The Nigerian nation is blessed with abundant mineral resources; fossil fuels and solid minerals. The most popular being the fossil fuels since these constitute the nation’s greatest foreign exchange earner. They have, therefore, tended to overshadow the solid mineral sector of mining industry.
The mineral spread in Nigeria is significant with evidence of 34 different minerals distributed in Nigeria’s richly endowed geology. Though not all the mineral occurrences will ultimately have enough reserves to be of viable interest to mining companies, the Nigerian government is leaving no stone unturned in its increasingly sustained efforts to delineate and objectively demonstrate the potential and encourage investments in all.
Nigeria has excellent and very significant deposits of manganese ore. Manganese is a silvery-gray metal resembling iron. It is hard and very brittle, difficult to fuse, but easy to oxidize. Manganese metal and its common ions are paramagnetic. The most important manganese ore is pyrolusite (MnO2). Other economically important manganese ores usually show a close spatial relation to the iron ores.
Manganese is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing, and alloying properties. Steelmaking, including its iron making component, has accounted for most manganese demand, presently in the range of 85% to 90% of the total demand. Among a variety of other uses, manganese is a key component of low-cost stainless steel formulations. Small amounts of manganese improve the workability of steel at high temperatures, because it forms a high melting sulfide and therefore prevents the formation of a liquid iron sulfide at the grain boundaries.
This report seeks to examine the financial viability or otherwise of mining manganese ore 60% in Nigeria.