Barite or Barytes is a naturally occurring mineral made of barium sulphate and the source of the element barium. It is white or colourless and crystalline with a distinct heavy density. Mined is specifically for in paint and paper production and in the oil industry. There are indications that investors may jostle for Nigeria’s over 20 million metric tons of barite reserves.
Already, sources said the Federal Government had found an investor for the country’s over 20mn metric tons of Barites reserves. Baryte or barite is the moderately soft crystalline mineral form of barium sulphate (BaSO4). Approximately, about 80% of the barytes are produced worldwide for oil and gas drilling. As a weighting agent in the drilling mud, primarily to prevent the explosive release of gas and oil during drilling.
The mineral resource locates within Benue Trough, Adamawa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Taraba states. Also, studies have shown that the major producing states are Benue, Cross River, Nasarawa, and Taraba.
A mining expert with over 42 years of experience in the industry. Dr. Israel David says that Nigeria has dwelt too long on raising false hope. For the past 60 years, Nigeria keeps going back and forth with many blueprints on barite. The mineral resource has always been there.
The Managing Director/Chairman, EMOTAN, a mining company, Josephine Aburime-Shine advised the Federal Government to should ensure the price of the product matches the international price. “Nigerian miners have been working hard for many years. but the problem is that they don’t get value for the work they do. So, doing all the hard work and exporting it while others continue to benefit more is not what we want. Nigeria needs to have a long-term plan on the fact that the minerals don’t last forever.”