There are plenty of natural resources in Nigeria. The country is rich with minerals and fossils. However, one of the most important minerals in Nigeria is limestone, and we are going to tell you all about it. Check out this article, where we talk about uses of limestone in Nigeria and where it can be found.
What is limestone?
Before we get into it, let’s define what limestone is. It is a sedimentary rock that has a large composition of calcium carbonate (aragonite and calcite) and other minerals. Limestone is composed of grains that contain small parts of marine organisms, such as corals and molluscs. Out of all sedimentary rocks, 10% are limestones.
Limestone mining happens in quarry benches, where the limestone rock is separated and divided into blocks. After that, limestone can be used in all kinds of spheres.
But there is a catch:
Quarrying and blasting of such sedimentary rocks as limestone has negative effects on environment. It can lead to noise pollution, disturbance and environment disfiguration. Sometimes, it can even lead to earthquakes, as the earth-crust is being shaken.
Nevertheless, it is a necessary process, as without limestone, we would not be able to have many things. Continue reading to learn more about that!
Limestone has many uses in almost all spheres of life. Let’s consider some of the most important uses that it has:
- Limestone is most often used as a building material. It is one of the main components of cement.
- Raw limestone is a chemical feedstock. It is used to make calcium oxide (quicklime), calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and mortar.
- Limestone is also a soil conditioner in agriculture. When it is in its pulverised state, it is used for neutralising acidic soils.
- Crushed limestone provides a base for roads and asphalt concrete, as well as a ballast for railroads.
- Limestone creates geological formations that are perfect for storing petroleum.
- Limestone is a reagent in desulphurisation of flue-gas, which means that exposure of limestone to sulphur causes a reaction. This reaction is used for controlling air pollution.
- Sometimes, limestone is even used in glass making.
- You can find limestone in your paper, paint, plastics, tiles and even toothpaste. It acts as a cheap filler or pigment.
- Limestone can save lives, as it supresses explosions of methane in the coal mines.
- It is a great source of calcium, which is why purified limestone is added to cereals and bread. It is also added to livestock feed.
- Limestone can be used to increase the alkalinity and remineralise purified water, which restores its nutrient levels and prevents pipe corrosion.
- When used in blast furnaces, it binds with such impurities as silica and removes them from iron.
- In addition to being a material used in building and architecture, limestone is also suitable for sculptures.
- You can also find limestone in your cosmetic products and medicine.
As you can tell, limestone is used almost everywhere. But where can you find it in Nigeria? Let’s find out!
Where is limestone found in Nigeria?
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Limestone is considered to be one of Nigeria’s strategic minerals. The biggest and purest limestone deposits can be found around the Middle and Southwest belt regions of Nigeria. It is estimated that in the Southwest region alone, there are 31 million metric tonnes of limestone. For this reason, Nigeria is considered to have the richest limestone deposits in West Africa.
There are more than a few quarrying companies in Nigeria. Some of them include Crushed Rock Industries, Rich Quarries Nigeria Ltd., Stonehill Nigeria Ltd. and many others.
Despite the fact that there is plenty of limestone in Nigeria, it cannot be found everywhere. Here is the list of states and locations where you can find limestone deposits:
- Abia State — Arochukwu, Ohafia
- Bauchi State — Deba-Habe, Kanawa, Pindiga
- Benue State — Tokura, Adiga, Ogbologuta, Igumale, Yandev
- Cross River State — Odukpani, Ugep, Mfamosing, Ikot Ana, Obubra, Ibami, Ago
- Ebonyi State — Ikwo, Ntezi, Afikpo, Nkalagu
- Edo State — Etsako, Owan, Akoko-Edo
- Enugu State — Ngbo, Odomoke, Nkanu
- Gombe State — Ashaka
- Imo State — Okigwem Umu-Obon
- Nassarawa State — Awe
- Ogun State —Ibeshe, Shagamu, Ewekoro
- Sokoto State — Wamakko, Shuni, Dange, Kalambaina
There are also other limestone deposits across Nigeria, for example, in Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Borno and Ondo States. However, most of them are not currently exploited or not exploited as heavily. It has been said that there is over 2.3 trillion metric tonnes of limestone in the known deposits. There are also 568 million tonnes of proven reserves.
As you can see, limestone can be found all across Nigeria. Some deposits are currently being exploited, while many are still untouched or undiscovered. Limestone is used in everything, from food products to roads and buildings. We hope you have been able to find what you were looking for. Have a nice day!
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