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Paper Count: 11

Search results for: tantalum

11 Characteristic of Ta Alloy Coating Films on Near-Net Shape with Different Current Densities Using MARC Process

Authors: Young Jun Lee, Tae Hyuk Lee, Kyoung Tae Park, Jong Hyeon Lee


The harsh atmosphere of the sulfur-iodine process used for producing hydrogen requires better corrosion resistance and mechanical properties that is possible to obtain with pure tantalum. Ta-W alloy is superior to pure tantalum but is difficult to alloy due to its high melting temperature. In this study, substrates of near-net shape (Swagelok® tube ISSG8UT4) were coated with Ta-W using the multi-anode reactive alloy coating (MARC) process in molten salt (LiF-NaF-K2TaF7) at different current densities (1, 2 and 4mA/cm2). Ta-4W coating films of uniform coating thicknesses, without any entrapped salt, were successfully deposited on Swagelok tube by electrodeposition at 1 mA/cm2. The resulting coated film with a corrosion rate of less than 0.011 mm/year was attained in hydriodic acid at 160°C, and hardness up to 12.9 % stronger than pure tantalum coated film. The alloy coating films also contributed to significant enhancement of corrosion resistance.

Keywords: tantalum, tantalum alloy, tungsten alloy, electroplating

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10 Exploration Tools for Tantalum-Bearing Pegmatites along Kibara Belt, Central and Southwestern Uganda

Authors: Sadat Sembatya


Tantalum metal is used in addressing capacitance challenge in the 21st-century technology growth. Tantalum is rarely found in its elemental form. Hence it’s often found with niobium and the radioactive elements of thorium and uranium. Industrial processes are required to extract pure tantalum. Its deposits are mainly oxide associated and exist in Ta-Nb oxides such as tapiolite, wodginite, ixiolite, rutile and pyrochlore-supergroup minerals are of minor importance. The stability and chemical inertness of tantalum makes it a valuable substance for laboratory equipment and a substitute for platinum. Each period of Tantalum ore formation is characterized by specific mineralogical and geochemical features. Compositions of Columbite-Group Minerals (CGM) are variable: Fe-rich types predominate in the Man Shield (Sierra Leone), the Congo Craton (DR Congo), the Kamativi Belt (Zimbabwe) and the Jos Plateau (Nigeria). Mn-rich columbite-tantalite is typical of the Alto Ligonha Province (Mozambique), the Arabian-Nubian Shield (Egypt, Ethiopia) and the Tantalite Valley pegmatites (southern Namibia). There are large compositional variations through Fe-Mn fractionation, followed by Nb-Ta fractionation. These are typical for pegmatites usually associated with very coarse quartz-feldspar-mica granites. They are young granitic systems of the Kibara Belt of Central Africa and the Older Granites of Nigeria. Unlike ‘simple’ Be-pegmatites, most Ta-Nb rich pegmatites have the most complex zoning. Hence we need systematic exploration tools to find and rapidly assess the potential of different pegmatites. The pegmatites exist as known deposits (e.g., abandoned mines) and the exposed or buried pegmatites. We investigate rocks and minerals to trace for the possibility of the effect of hydrothermal alteration mainly for exposed pegmatites, do mineralogical study to prove evidence of gradual replacement and geochemistry to report the availability of trace elements which are good indicators of mineralisation. Pegmatites are not good geophysical responders resulting to the exclusion of the geophysics option. As for more advanced prospecting, we bulk samples from different zones first to establish their grades and characteristics, then make a pilot test plant because of big samples to aid in the quantitative characterization of zones, and then drill to reveal distribution and extent of different zones but not necessarily grade due to nugget effect. Rapid assessment tools are needed to assess grade and degree of fractionation in order to ‘rule in’ or ‘rule out’ a given pegmatite for future work. Pegmatite exploration is also unique, high risk and expensive hence right traceability system and certification for 3Ts are highly needed.

