Mauritania Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

Mauritania has rich assets in iron ore, oil and other minerals. The assets have greatly contributed to good economic growth since the turn of the millennium.

Plaster, salt, gold and copper are mined to a lesser extent. Furthermore, there are reserves of diamonds, phosphate, sulfur, peat, manganese and uranium.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Mauritania with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

The iron ore deposits are among the largest in the world and accounted for almost half of export revenues in 2013. Iron extraction is concentrated in the area around the city of Zouérate in the north.

For a couple of years, oil exports were dominant, but production declined rapidly. An Australian company began extracting oil off the coast of Mauritania in 2006, and in the first marketing year, oil exports accounted for almost half of its export revenue. Soon, however, they encountered technical problems, which made production more expensive and more time-consuming. The extraction of oil and also natural gas has continued, but the difficulties persist and the exploration for new discoveries has not been successful.

There is also uncertainty about gold mining since gold prices on the world market have fallen. In 2014, the only active mine was shaken by protests since 300 workers were laid off.

Since 2002, hydropower has become an important part of electricity generation and reduced dependence on oil-fired power plants. In 2013, a solar power plant was inaugurated.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, MR stands for Mauritania. Visit itypeusa for more information about Mauritania.

Most of the energy consumed is extracted from oil, but firewood also accounts for a significant part, despite the country’s large forest deficiency.


Carbon dioxide emissions in total

2 710,000 tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.7 ton (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

32.2 percent (2015)



Government victory in boycott parliamentary elections

December 21

When the parliamentary elections held in two rounds are concluded, it is clear that the UPR government gets 75 seats and thus its own majority. The election is boycotted by the majority of the opposition. After the first round of elections in late November, the leader of the Islamist party Tawassoul complained of “serious irregularities”. In the end, UPR gets together with its allies a total of 108 of the 146 seats. The opposition gets 38 seats, 16 of which are awarded to Tawassoul.


Continued boycott plans despite dialogue

A national dialogue initiated in September to agree on the terms of the election yields no results. Representatives of the government and FNDU / COD have met for the first time, and the opposition alliance claims to have abandoned the requirement for the president to resign before the election. But in the end, the Islamist Party Tawassoul is the only one of the eleven parties in the FNDU / COD to announce candidates in the parliamentary elections.


Elections are planned during the autumn

The government announces that elections to Parliament and municipalities will be held in October. However, the opposition alliance FNDU / COD plans to boycott the election, as President Abdelaziz has not obeyed the demand to leave well in advance of the next election so that it can be held under a neutral transitional government. The government has called the resignation requirement “an obstacle to the national democratic project”. After a short time, the Election Commission decides to postpone the election for six weeks, with the intention of giving the opposition time to review its boycott. The date will now be November, with a possible second round in December.


Protest against increased violence

Hundreds of women protest outside the Ministry of the Interior in Nouakchott against the rapidly increasing violence in the capital, not least sexual abuse of women.


International military exercise at troubled border

In the vicinity of the border with Mali, a three-week long exercise is started to deal with “unconventional attacks”. A total of 1,100 soldiers from 20 countries are participating, including the United States, Africa, the Arab world and Europe. The Mauritanian government says the exercise has no direct connection to the conflict in northern Mali.


Prohibition of plastic bags

The government prohibits the manufacture and use of plastic bags. According to the Ministry of the Environment, 70 percent of the deaths among cattle, sheep and goats in Nouakchott are caused by the animals eating plastic bags. Those who make plastic bags risk up to one year in prison.

Mauritania Energy and Environment Facts

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