Evaluation of Some Characteristics of the Barite Deposits in Ribi, Nassarawa State for Industrial Application
This study aimed at characterizing and evaluating the viability of barite deposits within Ribi for industrial applications. There is an inadequacy of information as regards mineralization, chemical and geotechnical properties of barite ores in the area of study. Field work was carried out to assess the various mining sites where barite deposits are being mined and also for sample collections. Ten barite samples were collected from various mining locations within Ribi and the samples were taken to the laboratory for chemical and geotechnical analysis. Specific gravity analysis was carried out in the laboratory using Pycnometer method; this was done so as to classify the barite samples’ viability for industrial applications including oil drilling processes according to the American Petroleum Institute (API) standard. Elemental analyses were carried out using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) in EDX mode at the AUST laboratory with model Fei Inspect S50 equipment to reveal the spatial variation in chemical properties within the barite samples. Results showed that Specific gravity values of the samples ranged from 4.13 to 4.27. Six of the samples have specific gravity values that fall above 4.2 while four of the samples have specific gravity values that fall below 4.2. In addition, EDX results revealed the spatial chemical variation within some of the analyzed samples, Ba have weight % values that ranged between 70-82 % confirming it as the dominant mineral within the sample followed by S with values that ranged from 14.4 -14.6 %. Both minerals also have the highest peak on the EDX micrograph. Other elements within the samples are Nd, Te, Ca, O, Cs, Ce, all appearing as traces within the samples. It was concluded that Barite mineralization is present in Ribi, and that Barite samples from Ribi are good enough for industrial applications especially when beneficiated. However, follow up detailed exploration is expected to be worthwhile to further reveal the various properties of these barite samples.