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Steel Minister issues direction for disposal of Iron ore fines to SAIL & NMDC

Asking the steel PSUs to prepare a roadmap with clear timelines for disposal of Iron ore fines the Minister said that all the minerals irrespective of their grades are the wealth of a Nation and this national treasure
Steel Minister reviews status of disposal of Iron ore fines by SAIL and NMDC
Steel Minister reviews status of disposal of Iron ore fines by SAIL and NMDC

New Delhi: Union Steel Minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh chaired a review meeting on the status of the Disposal of Iron Ore fines by Steel CPSEs with the representative of Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) along with officials in the Ministry of Steel in New Delhi on Wednesday. Giving directions to the SAIL officials post the review, the Minister said that the Ministry of Mines has given permission to (SAIL) to sell the stock of 70 MT of dump fines/tailings lying across different captive mines of SAIL, these stocks should be disposed of at the earliest and made available to the industry.

The Steel Minister further added that all the minerals irrespective of their grades are the wealth of a Nation and this national treasure should be utilized in a manner that contributes towards the growth of the nation.

Steel Minister issued directions

RCP Singh directed the SAIL to prepare a roadmap with clear timelines for the disposal of iron ore fines either by selling it in the open market or by using it for their captive use. NMDC was also advised to prepare a similar roadmap for enhancing their production and expanding their customer base. 

Earlier in the review meeting, both SAIL and NDMC Chairman briefed the Minister about their present and future action plan for the disposal of iron ore fines along with ramping up their production to ensure more surplus raw material in the market.

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Later in a tweet that was published after the review meeting, RCP Singh said "Top management must change mindset and approach by thinking in terms of cash value of these assets and think out of the box to maximise resource utilisation".

What is Iron ore fines?

Iron ore fines come from the natural raw iron ore through the process of mining, crushing and screening, where the iron ore is separated into lumps and fines. Iron ore is done in this fashion so that it can be used for the iron/steel making industry.  When the iron content in the processed iron ore contains more than 60%, which would generally be the lumps, they are shipped directly to the plants. Iron ore fines are considered less desirable as they need to be sintered first (so as to not to smother the airflow in the blast furnace) before they can be utilised for the blast furnaces. According to industry standards, the size of iron ore lumps lies in the range of 6.3 mm to 31.5 mm and iron ore fines are less than 6.3 mm.

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