n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Lithogeochemistry and industrial appraisal of Igbetti marble, South Western Nigeria

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Mineralogical determinations from optical and X-ray diffraction studies show that the Igbetti marble body in southwestern Nigeria is composed of white and grey varieties, dolomite and calcite as the principal components of the two rocks. The white marble variety contains essentially dolomite (60%) and calcite (35%) while the grey variety contains dolomite (43%), calcite (35%), quartz (8%), tremolite (7%) and chlorite (4%). Major and trace elements composition using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) respectively indicates that the white marble variety contains SiO (ca. 0.11%), MgO (ca. 21.5%), CaO (ca. 40.7%) while AhO, FeO and MnO account for 0.02%, 0.02% and 0.01% respectively. The grey variety contains SiO (ca. 0.33%), MgO (ca. 20.4%), CaO (ca. 42.4%). Other oxides: AhO, FeO, NaO, KO and TiO altogether account for less than 0.5%. Physical tests on both marble varieties show much similarities as their values are comparable. Values of apparent porosities (0.50% - 0.80%), bulk density (2.72-2.80 g/cc), compressive strength (89.56-91.50 Mpa), shear strength (13.28-13.50 Mpa), tensile strength (3.79-3.94 Mpa), whiteness (75-86), specific gravity (2.68-2.79), pH (8.1-8.6) are within the limits for other known marble deposits within the country. An overview of economic evaluation shows that the dolomitic Igbetti marble is a very viable refractory raw materials for the steel plant, flux stone in iron smelting, manufacture of sheet glass, furnace lining and production of magnesia lime.

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