Keywords: exploration, mineralogy, pegmatites, tantalum

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9 Plasma Ion Implantation Study: A Comparison between Tungsten and Tantalum as Plasma Facing Components

Authors: Tahreem Yousaf, Michael P. Bradley, Jerzy A. Szpunar


Currently, nuclear fusion is considered one of the most favorable options for future energy generation, due both to its abundant fuel and lack of emissions. For fusion power reactors, a major problem will be a suitable material choice for the Plasma Facing Components (PFCs) which will constitute the reactor first wall. Tungsten (W) has advantages as a PFC material because of its high melting point, low vapour pressure, high thermal conductivity and low retention of hydrogen isotopes. However, several adverse effects such as embrittlement, melting and morphological evolution have been observed in W when it is bombarded by low-energy and high-fluence helium (He) and deuterium (D) ions, as a simulation conditions adjacent to a fusion plasma. Recently, tantalum (Ta) also investigate as PFC and show better reluctance to nanostructure fuzz as compared to W under simulated fusion plasma conditions. But retention of D ions found high in Ta than W. Preparatory to plasma-based ion implantation studies, the effect of D and He ion impact on W and Ta is predicted by using the stopping and range of ions in the matter (SRIM) code. SRIM provided some theoretical results regarding projected range, ion concentration (at. %) and displacement damage (dpa) in W and Ta. The projected range for W under Irradiation of He and D ions with an energy of 3-keV and 1×fluence is determined 75Å and 135 Å and for Ta 85Å and 155Å, respectively. For both W and Ta samples, the maximum implanted peak for helium is predicted ~ 5.3 at. % at 12 nm and for De ions concentration peak is located near 3.1 at. % at 25 nm. For the same parameters, the displacement damage for He ions is observed in W ~ 0.65 dpa and Ta ~ 0.35 dpa at 5 nm. For D ions the displacement damage for W ~ 0.20 dpa at 8 nm and Ta ~ 0.175 dpa at 7 nm. The mean implantation depth is same for W and Ta, i.e. for He ions ~ 40 nm and D ions ~ 70 nm. From these results, we conclude that retention of D is high than He ions, but damage is low for Ta as compared to W. Further investigation still in progress regarding W and T.

Keywords: helium and deuterium ion impact, plasma facing components, SRIM simulation, tungsten, tantalum

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8 Strategic Metals and Rare Earth Elements Exploration of Lithium Cesium Tantalum Type Pegmatites: A Case Study from Northwest Himalayas

Authors: Auzair Mehmood, Mohammad Arif


The LCT (Li, Cs and Ta rich)-type pegmatites, genetically related to peraluminous S-type granites, are being mined for strategic metals (SMs) and rare earth elements (REEs) around the world. This study investigates the SMs and REEs potentials of pegmatites that are spatially associated with an S-type granitic suite of the Himalayan sequence, specifically Mansehra Granitic Complex (MGC), northwest Pakistan. Geochemical signatures of the pegmatites and some of their mineral extracts were analyzed using Inductive Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) technique to explore and generate potential prospects (if any) for SMs and REEs. In general, the REE patterns of the studied whole-rock pegmatite samples show tetrad effect and possess low total REE abundances, strong positive Europium (Eu) anomalies, weak negative Cesium (Cs) anomalies and relative enrichment in heavy REE. Similar features have been observed on the REE patterns of the feldspar extracts. However, the REE patterns of the muscovite extracts reflect preferential enrichment and possess negative Eu anomalies. The trace element evaluation further suggests that the MGC pegmatites have undergone low levels of fractionation. Various trace elements concentrations (and their ratios) including Ta versus Cs, K/Rb (Potassium/Rubidium) versus Rb and Th/U (Thorium/Uranium) versus K/Cs, were used to analyze the economically viable mineral potential of the studied rocks. On most of the plots, concentrations fall below the dividing line and confer either barren or low-level mineralization potential of the studied rocks for both SMs and REEs. The results demonstrate paucity of the MGC pegmatites with respect to Ta-Nb (Tantalum-Niobium) mineralization, which is in sharp contrast to many Pan-African S-type granites around the world. The MGC pegmatites are classified as muscovite pegmatites based on their K/Rb versus Cs relationship. This classification is consistent with the occurrence of rare accessory minerals like garnet, biotite, tourmaline, and beryl. Furthermore, the classification corroborates with an earlier sorting of the MCG pegmatites into muscovite-bearing, biotite-bearing, and subordinate muscovite-biotite types. These types of pegmatites lack any significant SMs and REEs mineralization potentials. Field relations, such as close spatial association with parent granitic rocks and absence of internal zonation structure, also reflect the barren character and hence lack of any potential prospects of the MGC pegmatites.

