Mineralogical and Geochemical Appraisal of Clay Deposits in Papalanto and Its Environs, Southwestern, Nigeria

  •  Adewole John Adeola    
  •  Modupe Adefunmi Olaleye    


Three residual clay occurrences in Papalanto, Ifo, and Imoto areas which belong to the sedimentary basin of southwestern Nigeria were investigated to determine their industrial applications.

The samples were pulverized, sieved, digested with mineral acids and characterized. Clay mineralogy was determined using X-ray Diffraction (XRD). Elemental compositions of the clay samples were determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). Grain size distribution data were obtained by conducting grain size analysis in two parts; sieve analysis and sedimentation. Thermal properties, plasticity tests, density measurement, linear shrinkage and water absorption capacity were determined to evaluate their industrial potentials. Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) was calculated to determine the degree of weathering in the area.

The X-ray diffraction results showed that kaolinite is the dominant mineral, while quartz, anatase and hematite are the major non clay minerals. Chemical data showed that the average values of SiO2, Al2O3, and Fe2O3were 59.46%, 22.16%, and 3.06% respectively constituting 98.3% of the bulk compositions. Papalanto possessed high plasticity and mouldability.

Evaluation of the clay thermal characteristics, firing colour, water absorption capacities and shrinkage values showed that the whitish Ifo clay and Papalanto kaolinitic clays could serve as raw materials for ceramics, building bricks, and other structural wares. Kaolin which is the dominant mineral in all the clays can be used for cosmetics, tooth paste, pharmaceutical purposes

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