Somaliland Ruby and Emerald Occurrences

Somaliland Ruby and Emerald Occurrences

By:Ahmed Tahir


1.0       An overview of Somaliland Geology

Somaliland, a former British Protectorate in the Horn of Africa, has a very interesting geology and remains relatively underexplored. It is considered to be part of the Mozambique belt (Kinnaird & Jackson, 2000).  The extension of Mozambique belt to Somaliland makes it a potential producer of a wide variety of gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, sapphires and aquamarines etc. (Kinnaird & Jackson, 2000).

According to Schlüter (2006), Somaliland geology consists mainly of crystalline basement and some sedimentary successions. The crystalline basement is further divided into seven rock complexes which five are metasedimentary complexes (Qabri Bahar Complex, Mora Complex, Abdulkadir Complex, Mait Complex and Inda Ad Complex) and two are plutonic complexes (Gabbro-syenite belt and Younger Granites).

Fig.1: Geological Map of Somaliland (Abbate_et_al)

2.0        Ruby Occurrences in Somaliland

Somaliland ruby is found in Neoproterozoic-age metamorphic Mozambique Belt (750–540 Ma) similar to the most of African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Madagascar and Mozambique. It is found in Simodi and many other locations throughout the metamorphic crystalline basement of Somaliland.

According to Kinnaird and Jackson (2000), the ruby found in Somaliland is of good quality and needs to be further assessed and explored.

3.0       Emerald Occurrences in Somaliland

According to Giuliani et al., (2019) Somaliland emeralds have a tectonic –magmatic origin. Emeralds are found in the western part of the country where pegmatites cut biotite and amphibolite schists and in the eastern part of Somaliland where pegmatites cut Qabri Bahar Complex (Kinnaird & Jackson, 2000). Emeralds are encountered in areas that include Simodi, El-la-helay, Da’arburug and Lafarug.


4.0        Recommendations

  • Due to the attractive geology of Somaliland, both local and international investments shall be sought to uncover the hidden minerals of Somaliland.
  • Extensive exploration should be carried out to determine all the economical mineral resources of Somaliland
  • Technical and financial assistance should be given to local traditional miners and small –scale mining communities.
  • Building capacity in terms of mineral exploration, mining and related disciplines





Kinnaird, J. A., & Jackson, B. (2000). Somaliland- a potential gem producer in the Mozambique Belt.  Journal of Gemmology, 27 (3),139-154.

Schlüter, T. (2006). Geological atlas of Africa. Berlin, Germany:  Springer

Giuliani, G.  et al. (2019). Emerald deposits: a review and enhanced classification. Journal of Minerals, 9,105.


About the Author

Ahmed Tahir

former Head of Policy and Regulations Petroleum Directorate, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Somaliland and currently Director of Planning , Hargeisa Water Agency

Mobile / Whatsapp : +252  634690887

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to

Horndiplomat reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations


  1. Sir, I read the article about ruby and emerald occrurences in somaliland. It is quite interesting that somaliland is blessed with such precious natural resources. The map showing in the article is not not readable. I want a clear /readable geological map of the somaliland showing the natural mineral resources with bed rock geology because i am interested to work on geology of the somaliland to further explore its natural resources. Please share the clear/ readable geological maps of the somaliland
    Thanks and regards
    Ibrahim safi (Exploration Geologist)

Leave a Reply