NUCLEAR TECHNIQUES APPLICATIONS IN SOLID MINERALS ANALYSIS
Nigeria is gifted with large deposits of solid minerals located in different parts of the country. However, the country has not fully exploited the minerals because of the lack of knowledge of the available technology to find and process them. While many nuclear and radiations technology techniques for many solid minerals processing and exploration exist, this paper aims to review the applicability of the Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) and Proton Induced X-Ray Emission (PIXE) techniques in Nigeria for the reason that it is most common in the country. NAA has not only been used for coal exploration but also to obtain the elemental composition of coal found in Enugu and Okaba areas of Nigeria. The PIXE technique has been used to analyze mining waste and the technique has been successful in identifying trace materials and heavy metals. Evidence indicate that a wide range of radiation techniques and technologies offer great advantages to the mining industry, be it for exploration, optimization of processes, troubleshooting, assessment of mining sites or ensuring environmental protection. A Nigerian National Policy to promote the use of nuclear and radiation technologies in the solid mineral industry should be put in place.