Mountains of leftover dusts lying alongside the iron ore mines being operated in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts will no more be treated as a waste, but those are now wealth. Thanks to technological intervention of the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology Bhubaneswar, industries could now recover iron value from the huge volume of waste.
Jindal Steel and Power Limited has come forward to install nine columns at Barbil to treat 300 tonnes per hour of tailing material to recover iron value by using IMMT's Column Floatation Technology, this is for the first time such massive utilization of tailing material is contemplated in the country with indigenous technology. Around 35% to 40% weight recovery of iron ore concentrate will be produced at required iron values in the product.
Professor BK Mishra director of IMMT said that "It is a dream come true for us. For the last three decades, scientists have been aggressively working on this technological innovation."
Professor Mishra said that "Indian government has set an ambitious plan of producing 200 million tonne of steel per annum by 2020. For this about 350 million tonne per annum of iron ore will be required. But from where it is going to come? Good quality iron ore deposits have already been exhausted. Mountains of dusts remain. It is a challenge for us to recover iron ore from the waste material."
In 2007, IMMT transferred the technology to Kolkata based Tega Industries which agreed to market it in India and abroad after giving it a shape. The IMMT had earlier successfully carried out pilot plant tests for Essar Steel, TATA Steel and Jindal Steel.
The director further said the CFT could be used in non ferrous minerals such as graphite, copper, lead, zinc and bauxite. Before we go for new mining, now let us give a fresh look at waste material.