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Chromite (chromium): some 99 percent of the world's chromite is

found in southern Africa and Zimbabwe. Chemical and metallurgical
industries use about 85% of the chromite consumed in the United


Chromium is a hard, bluish metallic element (Cr) with an atomic

number of 24. In the mid-1700’s, chemical analysis of a mineral from
Siberia showed that it contained lead. This mineral, crocoite (PbCrO4,
lead chromate), was known as “red lead” because of the beautiful
orange-red color of its crystals. It also contained another, then-
unknown material. This material was identified as chromium oxide
(CrO3) by Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin. In 1797, he heated this oxide with
charcoal to remove the oxygen (chemists call this reaction a reducing
process) which left the metal chromium.

Shortly after Vauquelin’s discovery, a German chemist name Tassaert

discovered chromium in an ore that geologists now call chromite
(FeCr2O4, ferrous chromic oxide). Chromite forms in an igneous


The name chromium was derived from the Greek word chroma which
means color, in reference to the fact that chromium is known to cause
a number of colors in a variety of materials. For example, the green
color of emerald is caused by the presence of very small amounts of
chromium in the crystal.


The only ore of chromium is the mineral chromite. United States

chromium consumption is equivalent to about 14% of all the chromite
ore mined each year. In the western hemisphere, chromite ore is
produced only in Brazil and Cuba; the United States, Mexico and
Canada do not produce chromite. (The Stillwater Complex in Montana
is the biggest chromium deposit in the United States, however it is not
producing chromite ore at this time.) By comparison, about 80% of
world production of chromite comes from India, Kazakhstan, Turkey and
southern Africa. Southern Africa itself produces about half of this.

Geologists estimate that there are about 11 billion tons of chromium

ore (chromite) in the world that could be mined. Most of these
resources are found in southern Africa. This is enough chromium ore to
meet world demand for hundreds of years into the future.


Chromium is alloyed (that is, mixed) with steel to make it corrosion

resistant or harder. An example is its use in the production of stainless
steel, a bright, shiny steel that is strong and resistant to oxidation
(rust). Stainless steel production consumes most of the chromium
produced annually. Chromium is also used to make heat-resisting steel.
So-called "superalloys" use chromium and have strategic military

Chromium also has some use in the manufacture of certain chemicals.

For example, chromium-bearing chemicals are used in the process of
tanning leather. Chromium compounds are also used in the textiles
industries to produce a yellow color.

Substitutes and Alternative Sources

There is no good alternative for chromium in the manufacture of steel

or chromium chemicals. Scrap metal that contains chromium can be
recycled as an alternative source. The natural abundance of chromite
in the Earth’s crust makes alternative sources unnecessary at this
ChromiteChromite /wiki/Image:ChromiteUSGOV.jpg


Category Mineral
iron magnesium
chromium oxide: (Fe,
Black to brownish
Crystal Octahedral rare;
habit massive to granular
Crystal Isometric;
system hexoctahedral
Cleavage absent
Fracture Conchoidal
Scale 5.5
Luster Submetallic
Refractiv Subtranslucent to
e index opaque
Streak Dark brown
4.5 - 4.8
Fusibility Infusible
Character Weakly magnetic
Major varieties
Chromite is iron magnesium
chromium oxide: (Fe, Mg)Cr2O4. It is an
oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. Magnesium can substitute
for iron in variable amounts; also, aluminium and ferric iron commonly
substitute for chromium.
Chromite is found in peridotite from the Earth's mantle. It also occurs
in layered ultramafic intrusive rocks. In addition, it is found in
metamorphic rocks such as some serpentinites. Ore deposits of
chromite form as early magmatic differentiates. It is commonly
associated with olivine, magnetite, serpentine, and corundum. The
vast Bushveld igneous complex of South Africa is a large layered mafic
to ultramafic igneous body with some layers consisting of 90%
chromite making the rare rock type, chromitite.
Chromite is also used as a refractory material. Chromite from Albania
The only ore of chromium is the mineral chromite. In the western
hemisphere, chromite ore is produced only in Brazil and Cuba; By
comparison, about 80% of world production of chromite comes from
India, Iran, Pakistan, Oman, Zimbabwe, Turkey and Southern Africa.
Southern Africa itself produces about half of this.
Chromite is mined from the ultramafic rocks in the Zhob District of
Balochistan. Most of the chromite is of metallurgical grade with Cr2O3
averaging 46% and a chrome to iron ratio of 3:1.

