Minerals inventory contract signed by the BRGM and Chad

The BRGM has signed a contract with the Republic of Chad for an inventory of mineral resources. This project will be conducted over 3.5 years, with a budget of 20.6 million €.

H.E. the president of the Republic of Chad has approved a technical assistance project that will contribute to social and economic development in Chad by developing its subsoil resources.

The Republic of Chad has set out a strategy for developing its mining sector as a priority for economic growth and sustainable development. Chad's subsoil is still largely unexplored in terms of its geology and mineral deposits, but holds out considerable potential.

For this reason, a programme for identifying and developing Chad's mineral potential was launched in 2007. The first stage was to rebuild a document collection to optimise access to all geological and mineral prospecting studies undertaken to date.  In parallel, an inventory of known mineral deposits was undertaken in order to update the 1 / 1 500 000 geological map of Chad.

The government of Chad has now expressed the wish to acquire reliable geological data to support the renewal of geological and mining activity in the country. The aim is to acquire a thorough knowledge of Chad’s subsoil to enable it, in the near future, to propose targets for the private or institutional investors who will be assessing and developing these resources.

A range of mineral prospecting tools

This mineral exploration project, to be conducted over 3.5 years with a budget of 20.6 million €, concerns the Wadi Fira and Enedi regions in eastern Chad. It will involve a large number of BRGM experts and their counterparts in Chad in the identification and reconnaissance of mineral deposits with industrial extraction potential in the short and medium term.

1 / 1 500 000 geological map of Chad showing the survey zone. © BRGM

The work will include:

  • documentary research on existing archives on the zone,
  • interpretation of satellite imagery in order to prepare the homogeneous documents required for ground reconnaissance work (digital terrain model, structural interpretation, cartographic synthesis to the scale of 1 / 200 000,
  • detailed mapping of the surface,
  • airborne geophysical surveys of the zone and processing and interpretation of survey data,
  • sampling in drainage basins and soils to identify any anomalies,
  • sampling in outcrops, wells or trenches,
  • incorporation of results and observations into a geological and mineral information system,
  • distribution/promotion of the results among mining industry operators.

The aim is to propose potential prospecting targets to private and public investors who would apply for exploration licences and take charge of developing the deposits.

Training is a major component in the project. It will be mainly based on mentoring in Chad, during the different mineral prospecting phases (planning, organising and conducting prospecting work, interpreting satellite imagery and analysis results, building the information system, etc.).

The BRGM's activities in the mineral exploration field draw on more than fifty years of experience and on its well-proven reputation in the discovery of deposits, especially in Africa where its work has gained benchmark status.

The BRGM's activities, with its technical centre in Orleans and staff of 1100, including 750 engineers and technicians, cover virtually every field in the Earth Sciences. It has gained substantial experience not only in organising and conducting work to collect and interpret geological, mining, geophysical, geochemical, environmental and remote sensing data, but also in logistical, technical and scientific support to major export projects.