Nigeria is blessed with abundant mineral resources, which are from time immemorial formed the backbone of the nation’s economic and industrial development aspirations. Prior to independence, the nation’s mineral raw material resources contributed immensely to the export earnings of the nation.
For over three decades, the Country has continued to depend entirely on oil for her revenue and the volatile nature of the oil market has made it imperative for us to diversify the mono-product economy through exploitation and processing of our abundant solid mineral resources. The clamour for resource control being advocated by states with petroleum resources in their domain makes it imperative for us to develop, exploit, process and utilize our solid minerals – particularly Non-metallic Minerals as every part of this country is blessed with one or more solid mineral that could yield substantial revenue for sustainable development.
Exploitation of the Non-metallic Minerals has not attained the desired level, mainly because of the various constraints associated with their exploitation, development and processing for utilization. Many of the non-metallic minerals, which are vital to the industrial take off of the country, have been found in commercial quantities within the country.
They include flouspar, limestone, dolomite, marble, kaolin, barite, diatomite, feldspar, quartz and silica sands, gypsum, talc, silimanite, kyanite, phosphate, salt and bentonite.
Fluorspar is an industrial mineral that is composed of calcium fluoride (CaF2), which is made up of 51.1 percent calcium and 48.9 percent fluorine. Fluorspar takes its name from the Latin word “fluo” — which means “flow” — as it lowers the melting point of metal ore and and helps it flow more easily.
Fluorite was named by Georg Agnicola in 1546 and was derived from the latin verb fluere which means to flow because it mets easily.Spar is a genetic name used by mineralogist for any non-metalic mineral that breaks easly to produce flat-surfaces which has a glassy-buster. Fluorite is calcium fluoride (CaF2). It is found in a variety of geologic enviroments.
Fluorspar is found in granite (igneous rocks), it fills cracks and holes in sand stone, and its found in large deposits in limestone (sedimentary rock).
Fluorspar is relatively soft with hardness of 4 on Moh’s scale. Pure fluorspar is colorless, but a variety of impurities give fluorite a rainbow of different colors, including green, purple, blue, yellow, pink, brown and black. It has a pronounced cleavage, which means it breaks on flat planes.
Flourspar is used in the manufacture of steel, hydrofluoric acid and ceramic products.
This report seeks to examine the financial viability or otherwise of mining fluorspar rocks in Nigeria.