Method for direct use of chromite ore in the production of

stainless steel

A three-stage process for obtaining metallic Cr units insitu during

the production of stainless steel. Raw chromite ore or a concentrate
produced from chromite ore is mixed with a carbonaceous reductant
and slagging agents are added to an iron bath (24) for smelting and
refining in a refining reactor (10). During the first stage, partially
metallized chromite is smelted by carbon in the reactor that is top-and
bottom-blown with oxygen and oxygen-containing gases respectively
to produce a chromium alloy bath having a carbon content well below
saturation. In the second stage, the alloy bath is decarburized by being
bottom stirred with the oxygen-containing gas to the final bath carbon
specification. In the third stage, the alloy bath is reduced by a
metalloid reductant such as silicon or aluminum and again bottom
stirred but with a non-oxidizing gas to achieve a high chromium yield.
The reactor includes a top lance (18) extending through a throat (14)
with a lower portion (20) of the lance extending to a point just above
the bath and means (22) such as a tuyere or porous plug mounted at
or near a bottom (16) and extending through a refractory lining (12) for
stirring the iron bath containing dissolved carbon. Lance (18) includes
a central passage (34) for injecting a compact, focused jet oxygen gas
(30) that can penetrate through a slag layer (26) for decarburization of
the iron bath and an outer passage (32) for discharging an oxygen gas
(28) above the bath for post-combustion of CO to CO2. Passage (32)
includes a plurality of evenly spaced annular diverging nozzles (33).
The lance also includes a pair of concentric conduits (36) and (38) for
conducting a coolant.

