This article is aimed at showing you how to start a quarry in Nigeria. A quarry is an open pit or excavation where sand, stone, and other materials such as limestone, granite and gravel are excavated.
Quarrying is an integral part of the building and construction industry. As a matter of fact, building and construction work is virtually impossible without the supply of materials from a quarry.
Apart from supplying important materials used for building and construction, it is also the main source of raw materials for the cement industry, fertilizer making industry, as well as the marble and slate making industry.
Over the years, quarrying has proven to be a very lucrative business in Nigeria mainly for two reasons.
First, there is a thriving and bustling building and construction industry in Nigeria driven by a large population and a huge shortage in housing and other infrastructure, meaning that there is always a ready market for quarry products.
Secondly, Nigeria has an abundant natural supply of quarry materials which are quite easy to explore. In most cases, there is no need for any specialized technology to run a successful quarry in Nigeria.
Despite the fact that it has been earlier stated and proven that running a quarry in Nigeria can be a profitable business with good returns, it must not be lost that this is a very capital intensive business.
However, if you are really interested in this business but do not have the required capital, do not despair. There are still ways that you can make money from this lucrative business with your little or no capital. I will discuss the two major ways by which you can start a quarry in Nigeria. These are;
Entering the Business as a Middle Man
If you are keen on starting a quarry in Nigeria but do not have the huge funds that are required, going in as a middle man can be a really good option.
Not only will this put some good money in your pocket, it will also help you to obtain a very good understanding of the nitty gritty of the quarry business, before you put in your own money.
Going in through this pathway will involve you scouting for both quarries and building contractors. Your task here will be to link both parties together for a small fee or commission.
It is imperative that you have or acquire the right negotiating, advertising and marketing skills to help you succeed in this business. You will also need to be mobile and develop a good network of contacts.
A good way to start up in this path is by cold calling. You can approach as many building sites as you can and let them know that you can reliably supply them with sand and other quarry products. After speaking to them, just drop your contacts with them and remain optimistic.
Although this method is mainly for those without the capital to go in big, it is also advisable for first timers to begin the business in this way. This is because it will give them an idea of the intricacies involved in the business. It will also help to build a good network.
Entering as a Quarry Owner
In the very lucrative quarry business, this is where the megabucks are. But as earlier stated, despite the assurance of good returns on investment, it is quite capital intensive. The following steps are required to successfully run your own quarry.
Select a Location
You can decide to buy or lease the land that you intend to excavate, although in most cases, it is advisable to go for a lease because when you are done excavating, the land might become unusable.
The location of your quarry is of utmost importance. There are some things that have to put in mind.
First of all, a quarry involves you excavating stones, sand etc. from the ground. Hence it is pertinent to note that these resources are not found in abundant quantities just anywhere. It is important that you engage a surveyor or geologist to give you a professional advice on the economic value and properties of the land that you intend to acquire for your quarry.
Another important thing of note when selecting a location is the closeness to your target market. You will definitely make your returns faster when your quarry is close to a location where there are a lot of building and construction activities going on.
It will also serve you better to select a location that is accessible to trucks. This will save you the cost of having to create your own road.
In Nigeria, it is illegal to run a business without registering it with the appropriate authorities. For a quarry, it is even more important because the government has special interest in the exploration of natural resources.
First of all, you must register your quarry with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). They are the government agency statutorily tasked with the responsibility of holding the records of all the business within the country.
Secondly, you must also register with the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals. They are responsible for regulation and also ensuring that you pay the right taxes.
Apart from these two bodies, various states in Nigeria have their own agencies that have been set up to monitor the activities of quarries.
Ensure that you are adequately registered for the location you intend to set up your quarry to prevent any interruptions in your business.
Source for Equipment
In sourcing for equipment, you can either buy or lease. It all depends on the business model you intend to operate and the amount of capital you have at hand. Have it in mind that these equipment are quite expensive to purchase and maintain.
For a granite quarry, you will need an excavator, granite crusher, pay loader, dump trucks (tipper), etc. For a normal sand quarry, all you might need is an excavator and a tipper.
In summary, the equipment to be purchased is mainly dependent on your funds and the kind of operation you intend to run.
If you do not have the funds to purchase all the equipment you can lease them or engage a third party.
Some Business Tips….
As you embark on this or any business venture, always have the urge to learn new things. Interact with other people in the business to help you where you feel stuck.
Team work is very key. You obviously cannot run this quarry business alone. Employ good staff to help you with the operation of the machinery as well as handling other tasks such as administration and finance.
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