the Senegalese offshore area and adjoins Mauritanian Block 1 in which the company has a 38% interest.

Source: Tullow Oil


  • UraMin Inc, through its 100% subsidiary, UraMin Exploration Limited, entered into a Mining Convention with the Republic of Senegal to prospect for and, if economically viable, mine uranium and related minerals in the Saraya East region of Eastern Senegal. The area covered by the Mining Convention is described as "Saraya East" and is 2,992 km2 in extent. The area was extensively explored by COGEMA-BRGM in a three phase program during the late 1950's, 1970's and early 1980's. Uranium mineralization was identified as being 'episyenite' hosted, resulting from hydrothermal remobilisation and alteration of the surrounding granites. A historical estimate of approximately 750,000 tonnes at an average grade of 0,24% U3O8, which equates to 3,8 million lbs of U3O8, was completed by COGEMA.

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