|This project aims at achieving the following:
• Promote value-addition to production;
• Provide base-line information on demand-supply gap;
• Build capacity for best practice in the mining and beneficiation in Nigeria;
• Promote investment in production through advocacy.
Kaolin is one of the industrial minerals that can be found in commercial quantity in the country. Nigeria has an estimated reserve of about 2 billion metric tons of kaolin deposit in different parts of the country, including the occurrences in Ogun, Edo, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Kastina states.
The market for kaolin is large, sustainable and expanding because of the numerous applications of the product. Despite these opportunities, much has not done to add value and promote substantial investment in kaolin processing.
Associations of Miners and Processors of baryte recently decried how Nigeria loses over N6.2 billion annually to incessant granting of waivers for the importation of baryte, despite its abundance in the Country. There is therefore the need for standardization of processors so that local processors can meet the acceptable standards with a view to reducing importation and saving foreign exchange.
Nigeria has an estimated reserve of over 10 million metric tons of various deposits of lead/zinc ores of high purity. Most of these deposits are yet to be fully evaluated. These metallic mineral deposits obviously offer best prospects for lead/zinc sourcing, exploitation and development. Despite the huge potentials in lead/zinc processing, there is inadequate investment to add value to the mineral in the country.
In-house data on characterization of these minerals has been compiled while a review exercise on all available processing technologies in the country had been carried out. Experts and collaborating organizations on these minerals were identified and invited for an expert consultative meeting which took place on 15th December, 2015 to chat a road map for the development of these minerals. The Experts meeting, which was organized to brainstorm on the way forward for the mineral sector with particular focus on Baryte, Kaolin and Lead/Zinc drew participants from government, manufacturing, mining, academic and industrial sectors.
Some of the observations include;
• High prospect for the production of these minerals in Nigeria.
• Even though there is a large market for baryte, kaolin and lead/zinc in Nigeria both for domestic and export purposes, user industries particularly the petroleum industry are not patronizing local barytes and most of the lead/Zinc mined locally are exported illegally without value addition.
• It then recommended the establishment of baryte testing facilities/laboratories in Nigeria to serve as certification centre for Nigerian baryte processors.