Morocco Mines

Morocco Economic Sectors

Breeding. – The livestock stock includes 2 million cattle (more than 250,000 in the Spanish area), 9 million rams (more than 500,000 in the Spanish area), 3 million goats, 45,000 pigs, 200,000 horses, 92,000 mules, 600,000 donkeys, 114,000 camels.

The improvement of the flocks should be obtained through the selection, but for the improvement of the breed it is essential that of the feeding: now the Moroccan does not use to obtain reserves, although some regions produce good natural forages. The hay harvest and the production of artificial fodder, especially alfalfa could be greatly increased: fodder sorghum, fodder beet grow well and would benefit breeding, allowing animals to be fed at the end of summer. arrange some springs and some drinking troughs. In vast regions that represent more than half of Morocco, the only possible industry is the rearing of the mutton. Up to now, the export of oxen and rams has been very low; almost all rams are exported via the Algerian border, as the attempt to create a ram market in Bordeaux has failed. Livestock products, especially wool, skins and eggs have always been subject to heavy traffic; the production of meat and wool can still increase so as to make livestock one of the most profitable resources for Morocco.

Forests. – Forestry exploitation in Morocco was neglected for a long time; the main product of the Moroccan forests is cork, of which it is estimated that around 150,000 quintals can be produced (110,000 from the Mamora forest). Another product is the sumac of the tanners (30,000 tons), which is very rich in tannin (30%); green oak provides sleepers for railways, cedar and thuya timbers for cabinet making and caulking.

On the steppes of eastern Morocco an alpha vegetation extends for about 2 million hectares, which can give a product of 400-500 thousand tons. The dwarf palm is used for the manufacture of vegetable hair, of which Morocco produces about 50,000 tons.

Fishing. – The ichthyological fauna of Morocco, if it does not have the importance it reaches on the coasts of Mauritania, is nevertheless rich enough to give rise to a considerable trade; especially in Casablanca the fishing industry has developed rapidly; Fedhala could become a great industrial fishing port. Fishing for sardines, bonite and tuna is practiced in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; in the Oum er-Rebia the natives are dedicated to fishing for laces.

Mines. – Morocco promises itself many riches from the exploitation of the subsoil; the development of primary land distinguishes the region from Algeria and Tunisia and offers it different perspectives in this respect. For Morocco 2017, please check

In the High Atlas we encounter ancient eruptive rocks, which generally have a close relationship with minerals and the presence of the Trias also provides useful indications. The inventory of these riches has just begun and the known deposits were almost all discovered after 1918. In 1928 the Sheriff government, imitating the Belgian experiment of the Katanga Committee, created an Office of Research and Mining Participation, to which they are entrust important research for the general interest and the assignment to participate in mining companies that present serious technical and financial guarantees. A dahir dated January 19, 1914, modified from subsequent dahirs of September 15, 1923 and November 1, 1929, regulated the research and exploitation of mines; the regulation provides for the granting of prospection permits, research permits, exploitation permits and finally real concessions. There are currently 367 prospection permits, 346 research permits and 57 exploitation permits in place.

North Africa is rightly regarded as the land of phosphates; the calcium phosphates of Morocco are of the same origin as those of the North African fields; derive from the phosphatization of mud and diatoms and are found included in the marls of the lower Eocene. The phosphated soils form two large basins, those of Ouled-Abdoun and of Gantour, separated by the valley of the Oum er-Rebia; they are found at the northern edge of the High Atlas between Amismiz and Imintanout and in the hills of the Chichaoua region; other deposits cover the southern flanks of the High Atlas. The formation includes a complex of finely sandy and light-colored layers, separated by marly intercalations; the upper layer is particularly rich; especially in the Kouriga region, where the title is 76% of tricalcium phosphate; in the lower layers it varies from 60 to 68%. A dahir of January 27, 1920 conferred the right to search and exploit phosphates to the Moroccan state, which gave it to the Sheriff’s Office of Phosphates. The extraction center is in Kouriga, not far from Oued Zem, 140 km away. from Casablanca; the extractions of phosphates, which gave about 8000 tons in 1921, rose to 1,799,000 tons in 1930. The main customers were Spain (330,000 tons), France (314,000 tons), Italy (228,000 tons), Holland (185,000 tons). In 1931 exports were 965,000 tons, in 1932 1,020,000 tons. High-strength Moroccan phosphates have replaced those of the United States on the European market.

Until a few years ago, northern Africa remained very poor in mineral fuels; a small carboniferous bank has been in operation since 1918 in Kenadsa near Colomb-Béchar; but a much more important discovery (1928) is that of the Dierada coal basin, 43 km away. south of Oudjda, which contains deposits of good anthracite and can yield at least one million tons; other coal deposits appear to exist in the region of Morocco, especially at E. di Imi n ‘Tanout, in the Oued Seksoua valley.

The existence of oil fields along the southern edge of the coastal massifs has long been recognized; they extend from the Fokra in the W, to the Djebel Tizroutine in the E. for about 200 km. in length and can be grouped into four groups: that of the Gharb, the Tselfat, the Cheraga and Tizroutine. The surveys carried out, which gave encouraging results, will soon make it possible to establish the economic importance of Moroccan oil.

Manganese deposits have been discovered in Bou Arfa, NW. of Figuig, in the Imini area, 20 km. to S. of Telouet, to Aoulouz, 80 kilometers to E. of Taroudant; a 300 km long railroad has also been built. for the exploitation of the first of these basins, but the conditions of the world market are now unfavorable. In some places iron was found. Finally, we can mention the tin of Oulmès and the molybdenum of Azegour near Amizmiz. So far, however, only phosphate exports have been of significance. In Spanish Morocco, iron ore from the Beni-Bu-Ifrur region near Melilla fueled an export of around one million tons (1930).

Morocco Mines

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