By: Sadiya Adado.
The unknown, a new presence of mica from the gems family in cape coast Central region of ghana had been discovered.
The material commonly of excellent quality and value can be compared with the finest mica from India, the major producer of mica mineral in the world. Not only visually, but also with respect to inclusions, spectral features and chemical composition.
The article present detailed desk study, Spectral and trace – element data for these untap, unattended and unknown gem from cape coast metropolis of Ghana.
The study further shows that it is possible for the metropolitan to be economy booster to the nation through attentive measures, only if these unattended mineral is properly supervised and managed.
In 2016 Peter Osei Asamoah conducted a research on unattended minerals the likes of mica in the nation. he mentioned that Ghana’s mining sector has been very vibrant since the country’s pre-colonial era. For instance, it is said that the country accounted for 36% of the total world output of gold between 1493 and 1600. The minerals and mining sector currently contributes about 16% of government’s revenue in terms of domestic tax and has consistently been the country’s highest gross foreign exchange earner for several years.
The country has, in the past however, focused all its attention and resources on the major minerals currently mined in the country viz. gold, diamond, manganese and bauxite. Although mineral deposits such as iron ore, limestone, quartz, salt, kaolin, mica, brown clays, silica sand etc. are known to exist in the country, these have all been left unexploited or at best under-exploited. According to estimates by Ghana’s Minerals Commission, the country’s identified iron ore deposits stands in excess of 1.62bn tonnes.
In February 2016, the country launched a Minerals and Mining Policy which “provides a written declaration of the framework of principles and policies that will guide Government in the management of the mining and minerals sector”. It also seeks to provide for the establishment of an enabling environment for investors, which is based upon modern regulatory arrangements and attractive terms. Ghana is currently among three African countries to develop a comprehensive policy in the mining sector.
The policy document rightly identifies over-reliance on the exploitation of the traditional minerals as one of the challenges which needs to be addressed in order to position the minerals and mining industry to remain internationally competitive, whilst at the same time ensuring that the expected benefits due the state, communities and investors are realised. It also observes that the diversification of the country’s mineral production base is one of the objectives that will enable the Government to secure the continued development of a thriving mining industry that contributes to a sustainable economic development.
The government acknowledges in the policy document that if it is to secure the maximum benefits from the mineral resources in the country, now is the time to pay the much needed attention to the “lesser known minerals”. Particular mention is made of solar salt and base metals such as Copper, Zinc, Nickel and Chrome.
The policy for the diversification of the mineral production base is outlined in three areas in the following terms:
Ghana’s comparative advantage over its West African neighbours in solar salt production stem from the favourable geographical, climate and environmental conditions. Thus, it is Government’s policy to secure the continued development of an efficient and thriving salt industry that will extract all possible co-products from the production process and generate supplies for domestic as well as raw material needs of appropriate local and regional industries.
It is also expected that the salt industry will facilitate and accelerate the development of our oil fields as well as the downstream petroleum industry. The salt industry will also support the proposed integrated bauxitealumina industry, and the agriculture, food and beverage, water and textile sub-sectors.
- Base Metals
As part of Government’s periodic review of the country’s mineral resource base, results of recent exploration work done have shown occurrences of base metals such as Copper, Zinc, Nickel, and Chrome in some parts of the country. Further exploration of these deposits and others identified to determine their economic viability.
- Other Minerals
Unexploited deposits of iron ore, limestone, brown clays, kaolin, mica, columbite-tantalite, feldspar, silica sand, quartz, dimension stones also exist. As energy generation and other infrastructure are improved, advantage will be taken of their existence to facilitate the exploitation and development of such deposits”
The focus on these minerals is in the right direction, as they have the potential to provide the country with high revenues in the sector. For example, Ghana is mainly surrounded by countries which have a high demand for salt for both domestic and industrial use but without the right climatic conditions and suitable lands for its production. Nigeria alone is estimated to import over $1.5billion worth of salt each year from far away Brazil and Australia to feed its domestic demands and feed its oil industry. This is a market the country can easily capitalize on with the least attention to the salt industry. Other countries in the West African sub region and beyond are also potential markets.
Also to achieve one of the objectives of the policy, which is to promote linkages of mineral production to other sectors of the economy, the focus of the country should not only be to exploit these minerals for export purposes but to also consider them for use in other areas of the economy taking into consideration their many and varied uses and the strive of the country to become an industrialized nation.
Finally with the slump in commodity prices in recent years, if the mining sector is to maintain its role as a leading contributor to the development of the economy of Ghana through foreign exchange, tax revenue and employment, it is time a great deal of attention is given to these unexploited and underexploited minerals. The country has indeed restricted itself far too long to the exploitation of the traditional minerals to the neglect of the others.
It is hoped that this policy will not merely remain on the shelves of the ministry of Lands and Natural Resources but active steps will be taken to ensure the realization of this goal.
( https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=44a37f83-1961-44c2-adee-f64b24c129d2 )
According to Google search mica, any of a group of hydrous potassium, aluminum silicate minerals. It is a type of phyllosilicate, exhibiting a two-dimensional sheet or layer structure. Among the principal rock-forming minerals, micas are found in all three major rock varieties—igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
For economical aspect, the application of mica in various aspect of life is vast. for instance, In every day Life mica in almost everything – from construction to makeup. Phyllosilicate minerals of the mica group possess platy texture and are used in Fields. It is used as a pigment extender. Mica disc is used in breathing apparatus, communication devices, lenses, broadband waveplates etc. Mica is used in microwave ovens as well. Not only this, eyeliner or lip gloss that most women use on a daily basis also contains mica.