Ferrochrome Production
Surging demand for ferrochrome used in making ferroalloy, which in
turn is used in making stainless steel, has led to a severe shortage of
chromite. Such supply condition is driving up prices of chrome ore.
Ferrochrome production for metallurgical applications uses up more
than 90% of the worlds chromite output of about 19 M tonnes/y. Non-
metallurgical applications consumer only a fraction of chromite
production, with the refractory industry accounting for only about 1%
and 3% each for the foundry and chemical industries. The non-
metallurgical industry is dependent on chromite requirements of the
metallurgical industry as most chromite is manufactured by vertically
integrated ferrochrome producers. Major traders of non-metallurgical
chromite from South Africa provide more than half of global chromite
supply. The declining availability of chromite is becoming alarming,
especially when non-metallurgical applications are indicating increased
demand for the material. The International Chromium Development
Association noted that the metallurgical and foundry sectors both
achieved an increase of about 10% in chromite consumption in 2005.
Refractory consumption rose by 19.5% from 101,000 tonnes to
125,000 tonnes in 2005, while the chemical industry's chromite use
dropped 21% from 752,000 tonnes to 595,000 tonnes. The supply
shortage is mainly attributed to the booming stainless steel industry,
which consumes more than 90% of the world's ferrochrome supply.
Prices have also soared, with non-metallurgical chromite consumers
compelled to match metal prices to ensure supply. Prices recently
climbed further due to several developments, including a new tariff
imposed by India on chromite exports; and speculations that South
Africa is considering a new legislation that would ban the export of
unbeneficiated chromite. South Africa accounts for about 50% of global
chromite production, followed by India and Kazakhstan with about 20%
and 15%, respectively. Demand for chromite and ferrochrome is
expected to remain strong mainly due to the continued growth of
China's stainless steel industry. A table shows chromite ore and
concentrates production by end use sectors during 1999-2005. A line
graph illustrates the price history of South African chromite special
grades during Jan 2003-May 2007. Another table lists chromium ores
and concentrates production of 20 countries in 2005, in tonnes/y.
South Africa
South Africa is the leading manufacturer of chromite globally and a
major supplier of ferrochrome. Its chromite reserves are found in the
Bushveld Igneous Complex. Among South Africa's major producers of
chromite and/or ferrochrome are Assmang Ltd, Samancor Chrome,
Xstrata South Africa and International Ferrometals Ltd (IFM). Assmang
mainly produces ferrochrome and obtains its chromite requirements
from a new underground mine at Dwarsrivier. The underground mine is
gradually increasing production towards its design capacity of 100,000
tonnes/mo of chromite. Samancor Chrome produces some 3 M
tonnes/y of chromium ores from the Eastern Chrome Mines (ECM) and
Western Chrome Mines (WCM) limbs of the Bushveld Igneous Complex.
It consumes roughly 2.3 M tonnes/y of chromium ores for its internal
requirements, while 700,000 tonnes/y are sold locally or abroad. The
WCM business unit, which churns out most of the company's non-
metallurgical grade chromites, yielded 229,634 tonnes of foundry-
grade chromite in 2005. The ECM unit produced 66,785 tonnes. Xstrata
South Africa, which has five chromite ore mines, churned out 3.6 M
tonnes of chromite ore in 2005, down from 4.2 M tonnes in 2004.
Australia-based IFM operates the Buffelsfontein mine and ferrochrome
smelter plant in Bushveld. The company has set up two furnaces to
facilitate production of 267,000 tonnes/y of charge ferrochrome.
Kazakhstan is the second leading manufacturer of chromite globally.
The country's top chromite producer is Eurasian Natural Resources
Corp (ENRC), which operates the Donskoy Ore Mining & Processing
unit. The company uses about 30% of its total chromite output to make
chromium chemicals.
India is the third leading chromite ore producer globally with an output
of about 3.5-4 M tonnes. India recently decided to implement a
significant export tax to ensure supply for domestic ferrochrome
manufacture. Chromite ore is mainly produced in the state of Orissa,
with a large portion of chromite production consumed by local
ferrochrome makers.
Turkey is emerging as one of the major suppliers of chromite to China's
ferrochrome markets. Adverse winter conditions allow mining of
chromite to be conducted only from May to end of November. Bilfer
Madencilik AS is one of Turkey's major chromite producers and
primarily caters to the needs of the refractory and foundry industries.
RHI AG sources about 2000 tonnes/y of refractory grade chrome for
making sliding doors from Bilfer Madencilik.
Chromium is a truly international metal.
The initial product - chromite ore - is mined in:
• Africa
• Europe and the CIS
• Australasia and Middle East
• America
South Africa accounts for 36% of annual needs whilst Kazakhstan and
India provide 17% and 19% respectively.
Four countries - Brazil, Finland, Turkey and Zimbabwe - together
account for 15% of total needs whilst about 11 smaller producer
countries add the balance of 13%.
It is estimated that some 19 million tonnes of marketable chromite ore

were produced in 2006.

Geology and Mineralogy

Chromium ore, or chromite, occurs exclusively in ultramafic igneous
rocks.The chromium occurs as a chromium spinel, a complex mineral
containing magnesium, iron, aluminium and chromium in varying
proportions depending upon the deposit.
The chromium spinel is a heavy mineral and concentrates to form ore
deposits by gravity separation as the molten magma cools.
Commercial chromite deposits occur mainly in two forms; stratiform
deposits in layers in basin-like intrusions, and podiform or lenticular