Keywords: exploration, fractionation, Himalayas, pegmatites, rare earth elements

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7 Corrosion Protective Coatings in Machines Design

Authors: Cristina Diaz, Lucia Perez, Simone Visigalli, Giuseppe Di Florio, Gonzalo Fuentes, Roberto Canziani, Paolo Gronchi


During the last 50 years, the selection of materials is one of the main decisions in machine design for different industrial applications. It is due to numerous physical, chemical, mechanical and technological factors to consider in it. Corrosion effects are related with all of these factors and impact in the life cycle, machine incidences and the costs for the life of the machine. Corrosion affects the deterioration or destruction of metals due to the reaction with the environment, generally wet. In food industry, dewatering industry, concrete industry, paper industry, etc. corrosion is an unsolved problem and it might introduce some alterations of some characteristics in the final product. Nowadays, depending on the selected metal, its surface and its environment of work, corrosion prevention might be a change of metal, use a coating, cathodic protection, use of corrosion inhibitors, etc. In the vast majority of the situations, use of a corrosion resistant material or in its defect, a corrosion protection coating is the solution. Stainless steels are widely used in machine design, because of their strength, easily cleaned capacity, corrosion resistance and appearance. Typical used are AISI 304 and AISI 316. However, their benefits don’t fit every application, and some coatings are required against corrosion such as some paintings, galvanizing, chrome plating, SiO₂, TiO₂ or ZrO₂ coatings, etc. In this work, some coatings based in a bilayer made of Titanium-Tantalum, Titanium-Niobium, Titanium-Hafnium or Titanium-Zirconium, have been developed used magnetron sputtering configuration by PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) technology, for trying to reduce corrosion effects on AISI 304, AISI 316 and comparing it with Titanium alloy substrates. Ti alloy display exceptional corrosion resistance to chlorides, sour and oxidising acidic media and seawater. In this study, Ti alloy (99%) has been included for comparison with coated AISI 304 and AISI 316 stainless steel. Corrosion tests were conducted by a Gamry Instrument under ASTM G5-94 standard, using different electrolytes such as tomato salsa, wine, olive oil, wet compost, a mix of sand and concrete with water and NaCl for testing corrosion in different industrial environments. In general, in all tested environments, the results showed an improvement of corrosion resistance of all coated AISI 304 and AISI 316 stainless steel substrates when they were compared to uncoated stainless steel substrates. After that, comparing these results with corrosion studies on uncoated Ti alloy substrate, it was observed that in some cases, coated stainless steel substrates, reached similar current density that uncoated Ti alloy. Moreover, Titanium-Zirconium and Titanium-Tantalum coatings showed for all substrates in study including coated Ti alloy substrates, a reduction in current density more than two order in magnitude. As conclusion, Ti-Ta, Ti-Zr, Ti-Nb and Ti-Hf coatings have been developed for improving corrosion resistance of AISI 304 and AISI 316 materials. After corrosion tests in several industry environments, substrates have shown improvements on corrosion resistance. Similar processes have been carried out in Ti alloy (99%) substrates. Coated AISI 304 and AISI 316 stainless steel, might reach similar corrosion protection on the surface than uncoated Ti alloy (99%). Moreover, coated Ti Alloy (99%) might increase its corrosion resistance using these coatings.

Keywords: coatings, corrosion, PVD, stainless steel

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6 Effect of High-Energy Ball Milling on the Electrical and Piezoelectric Properties of (K0.5Na0.5)(Nb0.9Ta0.1)O3 Lead-Free Piezoceramics