Mica powder- it is use for various purposes especially for decorations for ages. Mica powder is used for clay pot , traditional Pueblo pottery, coloured powders, kirazuri printing techniques or woodblock printmaking. It is used in the decoration of Windows of the buildings and to Brighten the coloured pigments. It is widely used in cosmetics.
Mica sheet- they are mainly used as window sheets. Small pieces of mica sheets are used in toys as well sheet mica is used electronics, microscopic, diaphragms for oxygen breathing equipment, navigation compasses, thermal regulators, optical fibres.
Pyrometers ( a type of thermometer used to measure the temperature of distant objects ) stove or kerosene heater windows, mica thermic heaters etc.
As mica shows a refractive index that depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light, it is commonly used to make quarter and half – wave plates. The specialized use of mica is found in aircraft components Sea- launched missiles systems. Apart from these, it is used in laser devices, radar systems and Geiger Miller tubes etc.
Mica in cosmetics – reflective and refractive properties of mica make it an important ingredients of cosmetic product. Mica is used in blushes, lipsticks, lipgloss, eyeliner, eyeshadow, foundation, glitters, mascara, nail polish, moisturizing lotions, etc.
Some teeth whitening agents also contain mica. Mica creates a natural shimmery finish on the skin. It helps to give a more youthful and shinier, wrinkle-free look. Apart from these, mica does not react with skin and it’s suitable for all skin types.
Mica paper – Mainly- mica paper is used in mica plates and mica tapes. Mica is an excellent electrical insulator while a good thermal conductor and high temperature resistant ( up to 1000°C ). Due to these properties, mica tape is use in electrical appliances. It can only be used as a substitute for sheet mica, also used for decoration purposes.
Mica in modern medicine – it is used in Ayurveda ( ancient medicine prevalent in india ). It is use in preparation of various medicine for the treatment of respiratory and digestion – related disease.
Other usefulness of mica includes peepholes and lantern, boilers, stoves etc. It is used to make capacitors for calibration standards. It is also used in transistors and high-pressure steam boilers.( Vedantu.com ).
In response to the main topic, cape coast as the center of concern in this article has been blessed with abundance of this said valuable mineral. which, either per say unknown to the parties involved, neglected or unattended.
This Discovery began in January 2022 after I chose to embark on a personal research on natural resources and their occurrence. while developing phenomenal passion on the general existence of precious stones in ghana.
I had learned that in the previous years diamonds deposits were present in cape coast for that reason, I put my keen concentration on the fact that the present of other minerals might be possible in the region.
Ever since, I became very attentive with the environment and I put 100% into researching and conducting visual surveys of areas with unique deposit of stones that are very unusual compared to the ones conversant with the public.
My first contact with a precious stone in the region was a quarts stones. I could vividly recall how I would go out during rain fall season when the nature is busy to pick these stones because of how the raindrop wash and expose their attractive texture to the public ability to clearly see them. If one does not have their knowledge he could easily presume the appearance of quarts to that of a diamond.
Mica is the second mineral resource I was able to detect in cape coast. this, was around a period I paid visit to my grandparents compound in 2021. One faithful day i came in contact with a pile of shiny looking sand which is formed in plate layers in the areas of kotokorba zongo, it was the very moment I had it in mind that no matter of a sand it may be it has uniqueness compared to the ordinary type we are used to seeing around, it stands out hands down.
My curiosity led me to move closer, used my hand to feel it and suddenly plug the glass looking element that was formed by layers in a plate shape and separate/peeled into small size paper sheet according to how they were naturally arranged in layers. I quickly placed one sheet close to one of my eyes and look through the lenses, everything was visible behind and beside me, I was left in awe when this plate of mica was reflecting the direct sun light like how it could react with that of a broken glass or mirror.
To take it further I didn’t waste much of my time, fetched some of it and quickly begin a thorough research on the deposit. It is through the search and scanning process I was informed and convinced of the presence of the mineral mica in cape coast.
For six months, I have since began my new journey of finding out the availability of the deposit in the region with solid fact that it is not only present in the first place I had contact with. Glory be to GOD I finally shared the news with some amazing souls Haruna Kamel and Dj rock. They showed immense interest and contributed their quarter by voluntarily providing themselves as self investigators. we team up and immediately started discussion on how to take it to the next level. And, they took it upon themselves to find out more of the possibility of the deposits in the region.
Alhamdulillah with ALLAH by our side his love and guidance, unwavering support and advice from my father and professor Zakari Mustapha this my brother Dj-Rock Themixking Dangimah single handedly did fields survey and recoinassance and was able to detect and find the presence of mica in cape coast in a simple research methods.
We didn’t have enough tool and resources to expand our search and reach a maximum result but with Proof of samples picked at these locations found by Dangimah Musah Hoodu Themixking Dangimah six different areas in cape are blessed with abundance of mica present.
One of this areas we have affirmation of is zongo and Haruna Kamel also have specific places he had seen mica in the said area .
This main purpose of this article is to call the attention of the stake holders and all parties involved to pay close attention to this discovery and also use this article as a vital information, use it as a tool to develop the region by tapping into this mineral resources and make it available for the international market for the upliftment of cape coast and central region at large.
In conclusion, we are calling on and also appealing for the the support of other media handlers and the general public to share it out untill the right source is reached. The target is mica should be one of the mining element in Ghana and also cape coast as the major producer.
Nb: below are samples picked from within the areas in cape coast metropolis.