Mining tradition in Morocco

As evidenced by the many remains throughout the country, Morocco is a country with a long mining tradition. Some of these remains date back to the Phoenician times and show that mining has been an essential part of the country's socio-economic activity for centuries.

Morocco's first modern mines opened in the 1920s. At that time, the state was concerned with the evaluation of various mineral substances in the country's subsoil (fluoride, iron, lead, cobalt, zinc, copper, manganese, silver, phosphates, antimony, tungsten, etc.). It was also during this period that the main public institutions for geological infrastructure, exploration and mining were created.

  • Creation of the OCP in 1920
  • Creation of the Geological Survey in 1920
  • Creation of the BRPM in 1928
  • Creation of the ONAREP in 1981
  • Creation of the ONHYM in 2005 as a meger of BRPM and ONAREP
  • Creation of CADETAF in 1960

Morocco’s first modern mines opened at the beginning of 1920s

The Mining Sector Evolution

For a long time, Morocco has continued to develop its mining sector. Morocco has set up advanced research, mining and mineral enrichment units. The country also made sure to have trained managers and technicians necessary for its mining industry. Apart from phosphates, which today represent an essential pillar of the Moroccan economy, the country exploits a wide range of mineral substances and produces large volumes: silver, lead, zinc, cobalt, copper, fluoride, manganese, baryte, etc.

Mining sector as a pillar of economy

This sector directly contributes to the country’s trade balance. It plays a significant role in socio-economic development, including in the country’s most isolated regions. To better understand the importance of the mining sector, here are a series of economic indicators that demonstrate this:

  • The mining sector represents 8 to 10% of Moroccan GDP
  • Depending on the price of mining products, mining exports represent around 30% of exports. In 2019, they reached 57 Billion DH
  • 70% of the tonnage transported by sea or rail is related to the transport of mining products
  • This sector employs nearly 40,000 employees with a payroll of approximately MAD7.8 billion
  • This sector generates investments of 10 to 20 billion Dirhams per year
  • This sector generates tax revenues of 3 to 3.5 billion dirhams
  • More generally, this sector represents a pole of regional socio-economic development. Mining activity is fairly well distributed in all regions of the Kingdom. It contributes to the development of various regional infrastructure such as roads, electrification or access to water. This sector also generates a number of induced activities of various kinds in most regions of the country.


All Moroccan mines were discovered by ONHYM (Ex-BRPM)