Chromium ore, or chromite, occurs exclusively in rocks formed

by the intrusion and solidification of molten lava or magma which is
very rich in the heavy, iron containing minerals such as pyroxenes and
olivines. Within these rocks, often referred to as ultramafic igneous
rocks, chromium occurs as a chromium spinel, a highly complex
mineral made up, in its basic form, of magnesium as MgO and
aluminium as Al2O3.
However, the magnesium can be substituted in varying proportions by
divalent iron, and the aluminium can be substituted, also in varying
proportions, by trivalent chromium and trivalent iron. Thus the
chromium spinel may be represented as:
Large variations in the total and relative amounts of Cr and Fe in the
lattice occur in different deposits. These affect the ore grade not only
in terms of the Cr2O3 content but also in the Cr:Fe ratio which
determines the chromium content of the ferrochromium produced. The
variations also affect the reducibility (relative ease of reduction) of the
ore. For example, increasing amounts of magnesium compared with
iron in the divalent site will make the spinel more difficult to reduce.
Conversely, increasing amounts of iron in the trivalent site, replacing
aluminium, will increase the reducibility of the spinel. Overall, the
chromite ore can be given a refractory index (relative resistance to
reduction) as follows:
Refractory index= wt.% Cr2O3+MgO+Al2O3

(total Fe as FeO) +SiO2

The greater the index, the more refractory, or less reducible, the ore.

Chromium is the most abundant of the Group V1A family of elements

and at an average concentration of nearly 400ppm in the earth's crust
it is the 13th most common element. However, as with all minerals or
elements, economic deposits occur only where it has been
concentrated in nature. The chromium spinel is a heavy mineral and it
concentrates through gravity separation from most of the other molten
material in the magma during crystallisation from the cooling magma.
Commercial chromite deposits are found mainly in two forms:
stratiform seams in basin-like intrusions, often multiple seams through
repeated igneous injections, and the more irregular podiform or
lenticular deposits.

The best known example of a stratiform deposit is the Bushveld

Igneous Complex of South Africa. This complex contains most of the
world's chromite reserves. The Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, traversing
nearly the length of the country, is very similar and has been linked to
the Bushveld in geological history. These two features are well-known
also for their important and very large commercial deposits of the
platinum-group metals.
Other stratiform deposits occur in Madagascar and in the Orissa district
of India.

Stratiform deposits are generally very large complexes. They can be

more than 5,000 metres thick and cover thousands of square
kilometres. For example, the largest, the Bushveld, covers an area of
12,000 square kilometres.

The podiform deposits are relatively small in comparison and may be

shaped as pods, lenses, slabs or other irregular shapes. Many have
been extensively altered to serpentine and they are often faulted. They
are generally richer in chromium than the stratiform deposits and have
higher Cr:Fe ratios. Ore reserves in Kazakhstan are of the podiform
type. Podiform ores were originally highly sought after, especially those
from the deposits in Zimbabwe, as the best source of metallurgical
grade chromite for high-carbon ferrochromium. These ores also tend to
be massive (hard lumpy) ores, as opposed to the softer, more friable
ores from the stratiform deposits, and this makes for better electric
smelting operation.

There is a third type of chromite deposit but of very limited commercial

significance. These are the eluvial deposits that have been formed by
weathering of chromite-bearing rock and release of the chromite
spinels with subsequent gravity concentration by flowing water.

Chromium may also be concentrated in high-iron lateritic deposits

containing nickel and there have been attempts to smelt these to
produce a chromium-nickel pig iron for subsequent use in the stainless
steel industry.


Early mining of chromite was on a small-scale and was relatively

straightforward from outcrops or to shallow depths followed by
hand sorting.

With the increased demand, conventional open-pit mining and mechanical

underground mining became necessary. Underground mining of stratiform
deposits is most often required but can be particularly difficult due to the
narrow seam thickness (less than 1.5m), weathering close to surface and
faulting. Open-pit mining is generally applied to the podiform ores at first
but this progresses to underground mining as deeper levels of the deposit
are reached. Weathering through serpentinisation and faulting are often

Historically, there was sufficient high-grade metallurgical ore to meet

demand but with the rapid growth of the stainless and other alloy steel
industries, the much larger reserves of the lower grade, higher iron, ores
have had to be exploited.
Reserves and Resources
Reserves are defined as proven in-situ tonnages, while resources are
estimated additional tonnages.
- The United States Geological Survey states that world resources of
chromite exceed 11 billion tonnes, sufficient to meet world demand for
many centuries.

