By Nageshwar Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, August 19, 2018: Scientists, engineers from top mining and mineral processing industries and research organisations have sought benefication of all kinds of low grade ores specially those which are not in practice presently like bauxite.

Debating over various issues on mineral resources at the two-day National Conference on “Advances in Mining, Mineral Processing and Metal Extraction- (AMMME-18)” concluded on Saturday here, the experts recommended that every effort should be made to mine and use both the high as well as low grade ores as the mineral resources are non-renewable.

The Conference also recommended thorough research to develop techno-economically viable processes to recover metal values from the industrial wastes like slag, scrap, tailings and slimes. This is of specific importance with respect to a few non-ferrous/base/refractory metals as there is scarcity of high grade ores.

Since mining, mineral-processing and metal-based industries require huge water, mineral based ought to have their own water sources as far as possible and also recycle the waste water. Rain water harvesting is to be adopted by every industry and preserved properly for future use, said one of the six recommendations.

Significantly, the experts have focused on a new area and called the authorities to opt for In-Situ Leaching (I.S.L) to extract the metal values from the mineral deposits without physical extraction of these as such. In fact, around 48% of world’s uranium was extracted through ISL operation, according to Prof P K jena, who presided over the conference.

In line with the National Mining Policy, the conference recommended for strict adherence to the mine closure program as envisaged in the approved integrated mine plan with proper monitoring by the appropriate regulatory authority.

“This has to be followed for all mines irrespective of size. In this case, mine closure by the waste of the respective mineral/coal user is to encouraged. As for example, the huge amount of fly ash generated from a thermal power plant using high ash coal can be used in the back-filling of the coal mines, which supplied the coal for the power plant”, the recommendation said.

Experts also underscored the need for modernization of mining technique with proper geo-technical instrumentation from safety point of view for all the stake holders.

Speaking at the conference, Prof P K Jena former director general, council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said, the illegal mining is greatly responsible for improper harnessing of minerals leading to considerable wastage, and loss of revenue.

“Besides, the upgradation of lean minerals through beneficiation is also not carried out properly, resulting in a loss of large amounts of valuable mineral fines in the slimes and tailings, which are considered as wastes. Due to unplanned mining, other valuable natural resources particularly water and forest resources are damaged to a great extent”, Dr Jean remarked.

The National Conference was organized by the city based Institute of Advance Technology & Environmental Studies, supported by Steel Authority of India Ltd and National Mineral Development Corporation.

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