The expansion of the mining sector is crucial for the overall industrial development of a country since minerals are priceless natural resources that are crucial raw materials for key industries. India’s abundant deposits of numerous metallic and non-metallic minerals provide a solid foundation for the growth and development of the country’s mining sector. In terms of metallic minerals like bauxite, chromites, iron ore, as well as mineral fuels like coal and lignite, India is essentially self-sufficient. The sector has the potential to have a substantial impact on GDP growth, and foreign exchange profits, and provide end-use industries with a competitive edge by supplying vital raw materials at competitive prices, including those in the building, infrastructure, automotive, and electrical sectors, among others. The mining equipment and chemical used in the mining industry offers market participants the chance to explore ideas for accessibility and increased availability of mining equipment and chemicals.
Due to its advantageous position, export potential can grow along with the rapidly expanding Asian markets. According to estimates, there were 1,425 reporting mines in India as of FY22, of which 525 reported for metallic minerals and 720 reported for non-metallic minerals.
Production levels of significant minerals in February 2023 were as follows: Coal 861 lakh tonnes; Lignite 41 lakh tonnes; Petroleum (crude) 22 lakh tonnes; Bauxite 1995 thousand tonnes; Chromite 330 thousand tonnes; Copper conc. 9 thousand tonnes; Gold 9 kilograms; Iron ore 245 lakh tonnes; Manganese ore 278 thousand tonnes; Zinc concentration 144 thousand tonnes. The total amount of coal produced in India increased by around 22.6% to 893.08 MT in FY23 from 728.72 MT in FY19.
In FY23 (through December 2022), the production of coal, refinery products, fertilizers, steel, electricity, and cement industries drove the combined index of the eight core industries to 152.2. Organizations like NMDC and Coal India have embarked on a journey that involves massive funding to boost the mining situation in India.
The Mining Industry calls for opportunities for mining equipment, the sales of mining equipment, rental opportunities, spares and services, automation solutions and chemicals for the Indian Industry.
MAJOR MINING LOCATIONS IN INDIA
Jharkhand: Key Minerals: Coal, iron ore, copper ore, mica, bauxite, uranium, limestone, graphite, and others. Notable Mining Areas: Dhanbad-Jharia coalfields, Noamundi, Singhbhum district, and Palamau.
Odisha: Key Minerals: Iron ore, bauxite, chromite, manganese ore, coal, and others. Notable Mining Areas: Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Koraput, and Rayagada districts.
Chhattisgarh: Key Minerals: Coal, iron ore, limestone, bauxite, and dolomite. Notable Mining Areas: Korba, Raigarh, Bilaspur, and Bastar regions.
Madhya Pradesh: Key Minerals: Coal, bauxite, copper ore, diamond, and others. Notable Mining Areas: Singrauli, Satna, Panna, and Balaghat districts.
Rajasthan: Key Minerals: Limestone, gypsum, marble, bentonite, and various other industrial minerals. Notable Mining Areas: Saurashtra region, Kachchh, and districts like Nagaur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur.
Gujarat: Key Minerals: Limestone, lignite, bauxite, and bentonite. Notable Mining Areas: Saurashtra region, Kachchh, and districts like Bhavnagar and Surat.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana: Key Minerals: Coal, bauxite, limestone, and granite.
Notable Mining Areas: Singareni coalfields, Khammam, and districts like Visakhapatnam and Kadapa.
Karnataka: Key Minerals: Iron ore, manganese ore, granite, and limestone. Notable Mining Areas: Ballari-Hospet region, Sandur, and districts like Bellary and Chitradurga.
Tamil Nadu: Key Minerals: Limestone, magnesite, granite, and garnet. Notable Mining Areas: Ariyalur, Perambalur, Madurai, and Coimbatore districts.
West Bengal: Key Minerals: Coal, clay, and sand. Notable Mining Areas: Raniganj coalfield, Bardhaman, and Bankura districts.
Assam: Key Minerals: Coal and limestone. Notable Mining Areas: Makum coalfields and Karbi Anglong district.