- South Africa and Zimbabwe hold about 90% of the world's chromite
reserves and resources, with South Africa having reserves of about 3.1
billion tonnes and a further estimated resource of 5.5 billion tonnes.

- Zimbabwe has reserves of about 140 million tonnes with resources of a

further 1 billion tonnes. It is the only country to exploit both stratiform and
podiform deposits. The stratiform deposits occur in the Great Dyke,
approx. 550 km long and 11 km wide, while the podiform deposits occur in
the Selukwe and Belingwe areas.

- Kazakhstan has podiform deposits in the southern Ural Mountain region

with reserves of 320 million tonnes and a further 320 million tonnes
resource. The ores vary greatly in chromium content and in Cr:Fe ratios.

- India's output is from podiform bodies on the east coast of the state of
Orissa. Its reserves are put at 27 million tonnes with a further resource of
67 million tonnes.

- Finland has podiform deposits near Kemi in northern Finland. Although

the Cr2O3 content is very low, the ore has been successfully mined,
concentrated and smelted to ferrochromium, and then converted to
stainless steel on site. Reserves are given as 41 million tonnes and
resources as 120 million tonnes.

- In Brazil, production is concentrated in Bahia and Minas Gerais, although

chromite deposits have been identified in other states. These are mainly
stratiform deposits with reserves of 14 million tonnes and resources of 17
million tonnes.

- China's chromium resources are contained in podiform and stratiform

deposits but are largely unknown in terms of possible reserves and
resources. There is a chromite mine in Tibet. Russia also has mines in the
Ural mountains with further developments above the arctic circle.

- Other countries with smaller chromite deposits include Oman, Iran,

Turkey and Albania. Total reserves and resources of these and others are
24 million tonnes and 538 million tonnes respectively.
World Production and Global Development
While demand for chromium alloys has been expanding by some 5%
annually over the past decade, the output of chromite ore followed closely
with an average growth rate of 4.6% per annum.
However, the market performance showed an unusual pattern:
Between 1994 and 1999, chrome ore production stagnated whereas from
the year 2000 onwards, market volumes increased from 15 million tonnes
to 22 million tonnes in 2007.

This substantial increase can be primarily explained from the rapidly rising
global stainless steel demand and production in China, where local
ferroalloy plants converted strongly rising imports of chrome ore into
chromium alloys.

In the year 2007, world chromite ore production stood at 22 million tonnes
with the following breakdown: South Africa accounted for 39% of
production, whilst Kazakhstan and India provided 17% and 15%
respectively. Brazil, Finland, Russia, Turkey and Zimbabwe together
contributed a further 19%, whilst some 11 smaller producer countries
brought the balance of 10%.

Within the total volume of ore and concentrates produced in 2007, 94%
were metallurgical grade, 2% chemical grade and the balance of 4% were
refractory and foundry grade.
World Chromite Ore Production in 2007

* Albania, Australia, China, Iran, Madagascar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines,

