The mining sector played a minor role in Haiti's economy. Mining was limited to clays and limestone for cement manufacture (a leading industry in 2002), marble, marine salt, and sand and gravel. Asphalt and lime also may have been produced. The marble industry was being developed for export possibilities.
There were small, undeveloped deposits in northern Haiti of chromite, copper (both sedimentary and in veins, in the Massif du Nord), gold, iron ore, lead, manganese (in the Morne Macat section of the Massif du Nord), silver, sulfur, tin, and zinc. There were also bauxite deposits near Miragoâne, and deposits of antimony, gypsum, nickel, and porphyry. The Canadian company St. Genevieve Resources estimated that two small gold mines near Cap-Haïtien could yield at least $100 million over 10 years. The Canadian company KWG Resources, Inc. had two properties with gold and copper resources—Grand Bois and Morne Bossa.
All subsoil rights belonged to the state; private ownership of mining companies was permitted, and mineral exploration has generally been conducted by foreign enterprises. Private gold mining was permitted, but the metal had to be sold to the National Bank. Production of bauxite ceased with the 1985 closing of the Reynolds mine; production peaked at 613,000 tons in 1979, and exports were worth $14.9 million in 1982. Copper mining was suspended in 1971, because it became unprofitable.