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.
Talc is an industrial mineral with great commercial value in its pure form. It is a mineral of low and medium grade metamorphic rocks and usually rich in magnesium. It occurs as a secondary mineral resulting from hydration of magnesium bearing rocks generally related to the mafic-ultramafic rocks that are predominantly found within the schist belts of the Precambrian basement complex such as peridotites, dolomites, steatite, gabbro, etc.
Talc has various industrial applications. The paint, cosmetics, fertilizer, pharmaceutical and ceramic industries are the most dominant users of talc. It is also used as lubricants in leather-making, laboratory table-tops, switch boards, toilet powder and for removing grease from cloth. This report seeks to examine the financial viability or otherwise of mining crude kaolin in Nigeria.
The business entails using mechanized method of mining to produce three hundred (300) tons per day of crude talc. The mining equipment required for operation are pay loader, dumper water pumping machine, weighing scale and project vehicle. The pay loader and dumper would be hired and while the water pumping machine and project vehicle would be purchased.