Authors: Chongtham Jiten, K. Chandramani Singh, Radhapiyari Laishram


Nanocrystalline powders of the lead-free piezoelectric material, tantalum-substituted potassium sodium niobate (K0.5Na0.5)(Nb0.9Ta0.1)O3 (KNNT), were produced using a Retsch PM100 planetary ball mill by setting the milling time to 15h, 20h, 25h, 30h, 35h and 40h, at a fixed speed of 250rpm. The average particle size of the milled powders was found to decrease from 12nm to 3nm as the milling time increases from 15h to 25h, which is in agreement with the existing theoretical model. An anomalous increase to 98nm and then a drop to 3nm in the particle size were observed as the milling time further increases to 30h and 40h respectively. Various sizes of these starting KNNT powders were used to investigate the effect of milling time on the microstructure, dielectric properties, phase transitions and piezoelectric properties of the resulting KNNT ceramics. The particle size of starting KNNT was somewhat proportional to the grain size. As the milling time increases from 15h to 25h, the resulting ceramics exhibit enhancement in the values of relative density from 94.8% to 95.8%, room temperature dielectric constant (εRT) from 878 to 1213, and piezoelectric charge coefficient (d33) from 108pC/N to 128pC/N. For this range of ceramic samples, grain size refinement suppresses the maximum dielectric constant (εmax), shifts the Curie temperature (Tc) to a lower temperature and the orthorhombic-tetragonal phase transition (Tot) to a higher temperature. Further increase of milling time from 25h to 40h produces a gradual degradation in the values of relative density, εRT, and d33 of the resulting ceramics.

Keywords: perovskite, dielectric, ceramics, high-energy milling

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5 Effect of Varying Zener-Hollomon Parameter (Temperature and Flow Stress) and Stress Relaxation on Creep Response of Hot Deformed AA3104 Can Body Stock

Authors: Oyindamola Kayode, Sarah George, Roberto Borrageiro, Mike Shirran


A phenomenon identified by our industrial partner has experienced sag on AA3104 can body stock (CBS) transfer bar during transportation of the slab from the breakdown mill to the finishing mill. Excessive sag results in bottom scuffing of the slab onto the roller table, resulting in surface defects on the final product. It has been found that increasing the strain rate on the breakdown mill final pass results in a slab resistant to sag. The creep response for materials hot deformed at different Zener–Holloman parameter values needs to be evaluated experimentally to gain better understanding of the operating mechanism. This study investigates this identified phenomenon through laboratory simulation of the breakdown mill conditions for various strain rates by utilizing the Gleeble at UCT Centre for Materials Engineering. The experiment will determine the creep response for a range of conditions as well as quantifying the associated material microstructure (sub-grain size, grain structure etc). The experimental matrices were determined based on experimental conditions approximate to industrial hot breakdown rolling and carried out on the Gleeble 3800 at the Centre for Materials Engineering, University of Cape Town. Plane strain compression samples were used for this series of tests at an applied load that allow for better contact and exaggerated creep displacement. A tantalum barrier layer was used for increased conductivity and decreased risk of anvil welding. One set of tests with no in-situ hold time was performed, where the samples were quenched after deformation. The samples were retained for microstructure analysis of the micrographs from the light microscopy (LM), quantitative data and images from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX), sub-grain size and grain structure from electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD).

Keywords: aluminium alloy, can-body stock, hot rolling, creep response, Zener-Hollomon parameter

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4 Feasibility Study and Experiment of On-Site Nuclear Material Identification in Fukushima Daiichi Fuel Debris by Compact Neutron Source

Authors: Yudhitya Kusumawati, Yuki Mitsuya, Tomooki Shiba, Mitsuru Uesaka


After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor incident, there are a lot of unaccountable nuclear fuel debris in the reactor core area, which is subject to safeguard and criticality safety. Before the actual precise analysis is performed, preliminary on-site screening and mapping of nuclear debris activity need to be performed to provide a reliable data on the nuclear debris mass-extraction planning. Through a collaboration project with Japan Atomic Energy Agency, an on-site nuclear debris screening system by using dual energy X-Ray inspection and neutron energy resonance analysis has been established. By using the compact and mobile pulsed neutron source constructed from 3.95 MeV X-Band electron linac, coupled with Tungsten as electron-to-photon converter and Beryllium as a photon-to-neutron converter, short-distance neutron Time of Flight measurement can be performed. Experiment result shows this system can measure neutron energy spectrum up to 100 eV range with only 2.5 meters Time of Flightpath in regards to the X-Band accelerator’s short pulse. With this, on-site neutron Time of Flight measurement can be used to identify the nuclear debris isotope contents through Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA). Some preliminary NRTA experiments have been done with Tungsten sample as dummy nuclear debris material, which isotopes Tungsten-186 has close energy absorption value with Uranium-238 (15 eV). The results obtained shows that this system can detect energy absorption in the resonance neutron area within 1-100 eV. It can also detect multiple elements in a material at once with the experiment using a combined sample of Indium, Tantalum, and silver makes it feasible to identify debris containing mixed material. This compact neutron Time of Flight measurement system is a great complementary for dual energy X-Ray Computed Tomography (CT) method that can identify atomic number quantitatively but with 1-mm spatial resolution and high error bar. The combination of these two measurement methods will able to perform on-site nuclear debris screening at Fukushima Daiichi reactor core area, providing the data for nuclear debris activity mapping.