Meghalaya: Key Minerals: Coal. Notable Mining Areas: Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills regions (note: coal mining in Meghalaya has faced environmental and safety challenges).
MINING VALUE CHAIN
EQUIPMENT USED IN MINING
EQUIPMENT USED IN MINING
MINING ORGANISATIONS IN INDIA
India has several mining organizations and entities involved in the extraction and exploration of various minerals and resources. Some of the main mining organizations in India include:
CHEMICALS USED IN MINING
Mining operations often involve the use of various chemicals to extract and process minerals and ores. These chemicals serve different purposes in mining, such as ore extraction, beneficiation, and environmental management. The specific chemicals used can vary depending on the type of mining and the nature of the ore being processed. Here are some common chemicals used in mining:
Coal liquefaction is a process of converting coal into liquid hydrocarbon fuels. It is a technology that allows for the production of synthetic liquid fuels, such as synthetic crude oil, diesel, and jet fuels, from coal. The primary goal of coal liquefaction is to make coal-derived fuels that can be used in existing infrastructure like engines, pipelines, and refineries.
1- Direct Coal Liquefaction (DCL):
- In DCL, coal is directly converted into liquid fuels through chemical reactions.
- The process involves hydrogenation, where coal is mixed with hydrogen gas (H2) in the presence of a catalyst at high temperature and pressure.
- Hydrogenation breaks down the complex carbon-hydrogen bonds in coal, allowing for the formation of liquid hydrocarbons.
- The resulting liquid products can then be further refined into various fuel products.
2- Indirect Coal Liquefaction (ICL):
- In ICL, coal is first gasified to produce synthesis gas (syngas), which is a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2).
- The syngas is then subjected to Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, which is a catalytic process that converts CO and H2 into liquid hydrocarbons.
- Fischer-Tropsch synthesis allows for the production of a range of liquid hydrocarbon products, including diesel, gasoline, and synthetic crude oil
Coal gasification is a process that converts coal into a gaseous state, typically referred to as “syngas” or “synthesis gas.” Syngas is a mixture primarily composed of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2), along with smaller amounts of other gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrogen (N2). Coal gasification is an important technology because it can be used to produce various valuable products, including synthetic natural gas (SNG), hydrogen, and liquid fuels. Here’s how coal gasification works:
Feedstock Preparation: Coal is first crushed into a fine powder to increase its surface area, which facilitates the gasification process.
Gasification: In a gasifier, coal is reacted with a controlled amount of oxygen (or air) and steam at high temperatures, typically ranging from 700°C to 1,300°C. Importantly, this reaction occurs in the absence of complete combustion, so oxygen is limited to prevent the formation of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Chemical Reactions: The coal goes through several chemical reactions inside the gasifier:
- Pyrolysis: Initially, coal breaks down into volatile components, which include tars and gases like methane and ethylene.
- Gasification: These volatile components are further reacted with oxygen and steam, producing syngas. Key reactions include the water-gas shift reaction and the coal-gasification reaction:
- CO + H2O ↔ CO2 + H2
- C + H2O ↔CO + H2
Gas Cleanup: The raw syngas produced in the gasifier typically contains impurities, such as sulfur compounds, particulates, and trace metals. Gas cleanup processes are employed to remove these impurities, ensuring that the syngas meets environmental and quality standards.
Syngas Utilization: The clean syngas can be used for various purposes, including:
- Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG): Syngas can be converted into SNG, which can be used for heating, electricity generation, or as a substitute for natural gas.
- Hydrogen Production: Syngas can be used to produce hydrogen, which is valuable for various industrial processes.
- Liquid Fuels: Syngas can be further processed via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce liquid hydrocarbon fuels, such as diesel and jet fuel.
- Chemical Production: Syngas serves as a feedstock for the production of chemicals and petrochemicals.
