Business Oportunities

MINING RESOURCES

In 2013, the Government of Benin commissioned CGG Fugro Company to carry out the airborne magnetometric, radiometric and gravimetric survey of the entire territory of Benin. This aerial survey confirmed the indications of the existence of oil and mineral deposits, including, among others, gold, iron, phosphate and oil.

Examples of mineral resources available in Benin are:


GOLD

Benin has significant gold reserves especially in the Department of Atacora. Some of them are the following:

DEPOSIT IN THE DISTRICT OF PERMA: It consists of 26 quartz veins spread over an area of ​​2 sq. km. The proven reserve amounts to 800 kg of lode gold at a grade of 9 g / ton.

ALLUVIAL DEPOSITS: They are located in the valleys of rivers in Perma, Sina- Issiré and Sarga. The alluvial gold reserve available is estimated at 400 kg with a grade of 1 g per cubic meter. That of the Sina-Isséré River is 1 ton with grades estimated at 1.2 g per cubic meter.

The metallic gold zone of Atacora was divided up into 18 mining perimeters of which: 12 were granted to mining companies. In the Department of Alibori, 8 mining areas are demarcated for the search for gold.


IRON

In the region of Karimama (northeast), there is the Loumbou-Loumbou deposit with reserves of 226 million tons containing 46-52% iron and 13-15% silica. At Madékali in the city of Kandi (northeast), there is an iron deposit with reserves amounting to 240 million tons, containing 46-52% iron and 13-15% silica

PHOSPHATE
The phosphate deposit in the region of Mekrou to the northwest of Benin is estimated at 5.5 million tons with an average grade of 25.2% of phosphorus pentoxide. The phosphate ore is very useful in agriculture.

BUILDING MATERIALS AND FOSSIL FUELS
Benin’s subsoil contains many building materials including limestone, marble, clay, clayey earth, sand, gravel and ornamental stones.


LIMESTONE

Limestone deposits are estimated at 122.5 million tons, and can be used for the cement industry, those of cliffstone suitable for ballasting are estimated at 33 million tons and those used for lime are valued at 1.575 million tons. They are located at:

  • Onigbolo: 90 million tons of reserves.
  • Massè: 17.5 million tons.
  • Avlan: 1.575 million tons (for the manufacture of lime)
  • Bakpodji: 33 million tons of cliffstone suitable for ballast.
  • MARBLE

Marble is found in several districts in Bénin, including:

  • Idadjo: This town is located 360 km north of Cotonou. The deposit is composed of calcareous-dolomitic rocks largely crystalline, of a gray-blue hue and with a fine polish. This reserve is estimated at 6 million tons;
  • Motéwo: Town situated in the region of Alafia about 300 km north of Cotonou. It is a lenticular formation whose reserves have not yet been assessed.
  • Atomè-Lonkly: In this locality, the reserve of twenty indications of dolomitic marble was assessed at 6.5 million cubic meters.
  • Lanta: Located 15 km west of Abomey, this town has a deposit of 75,000 cubic kilometers of gray marble in lentils in migmatites.

GRAVEL

Gravel deposits exist in the Region of in the Department of Mono, with a reserve of 13,081,000 cubic kilometres and in Lokossa north of .


ORNAMENTAL STONES

Benin has a lot of ornamental stones. They are rocks which, sawed and polished, have a nice polish and can be used for covering floors and walls. There are:

  • Granites in the districts of Dassa, Gobada, Fita, Parakou;
  • Syenites and monzonites in  the region of Bétérou;
  • Jasper and serpentinite of Buem;
  • granulites and charnockites in the area of Pototoumana-Kompagorou;
  • granulites at Dérouvarou;
  • eruptive alkaline complex of Pako.

CLAY

Clay deposits have been identified in the coastal sedimentary basin. A few deposits can be listed: Gbedji-Kotovi: 5 million tons; Massi: 1.5 million tons and Zogbodomè: 10 million tons. Furthermore, Djrègbé, Sakété and the riparian area of Ouémé River revealed clay deposits which have not been assessed yet. They are used for making bricks and terracotta tiles.


CLAYEY EARTH

Clayey earth is found on the plateaus of the coastal sedimentary basin, particularly south of Lama Depression. It is used in the manufacture of bricks and clay tiles.


KAOLIN

Important kaolin reserves have been discovered and can be used for various applications: pottery, ceramics, sanitary fittings, tiles, white cement production. The reserves are estimated at 1 billion cubic meters of kaolin polluted by iron oxides in the district of Kétou and 1 million cubic meters of white kaolin in the area of Adakplamè.


