Nigeria's vast supply of natural resources includes gold, lead, zinc, limestone, oil, gas, salt, cassiterite, clay, dolomite, marble, tantalite, bentonite, gypsum, kaolin, magnesite, silica, iron ore, lignite, phosphate, columbite, wolfram, coal and manganese. Additional resources are diatomite, hydrocarbons, bitumen, feldspar, syenite, marcasite, amethyst, aquamarine, asbestos, graphite, mica, rock crystal, ruby, sapphire, serpentinite, tantalum, topaz, tourmaline, copper, pyrochlore, baryte and bismuth.
Nigeria's wealth of resources remains largely untapped, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The country depends financially upon its abundant land, and crude oil accounts for almost all of its export earnings. Nigeria has large oil refineries located in the Niger delta and offshore. The production from these refineries accounts for nearly 40 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Nigeria's oil resources were discovered in 1956 and quickly grew in use.
In the past, the country had burned and wasted large amounts of natural gas that were thought to be a useless byproduct of its crude oil production, but as the demand of natural gas has risen, the country has dedicated more resources to finding ways to export its supply for profit. Though Nigeria has one of the largest coal reserves in the world, it remains underutilized. The country also has the largest potential for solar energy output, but it has not put much effort into developing solar power.