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Mining

The mining sector holds an important place in the Moroccan economy. It represents 21% of the value of exports remittances and employs about 39,225 persons.

For centuries, Mining has been one of Morocco’s most practiced economic activities. Moroccan mining technologies like the copper works and steel manufacturing were exported abroad, to Europe in particular, through Muslim Spain and the south of France.


Since the beginning of the twentieth century, major manganese, iron, zinc, lead and phosphate fields were discovered..

Morocco contains 3/4 of the world's phosphates reserves. It is the world's first exporter and third producer.

The state, represented by the Cherifian Phosphates Board (OCP) set up in 1920, enjoys monopoly over the exploitation of phosphates. This exploitation is carried out under advantageous conditions: easy, in the open air extraction, strong content which allows a treatment involving drying and stones clearing.

Concerning the other ores, the state intervenes through the Office of Research and Mining Participations (BRPM) set up by royal decree on December 15, 1928 in order to promote and stimulate the development of the country’s mining resources. It is involved in all studies and research aiming at the valorisation of mineral substances, with the exception of phosphates and hydrocarbons. Also, it undertakes any commercial, industrial or financial activity within its domains of competence.

In addition, there is artisanal mining primarily in the areas of Tafilalet and the High Eastern Atlas, which operate in various small layers of lead, zinc, and barytine. An organization of State: the Figuig and and Development Central merchandizing of the area of Tafilalet (CADETAF) was made up, in 1960 in order to frame, equip, form and assist technically these artisanal exploitations.  

Major Mining areas: 60 to 120 km in the Atlantic shore and Central Morocco where phosphates, lead, fluorine and antimony are found.

Anti-Atlas which contains fields of copper, manganese, precious metals (gold and silver) and strategic metals (cobalt, tin, titanium, wolfram...)

High Atlas where important fields of lead, zinc, copper, manganese, iron and barytine are found.

The Rif with fields of zinc, antimony, strategic metals, and smectic clays.

The eastern region with lead, zinc and coal.

Mining valorisation activity has not stopped developing since 1965 thanks to:

The Safi based chemical complex Maroc-Chimie (I and II) whose annual production capacity amounts to 360,000 t/year of phosphoric acid.

Maroc-Phosphore complex (I and II) in Safi, whose first unit became operational in 1976 and the second in 1981. The output of each unit is 495.000 t/year of acid.

The Jorf Lasfar based chemical unit Maroc-Phosphore (III and IV) which started in 1986 and which annually produces 1,320,000 tons of phosphoric acid.

The setting up, in 1997, in Jorf Lasfar, of a phosphoric purified acid workshop capable of producing 120,000 t/year.

The Wadi El Heimer foundry in Oujda which treats a considerable quantity of extracted lead; its output amounts to 140,000 t/year.

Information about the sector are provided by the Ministry of Energy and Mining (Mining Direction) and the Sherifian Office of Phosphates as far as minerals production and processing are concerned. As to exports, information may be sought from the Foreign exchange bureau.


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