FOSSIL FUELS

Geological mapping and mineral exploration work have identified areas of peat in the southern Departments, including:

In the Department of Atlantique: between Cotonou and Hêvié and in the swampy valley of Kpomanou opening on Lake Toho; in the Department of Mono: swamp of Kpakpatan; in the Department of Ouémé: swampy depressions of Avrankou to Dogla Lago, between Sèmè junction and Djrègbé.


OTHER MINERALS

There are many mineral occurrences and useful substances requiring detailed work for their in-depth assessment. A few examples:

  • microscopic diamonds: Magou and Kiatiko in the Department of Atacora;
  • rutile (titanium ore): Birni, Péhunco, Tchaourou, Savè and Kétou;
  • nickel: South of Tobré (Péhunco district);
  • gypsum: Pobè, Bopa-Bakpodji; and
  • tin group metals (tin, niobium, tantalum, tungsten, etc.) identified in the regions of Dunkassa-Kalalé and Sinendé.

HYDROCARBONS

The coastal sedimentary basin harbours hydrocarbon deposits. Exploration work helped discover geological structures that may contain hydrocarbons. The coastal basin was divided into six (6) blocks: Four (4) offshore blocks 1, 2, 3, 4 and two (2) onshore blocks A and B.

The estimated reserves of hydrocarbons at these different blocks reach seven (7) billion barrels of oil spread over three sites: Avrankou, Sèmè-Kpodji and Allada. These reserves are as follows:

  • Crude oil: 5250 million barrels;
  • condensate: 200 million barrels;
  • gas: 91 billion cubic meters.

AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES

The rural sector in Benin provides over 75% of earnings from the export of local products. The potential is enormous and the outlook is promising. Arable land is still poorly exploited. However, Benin enjoys favourable natural conditions that allow developing crops adapted to climates. These crops constitute investment opportunities for domestic and foreign investors. They are:

  • CEREALS: maize, sorghum, millet.

Projects can be initiated for the manufacture of animal feeds, manufacture of malt for beer production, the construction of oil mills based on maize, brewing, confectionery and pharmaceuticals.

  • ROOT PLANTS AND TUBERS:

Yam, cassava, sweet potato, potato, taro etc … These crops can be used for the production of crisps, cassava flour, yam, tapioca, cassava starch and animal feed.

  • GRAIN LEGUMES: beans, cowpea, Bambara groundnut, soya. They open up potentials for canning.
  • VEGETABLE CROPS: pepper, tomato, onion, sweet pepper … These crops are grown particularly along the coastline in Benin.
  • OIL SEEDS: Oil palm, coconut, peanuts, shea butter, and cotton seed. The production of oilseeds is essentially marked by the oil palm industry, shea butter and the coconut.

Refineries of oils (edible oil, cooking oil, crude oil), the manufacture of margarine, soap and cosmetics production units are among the promising business.

  • FRUIT CROPS: They include pineapples, mangoes, oranges, avocados. The fruit sector is growing steadily. It offers broad prospects for the development of agribusiness.
  • CASHEW

The sector of cashew nuts is a new emerging industry in the Centre and North of Benin and is likely to grow even more considering the availability of arable land suitable for plantations.

  • SUGAR CANE

After experiencing several years of operating difficulties, production of sugarcane has resumed thanks to foreign investment.

Production has grown steadily. 90% of this production is exported to the European market.

It offers good prospects for derivatives (ethanol and bio fuel)

  • COTTON

The cotton sector is the most developed in Benin. Sustained, organized and structured, this sector contributes largely to the export earnings of the country.

 It has great potential for the development of promising sectors of the textile industry and clothing.

  • LIVESTOCK

Cattle, goats, pigs, horses, and poultry are the main species. Livestock production accounts for an average 30,000 tons of meat, 40,000 tons of milk and 200 million eggs a year.

This production cannot meet domestic demand; therefore Benin is forced to import live animals from neighbouring countries and frozen meat from Europe. Thus the opportunities to create farms and manufacturing of dairy products are presented for those interested in this field.

  • FISHING

In the field of fisheries, fish production consisting mainly of fish, shrimp and shellfish, comes from marine fisheries (industrial and artisanal), and inland fishing.

The level of national output (about 12,000 tons at sea and 30,000 tons in inland waters) does not meet the demand. The needs are met through imports. This gap could be filled by the development of fish farming and the establishment of cold chains for the conservation of fish products.


