PROFILE ON PRODUCTION OF TALC

 

An estimated reserve of over 100 million tonnes of talc has been obtained in Niger, Osun, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Taraba and Kaduna States. There are only two medium size talc processing plants currently operating in Nigeria and both  are located in Niger State. The color of the Nigeria talc varies from white through milky-white to gray. The talc industry represents one of the most versatile sectors of the industrial minerals of tnhe world. The exploitation of  the vast talc deposits in Nigeria would therefore satisfy not only local demands  but also that of the international markets as well.  This profile envisages the establishment of a plant for the production of soya bean milk with a capacity of 3,000 Tons per annum.  The present demand for the proposed product is estimated at 450 ,000Tons per annum. The demand is expected to reach at 100,000 Tons by the year 2022.  The plant will create employment opportunities for 21 persons. The total investment requirement is estimated at about N60.065 million, out of which N40.550million is required for plant and machinery.

The project is financially viable with the following profitability indices:

 

Average Return on Assets

50.20%

Average Return on Equity

82.10%

Average Return on Sales

24.60%

Average Debt service coverage

10.4

Average proportion of Debt

0.202

Average proportion of Equity

0.798

Average Debt/Equity Ratio                            20.2:79.8

 

Average Operating ratio

56.90%

Average current ratio

4.1

UnDiscounted Pay back period (yr)

2.8

Net present Value (N000)

371647.7

Internal Rate of Return

71.10%

Break Even point(Based on year1)(Sales)

42382.9

Fractional capacity utilization

0.241

Selling Price N000.00

17

 

 

I.                PRODUCT DESCRIPTION AND APPLICATION

 

Talc is also called steatite – or, in chemical terms, hydrated magnesium silicate. It is the main component of soapstone. Its crystals usually develop massive, leafy aggregates with laminar particles. Ground talc is called talcum. Talc is the softest mineral, occupying place 1 in the Mohs` hardness scale. Its silicate layers lie on top of one another without having a chemical bond but are bound to each other by weak van der Waals forces. This structure gives talc the platy appearance and its characteristic greasy or soapy feeling – hence the name "soapstone”. In its pure form, talc is colourless or appears white, and often it has a mother-of-pearl sheen. When it contains other substances, it can also appear light grey, green, yellowish or pink. Accompanying minerals include magnesite, dolomite, chlorite, serpentine, calcite, chlorite, and in some cases sulfides, quartz, tremolite or vermiculite. In naturally occurring crystals, the magnesium in talc can be replaced by iron or nickel and the silicium by aluminium or chromium. Talc has a high capacity for absorbing organic substances. The opposite applies to water: talc is hydrophobic and insoluble. It is also acid-resistant, chemically inert and non-toxic. Talc has neither aroma nor taste. Talc is a hydrated magnesium silicate and is predominantly found within the schist belts.  Most of the deposits are coloured and occur in Kumunu, Niger State, Ilesa, Osun State, Isanlu, Kogi State etc Processed talc has wide range of industrial applications because it possesses the following properties:

i.          Extreme softness

ii.          Good lustre

iii.          High slip

iv.          Low moisture

v.          Oil and grease absorption

vi.          Chemical inertness

vii.          High fusion point

viii.          Low electrical and heat conductivity

ix.          High dielectric strength

 

In ceramics, talc controls the thermal expansion of ceramic materials. In paint, plastics, paper, rubber and pharmaceutical industries, talc acts as functional filler.  It controls pitch in pulp and its flaky nature provides structural strength, pigmentation, opacity, rheology, viscosity and corrosion resistance in paints, specialty plastics and various rubber compounds.  In paper, talc is used to facilitate the reception of ink, opacity and brightness with minimal adverse effect on sheet strength. It is an effective pitch control, because of its preferential wettability of oily substances in the presence of water and its large surface area

 

 

II.             MARKET STUDY

Soap stone has been in use for centuries, the earliest known uses, depends on the ease of cutting,  for amulets ,signets and building stone . it has been used in early times for bowls , pots , cooking stoves and other utensils .later it became useful in making tubes, sinks, mantels firebrick and many other items . The uses to which soapstone or talc should be put expanded so that today it is used by more industries than almost every other industrial mineral.

2.1  Uses of Talc

Talc, soapstone and pyrrophyllite are desirable for a wide range industrial uses because they possess the following properties ;

Extreme softness, good lustre, high slip, low moist, oil and grease absorption, chemical inertness, high fusion point , low electrical resistance and conductivity, high dielectric strength and many others.

2.2  Consumption of Talc in Nigeria

Talc, as stated above is in direct competition with industrial minerals such as kaolin, limestone, barytes, e t c as a filler, extender or carrier in many industries. The choice of which are major users of these products, together with their specifications , are as follows:

paint Industry

 

colour                                white

particle size                      97% less than 20 microns

                                            78% less than 10 microns

Packing quality                      --

Oil absorption                   49 gm oil / 100 gm pigment

Capacity                                      --

 P H                                         9.5 (1% aqueous dispersion)

Specific gravity                      2.90

Texture                                    fine

 

Paper Industry

 

Free of grit                    (low valley abrasion value)

Colour                            90 or higher  (Mgo as 100)

Capacity                           --

Particle size                     100% less than 5 microns

Low alkali content

Effective in controlling pitch , oil ,or other oleaginous substances

Talc pigment gives lower wax pick values than clay pigments talc gives lower ink receptivity than clay

 

Ceramics Industry

Uniform chemical composition

Constant firing shrinkage

Fired colour

Particle size distribution

 

Cosmetic Industry

Should contain only traces of dolomitic ,termlite, quartz, or any harsh minerals, some chlorite may be acceptable. No colour change after heating .odourless , should have good fragrance retention when compounded.

 

Particle size                            100% through 100 mesh

                                                98% minimum through 200 mesh

                                                Finer grades as specified by buyer

Acidity                                    neutral to litmus

Water soluble substances        0.1% maximum

Acid soluble substances          2.0% maximum

Loss on ignition                      5.0% maximum

Arsenic  (as As)                      3ppm  maximum

Lead      (as Pb)                       20 ppm maximum

Total aerobic plate court

Including yeast and mould 100 per g maximum

Good deodorizing ability

 

Plastics Industry

Low iron content

Particle shape

Reinforcing ability

Compatibility with resins and other components,

Superfine particles

Restivity

 

Roofing Industry:

Asphalt backing and surfacing

Minimum oil absorption

Colour

Constant particle size

Brightness

Particle shape

 

Petroleum and Automotive Industry

Lubricants

Body  putty, asphalt under coating

Free from grit (pure platy talc for lubricants)

Chemically inert

New wicking (under coating )

 

 

Rubber Industry;

Good lubricity

Free of grit

Colour (only in white rubber and latex)

Resistivity

Must be chemically compatible when used as latex filler.

 

 Talc production in Nigeria

There is little or no talc production in Nigeria, hence the information on industrial minerals such as kaolin will provide a knowledge of the demand for talc since they are used interchangeably. Some of the industries that use the products are paper, ceramics , rubber ,paint, inseticide, fertilizer, cosmetics, soap and detergent. A demand survey was conducted and results shown below:

              Table1: National Demand of talc

S/N

INDUSTRY

DEMAND/ANNUM (TONNES)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

PAPER

CERAMICS

RUBBER

PAINT

SOAP

COSMETICS

FERTILIZER/ INSECTICIDE

10,000

10,000

5,000

10,000

7,500

2,500

5,000

 

TOTAL

50,000

 

          Source: RMRDC MTF Report 

 


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