Nigeria is a country richly blessed with many naturally occurring resources, which if properly utilized can make it one of the richest countries in the world. Amongst the natural resources in the country, we have copper, coal, natural gas, tin ore, limestone, niobium, zinc, arable land, gold, salt, and petroleum which is the country’s major source of income.
In this article, we will be considering Copper.
In which State is Copper Found in Nigeria?
Copper is commonly found in the Northern part of Nigeria, it is found in Nasarawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Bauchi, Gombe State, Kano State, and also in Abia state. Copper mining in Nigeria is done on small scale.
Nigeria is said to have a collection of over 10 million tonnes of copper.
Some Copper Mining Companies in Nigeria
- GNR Mining
- Kastech Mining
- Jamis Minerals
- Roots Mining Co. Limited
- Magnet Mineral Resources
Copper is a reddish brown metal found in its free metallic state. Copper (CU) has an atomic number of 29, and a boiling and melting point of 2,567 °C and 1083 °C, respectively. It can be molded into different shapes and also stretched into thin wires. Copper is a very good conductor. It is also very common and cheap and as such, is used in favor of gold which is quite expensive.
Importance of Copper
- Copper is used in the production of many electrical materials, jewelry pipes, and other wonderful things due to its ability to be hammered into different shapes without breaking and its durability. Copper is also used in the production of coins.
- Copper is also found in the human body as it helps in the production of red blood cells, it is also contained in most food and is essential for the body if taken in proper quantity. Copper also helps plants in the production of chlorophyll, which helps plants produce their food and is also responsible for green pigmentation.
- Copper combines with other metals to form alloys. Brass is an alloy of copper made from the combination of copper and zinc. It is used in the production of locks, zippers, gun casings, etc. Bronze is also an alloy of copper. It is made of copper and tin. It is used in the production of ball bearings, musical instruments, medals, etc. Another copper alloy is Billon which is a combination of copper and silver or gold. This alloy was formally used in the production of coins.
- Copper can also be recycled multiple times and still retain all its properties. Recycled copper can be used in industrial products of all the items that mined copper is used for; because after recycling, there’s no difference between mined copper and recycled copper.
Negative Effects of Copper on Humans and the Environment
If copper is accidentally ingested it can cause stomach ache, headache, irritation of the nose, and eyes, diarrhea, and vomiting. Excessive intake can cause kidney and liver failures, it might also cause death if not properly treated.
The materials used in copper mining can lead to the degrading of land and even deforestation. Copper pollution can also cause the death of Marin life (aquatic life). Copper is a heavy metal and can be very toxic to some fishes and also to0 many invertebrates.
How Copper is Made: Copper Ore
Copper does not occur naturally, but it can be extracted from the surface or deeper parts of mineral ores. Ores are rocks on the Earth’s surface that contain one or more minerals that can be mined and sold for profit. Some examples of copper ores are:
Where is Lead found in Nigeria?
Lead is among the many valuable minerals found in Nigeria. Lead can be found in the following Nigerian States
- Akwa Ibom
- Cross River
Lead is a metal that has a grayish or silver-white color. Lead is a very soft metal and can be altered and shaped without breaking. It has a very low melting point. Lead is used in the production of lifting weights and car batteries, it is used in making bullets, it is also used in lead-acid batteries, etc.