PROFITABLE SECTORS

Tourism

The Benin has enormous tourist potential, still little known. Some examples include the lake city of Ganvié, the long sandy beach, the “Route of Fisheries” under construction, the “Tata Somba” and the two game parks in the country. Today, this sector represents 2.5% of GDP: 53 million profit in 2008, against 29 million in 1997. Proof that the destination of Benin begins to interest visitors. The majority of tourists are satisfied with their visits and are impressed by the rich culture and many sites of Benin. However it ranks only fifth in the number of countries visited in West Africa due to the lack of enough promoting agencies. The development of tourism is proving to be a bonanza for investors in search for new growth sectors.

Villa Karo in Grand-Popo, the result of cooperation between Benin and Finland, is a real cultural tool for cooperation and tourism promotion between the two (02) countries.

Mining

Benin’s mineral resources can be exploited and exported: iron, gold, phosphate, diamonds, kaolin, marble, gravel. Most recently, studies have confirmed the presence of untapped petroleum in Benin. The extraction of black gold and related activities are more business opportunities for investors.

Agribusiness

Benin produces enough tons of pineapple with international standards. Its processing offers a range of varied products: pineapple juice, pineapple marmalade, dried pineapple, etc. exportable to the West or to the regional growing market.

Fifth world producer, Benin exports 3% of cashew in the international market. The production of juice and wine from this fruit represents an untapped opportunity. In addition, various tropical fruits such as baobab, alone or mixed, are increasingly in demand by European consumers. The establishment of processing plants of these products offers new business opportunities.


Development projects:

Development projects are envisaged in the following areas:

Tourism, culture and crafts.

Tourism growth with huge investment potential includes:

  • “Route of Fisheries” Project for the development and construction of hotel, tourist and recreational infrastructure, (Beach from Cotonou to Ouidah) in progress;
  • Luxury hotels in large cities: Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Parakou, Abomey in particular;
  • Tourist facilities in northern Benin and exploitation of game parks and wildlife reserves (Pendjari Park, W Park and “Ile des Oiseaux”);
  • Tourism Promotion of the historical city of Ouidah;
  • Creation of tourist hubs in the regions of Benin;
  • Development of tourist infrastructure in association with the development of river-lagoon transportation between Porto-Novo, Cotonou and their surroundings.

The Mining Sector

  • Exploration and exploitation of mineral resources such as gold, iron, phosphates, limestone, marble, clay, clayey earth, kaolin, silica sand, gravel and ornamental stones;
  • Exploration of oil fields on the sites of Avrankou to Sèmè-Kpodji and Allada;
  • Construction of an oil refinery on the coast of Benin.

The electrical energy sector

  • Construction of hydroelectric dams (Adjarala, Ketou) in the partnership framework of BOT;
  • Implementation numerous mini-hydroelectric dams;
  • Installation of thermal power plants and gas on the Maria-Gleta site;
  • Installation of infrastructure for renewable energy throughout the territory, etc.

Other Opportunities

  • Culture, storage, export and / or processing of agricultural products: cassava, yam, tomato, onion, cashew, shea butter, sesame, pineapple;
  • Production of juices: mango, orange, pineapple, tomato, papaya;
  • Dairy and derivatives;
  • Biscuits from coconut, groundnut, cocoa;
  • Peanut butter manufacturing;
  • Production of corn oil, cottonseed oil;
  • Fish farming and / or canning;
  • Production of iodized salt;
  • Export of mineral water;
  • Manufacturing of generic pharmaceuticals;
  • Manufacturing of cosmetics from local products: cassava, shea;
  • Management and processing of household waste;
  • Manufacture of glass;
  • Clay brick manufacturing;
  • Production of tiles, terrazzo;
  • Construction of holiday resorts;
  • Manufacture of packaging in wood, plastic and paperboard;
  • Pulp Manufacturing;
  • Creation of a finance company;
  • Creation of an audiovisual production company;
  • Creation of a taxi /public transport company;
  • Creation of a mobile phone company;
  • Creation of a representation and / or securities brokerage company;
  • Creation of a bank or market for agricultural products: corn, cassava, rice;
  • Creation of a company to manage fairs and trade exhibitions;
  • Creating a remote telecommunications company;
  • Creation of an assembly line for  cycles;
  • Creation of a rental company for agricultural machinery;
  • Development of agricultural lands granted by the Government over a long period.

Source: www.gouv.bj