LITHIUM MINING IN INDIA
Lithium, also referred to as “white gold,” is one of the most sought-after minerals in the world as the movement toward electric vehicles (EVs) grows in response to climate change. Lithium reserves, whether they be in the form of salt lake brine or mining, are only present in a few nations. China still dominates lithium mining and processing despite not having the largest lithium reserves.
It has just been claimed that a reserve of the cosmic material has also been found in Jharkhand, months after lithium reserves were found in Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. The eastern state, which is bordered by Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and West Bengal, is already well known for its mineral resources, which include uranium, mica, bauxite, granite, gold, silver, Graphite, magnetite, dolomite, fireclay, quartz, feldspar, coal (which accounts for 32%
of India’s coal reserves), iron, copper, and others.
However, the demand for lithium has been increasing, driven by the growth of electric vehicles and renewable energy storage solutions. Consequently, there have been efforts to explore and develop lithium resources within India. Here are some key developments related to lithium mining and organizations involved in India:
- Lithium Exploration: Several Indian state-owned and private companies have initiated lithium exploration efforts in various regions of India to identify
lithium reserves. Geological surveys and studies are ongoing to assess the feasibility of lithium mining.
- Joint Ventures: Some Indian companies have entered into joint ventures and collaborations with international lithium mining companies to explore and develop lithium assets within and outside India.
- Policy Initiatives: The Indian government has recognized the strategic importance of lithium for clean energy technologies, electric mobility, and energy storage. Policy initiatives to promote lithium exploration and mining have been considered to reduce dependence on imports.
- Lithium Recycling: Efforts to establish lithium-ion battery recycling facilities in India are also underway to recover lithium and other valuable materials from spent batteries, contributing to a more sustainable supply chain.
- International Collaboration: India has explored partnerships with countries like Australia, which is a major lithium producer, to secure lithium supplies and promote cooperation in mining and technology transfer.
- Private Sector Involvement: Several private companies and startups have shown interest in lithium exploration and mining in India, contributing to the development of the lithium sector.
Rechargeable batteries, especially those used in electric vehicles, portable electronic devices, and power tools, are the main products made with lithium. Due to its great energy density, lithium-ion batteries are a popular option for use in gadgets where size and weight are crucial considerations
The government wants to simplify the procedures for obtaining composite exploration licenses, granting mining clearances, and relaxing the regulations governing captive mining. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023, is a move by the government aimed at bringing about significant changes in the mining industry. The proposed changes are intended to increase the exploration and mining of deep-seated, essential
minerals that are essential for both economic growth and national security. This action supports India’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 and an energy transformation.
Integrating digital and other exponential technologies along the entire value chain could pave the way for novel methods of managing variability, increasing productivity, maximizing resource efficiency, and reaping long-term savings. The mining business, which deals with concerns related to resource depletion, is relevant since it is widely understood that technological developments directly contribute to a sustained competitive edge.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, has been amended in six significant ways. The change simplifies the procedure for obtaining forestry permission for mine reconnaissance and prospecting operations, increasing the appeal of mineral exploration and production to private investors. In order to encourage specialized mineral exploration businesses to conduct reconnaissance and prospecting of mineral resources and gain revenue from their finding once the mine is put up for auction for mining companies, the proposal for a single exploration licence has been incorporated into the amendment bill.
The law currently allows for the granting of two different forms of mineral concessions: mining leases, which are used to carry out mining operations, and composite licenses, which are used to carry out exploration activities followed by mining activities. The amendment will also remove the restriction on captive mines’ ability to begin sales of 50% of minerals after the end-use demand has been satisfied. Due to the inability of some businesses to mine
minerals where end-use factories were closed or yet under construction, the development of mining operations was hampered.
The reform plan also removes lithium off the list of restricted atomic minerals for which the Center may only grant government-owned enterprises permission to mine. Eight of the twelve atomic minerals, including those that contain lithium, zirconium, beach sand, titanium, and minerals from the rare earth family that contain uranium and thorium, are currently being recommended to be placed in a new category called critical and strategic minerals. The center would have the authority to grant mining companies from the public and private sectors concessions for certain minerals