ADDING VALUE TO SOLID MINERAL PROCESSING: THE ROLE OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
Nigeria is richly endowed with solid minerals. Each of the states in the country is blessed with at least one mineral resource. However, the solid minerals of the country such as barite, iron ore and tin are not being fully exploited in spite of the fact that they are available in commercial deposits. This is largely due to the under developed state of the solid minerals sector of the nation. In order to achieve development in solid minerals and for value chain addition, Nigeria needs the expertise and professional intervention of chemical engineers. Chemical engineering is that branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of processes for the conversion of raw materials to the desired finished products. In the light of this definition, Chemical Engineering as a profession indubitably has indispensable roles to play in the development of the solid minerals sector of Nigeria. This paper focuses on the role of Chemical engineering in solid mineral development using iron ore processing as an example. Iron ore is the largest solid mineral that is processed in Nigeria so far.