Minerals represented a minor component of the economy, of which petroleum was a leading industry. All mineral rights were vested in the state, the Ministère des Ressources Minières et Pétrolières was responsible for administering the sector, and prospecting and mining were subject to control of the state-owned Société d'Etat pour le Développment Minier de la Côte d'Ivoire (SODEMI). Mineral commodities were estimated to account for 10% of the country's exports, excluding the value of smuggled gold and diamonds; the government was planning to implement a diamond certification scheme to respond to worldwide concerns over conflict diamonds. Diamond output in 2001 was 320,000 carats, down from 398,282 in 1999; previous outputs were 75,000 in 1996, 15,000 in 1991–1993, and a peak of 549,000 in 1961. Although kimberlites were known to exist at Kanangone, Seguela, and Tortiya, diamonds were produced only from alluvial deposits at Tortiya and Seguela. Gold production in 2001 was 2,100 kg, compared to 1,000 in 1996. The Agbaou gold permit's resources were more than 26,000 kg. A number of foreign companies had gold interests in Côte d'Ivoire, among them a French consortium that in 1991 began to exploit a mine estimated to contain 500,000 tons of gold ore with a content of 7 grams of gold per ton. Tantalite production was 400 kg in 2001, down from 1,400 in 1998. Côte d'Ivoire in 2001 also produced cement, clays, columbite, crushed granite, manganese, crushed rock, sand and gravel, and stone; the production of building materials was a leading industry in the country.
The country's total iron ore resource was estimated to be 3,000 million tons, with deposits at Monogaga, Mount Gao, Mount Klahoyo, Mount Nimba, Mount Segaye, Mount Tia, and Mount Tortro; poor infrastructure has hampered development of these resources. There has been recent interest in constructing a gas pipeline to service an iron ore pelletizing plant onsite, and the government has been actively pursuing a project to build a 500 km railway that would connect Mount Nimba and the San Pedro port. Falconbridge Ltd. of Canada continued evaluation of its Touba-Biankouma license, whose laterite deposit of nickel and cobalt was estimated to be 292 million tons of ore at a grade of1.46% nickel and 0.11% cobalt. Ilmenite fields containing an estimated 500,000 tons of the rare metal have been discovered near Grand Lahou. Copper, titanium, chromite, bauxite, and asphalt were among other known minerals not yet exploited commercially. In 2001, Côte d'Ivoire agreed with six West African countries to form a free-trade zone to expand economic and infrastructural development. Despite the 1999 military coup d'état and continuing civil unrest in 2001, Côte d'Ivoire's 8,000 paved roads and two active ports made it attractive for business