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 limestone, dolomite, marble, kaolin, barite, diatomite, feldspar, quartz and silica sands, gypsum, talc, silimanite, kyanite, phosphate, salt and bentonite.
Limestone is widespread in the sedimentary basins of Nigeria. It is used extensively in cement production, as flux and refractory material, metallurgical applications etc. Prominent reserve has been proved to exist all over the country. The marble and dolomite deposits in Nigeria are often associated with the meta-sediments such as schist, amphibolites complex and metal-conglomerates. They are also used as flux in steel making.
Limestone deposits in different parts of Nigeria are in excess of 2 billion metric tonnes. Investors have a very lucrative opportunity by taking advantage of these deposits to set up cement factories in different parts of the country to meet domestic demand and export to the sub-region.
This report seeks to examine the financial viability or otherwise of mining limestone rocks in Nigeria.