Lime phosphate, found mostly in the coastal region, was Togo's leading industry, and second leading export commodity. Phosphates typically accounted for 20%–30% of export earnings, 10%–13% of government revenues, and 6%–10% of GDP. Production in 2000 was 1.4 million tons, continuing a steady decline from a high of 2.73 million tons in 1996. Virtually the entire output was exported, the principal destinations being Canada, the Philippines, and South Africa. The phosphate industry was nationalized in 1974, and production was carried on by the Togolese Office of Phosphates (Office Togolais des Phosphates—OTP), one of Togo's largest employers. The government was pursuing the privatization of its phosphate mines; no serious offers were made.
Exploitation of marble reserves in the region around Niamtougou was begun in 1970 by the Togolese Marble Co. The state-run Nouvelle Sotoma closed operations in 1991, and the government has been looking for private investors to lease or purchase the operation.
Iron ore reserves, east of Bassari, were 95 million tons, averaging more than 40% iron. There was some artisanal recovery of diamond and gold. Other mineral deposits included attapulgite, barite, bauxite, bentonite, brick clay, chromite, copper, dolomite, garnet, granite, gypsum, kaolin, kyanite, limestone, manganese, monazite, nickel, peat, rutile, silica sand, and dimension stone. The government considered many of these potential small-scale operations.