Ethiopia’s Bentonite Trail: A Development Path?

Industrial Minerals News

Source: National Geographic

Summary:

  • Of interest to industrial chemists are:
    • the scavenging property resulting from the large surface area of cation exchange in smectite clays, and
    • its habit of swelling in water giving bentonite an ability to strongly modify the flow behaviour of liquids
  • The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines is researching ways to develop an Ethiopian bentonite industry
  • All bentonite in Ethiopia is currently imported, even though the Ethiopian Geological Survey first identified easily accessible bentonite deposits in the Afar region in 1985
    • Estimates the value of imports of bentonite products of around 14 million Ethiopian birr per annum (US$700,000)

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