Keywords: neutron source, neutron resonance, nuclear debris, time of flight

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3 Experimental Investigation of the Thermal Conductivity of Neodymium and Samarium Melts by a Laser Flash Technique

Authors: Igor V. Savchenko, Dmitrii A. Samoshkin


The active study of the properties of lanthanides has begun in the late 50s of the last century, when methods for their purification were developed and metals with a relatively low content of impurities were obtained. Nevertheless, up to date, many properties of the rare earth metals (REM) have not been experimentally investigated, or insufficiently studied. Currently, the thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of lanthanides have been studied most thoroughly in the low-temperature region and at moderate temperatures (near 293 K). In the high-temperature region, corresponding to the solid phase, data on the thermophysical characteristics of the REM are fragmentary and in some cases contradictory. Analysis of the literature showed that the data on the thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of light REM in the liquid state are few in number, little informative (only one point corresponds to the liquid state region), contradictory (the nature of the thermal conductivity change with temperature is not reproduced), as well as the results of measurements diverge significantly beyond the limits of the total errors. Thereby our experimental results allow to fill this gap and to clarify the existing information on the heat transfer coefficients of neodymium and samarium in a wide temperature range from the melting point up to 1770 K. The measurement of the thermal conductivity of investigated metallic melts was carried out by laser flash technique on an automated experimental setup LFA-427. Neodymium sample of brand NM-1 (99.21 wt % purity) and samarium sample of brand SmM-1 (99.94 wt % purity) were cut from metal ingots and then ones were annealed in a vacuum (1 mPa) at a temperature of 1400 K for 3 hours. Measuring cells of a special design from tantalum were used for experiments. Sealing of the cell with a sample inside it was carried out by argon-arc welding in the protective atmosphere of the glovebox. The glovebox was filled with argon with purity of 99.998 vol. %; argon was additionally cleaned up by continuous running through sponge titanium heated to 900–1000 K. The general systematic error in determining the thermal conductivity of investigated metallic melts was 2–5%. The approximation dependences and the reference tables of the thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity coefficients were developed. New reliable experimental data on the transport properties of the REM and their changes in phase transitions can serve as a scientific basis for optimizing the industrial processes of production and use of these materials, as well as ones are of interest for the theory of thermophysical properties of substances, physics of metals, liquids and phase transformations.

Keywords: high temperatures, laser flash technique, liquid state, metallic melt, rare earth metals, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity

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2 A Comparative Study of the Tribological Behavior of Bilayer Coatings for Machine Protection

Authors: Cristina Diaz, Lucia Perez-Gandarillas, Gonzalo Garcia-Fuentes, Simone Visigalli, Roberto Canziani, Giuseppe Di Florio, Paolo Gronchi


