Physical mapping and geochemical characterization of some industrial mineral occurrences in North-Central Nigeria have been undertaken as a basis for assessing their economic quantities, modes of occurrence and physico-chemical characteristics as raw materials for industrialization in the region. Physical mapping-surveys have been carried out on clay, marble and talc deposits in Niger State; barite and clay deposits in Nasarawa State and on clay, marble and feldspar deposits in Kogi State. Economic deposits of clay have been mapped in Niger State at Mashegu, Kutigi and Lemu, marble and clay at Kwakuti and talc at Kagara. In Nasarawa State economic deposits of barite were mapped at Azara and Wuse and clay deposit at Shabu while in Kogi State economic deposits occur at Ahoko and Ojodu, marble at Jakura and Obajana and at Allo/Itobe and feldspar at Ajaokuta. All the mapped industrial minerals occur in economic quantities, although the exact reserves have not yet been measured. The clays at Kutigi have high content of kaolinite (on the basis of XRD examination) while those at Lemu, Mashegu and Ojodu have been diminished by high silica content (XRD and XRF measurements). Alumina (Al2O3) is extremely low in the Ojodu clay. The marble deposit at Kwakuti is highly calcitic (very lowly dolomitic) with significant content of Cu, Pb, Zn, and Ba traces; the associated clays at the same locality have high alumina content and a significant content of Zr traces. Equally the marble deposits at Jakura and Allo/Itobi in Kogi State have high CaO and very low MgO. However, the Itobe marble is characterized by high content of Vanadium. The barites at Azara and Wuse have more than the required BaO to serve as raw materials in many industries. The content of iron oxide (Fe2O3) in the talc at Kagara and clays at Lemu, Mashegu, Shabu and Ahoko (brown) may constitute obstacles in their industrial applications. The clays at Kutigi have the required economic quantity and chemical parameters for exploitation as raw materials for a ceramic/sanitary ware industry while those at Mashegu and Lemu are more suited for pharmaceutical industry. The marble at Kwakuti can support a large size cement factory with raw material supply for 35 years (at presently mapped occurrences; additional reserves may be booked with time). The Jakura and Itobe marbles are already being exploited for cement and sanitary wares manufacture. The talc at Kagara can support a cosmetic factory while the barite at Azara and Wuse apart from meeting the demand for oil drilling fluids can also support a paint industry at the location or nearby. The Shabu clays will need further investigations.
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