Exploration and characterization of barite mineral from Azara-Nassarawa ore deposits for suitability in industrial applications
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Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria West, South Africa
Publication date: 2023-05-12
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Nnaemeka Stanislaus Nzeh   

Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria West, South Africa
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2023;59(2):166104
Primary concentrations of Azara barite deposit in Nassarawa state, Nigeria were conducted; employing simplified gravity concentration techniques. Particle size distribution, specific gravity, physicochemical and morphological analyses of the sample was conducted. These analyses were done in order to establish process efficacy and effectiveness of gravity concentration processes for recovery of barium from the ore deposit, as well as its suitability in various industrial applications, such as the oil and gas sectors. Thus, microstructural, chemical composition and certain physicochemical characteristics/properties of the mineral sample of Azara-Nassarawa barite were determined. XRD, XRF, SEM and EDS analyses were utilized in determining morphology as well as quantitative and qualitative chemical analyses of the sample. Barite sample with average particle size of -355+150µm was subjected to concentration, adopting jigging and tabling gravity separation as the concentration methods. Hitherto, based on quantitative and qualitative chemical analyses conducted, the sample was composed of about 36.2% BaO and 40.5% Ba, respectively; and also possessed an average specific gravity (SG) of about 3.85. Further, the qualitative analysis of the mineral products of jiggling and tabling indicated that jigging had a concentrate recovery of 130.98% Ba with SG increase of 11.2% while tabling had 89.81% Ba recovery with 8.6% SG increase. Assay and SG results confirm gravity concentration efficiency and thus, establish the barite from Azara-Nassarawa ore deposits suitable for certain industrial applications. This will serve as a tool and a step further towards mitigating existing problems or challenges in mineral concentration and processing of such deposits for industrial purposes.