During their lifetime, industrial machines are often subjected to chemical, mechanical and thermal extreme conditions. In some cases, the loss of efficiency comes from the degradation of the surface as a result of its exposition to abrasive environments that can cause wear. This is a common problem to be solved in industries of diverse nature such as food, paper or concrete industries, among others. For this reason, a good selection of the material is of high importance. In the machine design context, stainless steels such as AISI 304 and 316 are widely used. However, the severity of the external conditions can require additional protection for the steel and sometimes coating solutions are demanded in order to extend the lifespan of these materials. Therefore, the development of effective coatings with high wear resistance is of utmost technological relevance. In this research, bilayer coatings made of Titanium-Tantalum, Titanium-Niobium, Titanium-Hafnium, and Titanium-Zirconium have been developed using magnetron sputtering configuration by PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) technology. Their tribological behavior has been measured and evaluated under different environmental conditions. Two kinds of steels were used as substrates: AISI 304, AISI 316. For the comparison with these materials, titanium alloy substrate was also employed. Regarding the characterization, wear rate and friction coefficient were evaluated by a tribo-tester, using a pin-on-ball configuration with different lubricants such as tomato sauce, wine, olive oil, wet compost, a mix of sand and concrete with water and NaCl to approximate the results to real extreme conditions. In addition, topographical images of the wear tracks were obtained in order to get more insight of the wear behavior and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images were taken to evaluate the adhesion and quality of the coating. The characterization was completed with the measurement of nanoindentation hardness and elastic modulus. Concerning the results, thicknesses of the samples varied from 100 nm (Ti-Zr layer) to 1.4 µm (Ti-Hf layer) and SEM images confirmed that the addition of the Ti layer improved the adhesion of the coatings. Moreover, results have pointed out that these coatings have increased the wear resistance in comparison with the original substrates under environments of different severity. Furthermore, nanoindentation hardness results showed an improvement of the elastic strain to failure and a high modulus of elasticity (approximately 200 GPa). As a conclusion, Ti-Ta, Ti-Zr, Ti-Nb, and Ti-Hf are very promising and effective coatings in terms of tribological behavior, improving considerably the wear resistance and friction coefficient of typically used machine materials.

Keywords: coating, stainless steel, tribology, wear

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1 The Economic Geology of Ijero Ekiti, South Western Nigeria: A Need for Sustainable Mining for a Responsible Socio-Economic Growth and Development

Authors: Olagunju John Olusesan-Remi


The study area Ijero-Ekiti falls within the Ilesha-Ekiti Schist belt, originating from the long year of the Pan-Africa orogenic events and various cataclysmic tectonic activities in history. Ijero-Ekiti is situated within latitude 7 degree 45N and 7 Degree 55N. Ijero Ekiti is bordered between the Dahomean Basin and the southern Bida/Benue basin on the Geological map of Nigeria. This research work centers on majorly on investigating the chemical composition and as well as the mineralogical distribution of the various mineral-bearing rocks that composed the study area. This work is essentially carried out with a view to assessing and at the same time ascertaining the economic potentials and or the industrial significance of the area to Ekiti-south western region and the Nigeria nation as a whole. The mineralogical distribution pattern is of particular interest to us in this study. In this regard essential focus is put on the mostly the economic gemstones distributions within the various mineral bearing rocks in the zone, some of which includes the tourmaline formation, cassiterite deposit, tin-ore, tantalum columbite, smoky quartz, amethyst, polychrome and emerald variety beryl among others as they occurred within the older granite of the Precambrian rocks. To this end, samples of the major rock types were taken from various locations within the study area for detail scientific analysis as follows: The Igemo pegmatite of Ijero west, the epidiorite of Idaho, the biotitic hornblende gneiss of Ikoro-Ijero north and the beryl crystalline rock types to mention a few. The slides of the each rock from the aforementioned zones were later prepared and viewed under a cross Nichol petro graphic microscope with a particular focus on the light reflection ability of the constituent minerals in each rock samples. The results from the physical analysis viewed from the colour had it that the pegmatite samples ranges from pure milky white to fairly pinkish coloration. Other physical properties investigated include the streak, luster, form, specific gravity, cleavage/fracture pattern etc. The optical examination carried out centers on the refractive indices and pleochroism of the minerals present while the chemical analysis reveals from the tourmaline samples a differing correlation coefficient of the various oxides in each samples collected through which the mineral presence was established. In conclusion, it was inferred that the various minerals outlined above were in reasonable quantity within the Ijero area. With the above discoveries, therefore, we strongly recommend a detailed scientific investigation to be carried out such that will lead to a comprehensive mining of the area. Above all, it is our conclusion that a comprehensive mineralogical exploitation of this area will not only boost the socio-economic potential of the area but at the same time will go a long way contributing immensely to the socio-economic growth and development of the Nation-Nigeria at large.

Keywords: Ijero Ekiti, Southwestern Nigeria, economic minerals, pegmatite of the pan African origin, cataclastic tectonic activities, Ilesha Schistbelt, precambrian formations

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