Sudan, UAE & Vietnam


Initial processing of
chromite ores
can be by hand
sorting of lumpy ores, and by heavy media or gravity
separation of finer ores, to remove gangue or waste materials
and produce upgraded ores or concentrates. Magnetic
separation and froth flotation techniques have also been
applied in some cases.
Most of the world's production of chromite (94%) is used in the
metallurgical industry in the form of ferrochromium alloys. The alloys
are produced by high temperature reduction (smelting) of chromite.
They are essentially alloys of iron and chromium with much lesser
amounts of carbon and silicon, the amounts depending upon the grade
or type of alloy, and impurities such as sulphur, phosphorous and
titanium. The conversion of chromite to ferrochromium alloys is
dominated by electric submerged arc furnace smelting with
carbonaceous reductants, predominantly coke, and fluxes to form the
correct slag composition. The electric current is 3-phase Alternating
Current (AC) and the furnaces have three equally spaced consumable
graphite electrodes in a cylindrical, refractory-lined container with a
bottom tap-hole.
Characteristics of the submerged arc furnace for smelting chromite
1. Relatively easy to control provided the charge is well sorted to
maintain a permeable overburden which will allow easy escape
of the gases produced.
2. Self-regulating with power input determining the rate of
consumption of charge (overburden)
3. Some pre-heating and pre- reduction of the overburden by the
hot ascending gases.
Submerged arc furnaces can be open, semi-closed or closed with
correspondingly better thermal efficiency and the ability to make use
of the energy in the off-gases from the closed furnaces.

In the early days of high-carbon ferrochromium production, the

furnaces were supplied with high-grade, lumpy chromite from countries
such as Zimbabwe but with the increasing demand from the 1970s,
other countries, South Africa in particular, commenced production from
their lower-grade ores. The alloy produced from these ores became
known as charge chrome because the chromium content was lower
and the carbon content, and in particular the ratio of C:Cr, was very
much greater than in high-carbon ferrochromium. This did not suit the
stainless steelmakers who required as little carbon as possible entering
their melts for each chromium unit and who were, therefore, having to
use larger amounts of the more costly low-carbon ferrochromium to
compensate. However, the situation changed radically with the advent
of the argon-oxygen decarburising (AOD) and vacuum-oxygen
decarburising (VOD) processes. These processes enabled the
steelmakers to remove carbon from the stainless melts without
excessive oxidation and losses of chromium.

A more advanced attempt to overcome the problem of ore fines was

the introduction of DC arc, or plasma, furnace technology. The DC arc
furnace uses a single, central hollow graphite electrode as the cathode,
with an electrically conducting refractory furnace hearth as the anode.
The furnace operates with an open bath, so there is no problem with
overburden, and the chromite fines, together with coal and fluxes, are
fed directly into the bath through the hollow electrode. The furnace has
a closed top. Some of the advantages of DC arc furnace operation are:
use of fine ores without agglomeration, use of cheaper reductants and
greater choice of reductants, higher chromium recoveries, deliberate
changes in the charge composition are reflected rapidly in the slag or
metal, and closed top operation allows furnace off-gas energy to be

Another approach to friable ores has been to pelletise them, after

further grinding if necessary, with binder, reductant and fluxes and
pass them through a rotary kiln where they are hardened (sintered),
pre-heated and pre-reduced to a degree before charging to a
submerged arc furnace.

A further development in treating ore fines by kiln pre-reduction used

unaglomerated chromite fines and low cost coal, with fluxes, as the
feed to the kiln. Self agglomeration of the fines was achieved close to
the discharge from the kiln where the charge becomes pasty in a high
temperature zone of approx. 1,500ºC. Very high degrees of reduction
were achieved (80-90%) so that the downstream electric furnace (DC
arc) became essentially a melting furnace.

A more recent approach, and one which is being installed by more

plants, is again by pelletising. Pellets are produced with coke included
and these are sintered and partly pre-reduced on a steel belt sintering
system. From there, the pellets are delivered to pre-heating shaft kilns
that are sited above submerged arc furnaces and which operate as
direct feed bins, making use of the off-gas heat from the furnaces.
Lump ore, coke and fluxes are also directed to the feed bins.

In addition to the technologies already discussed, there have been

various other approaches to smelting chromite. These include rotary
hearth sintering and pre-reduction of pellets, and fluidised bed pre-
heaters for chromite fines.
Some intensive development work has been carried out in Japan upon
entirely coal/oxygen based smelting processes using no electrical
energy, sometimes referred to as smelt-reduction processes
The following diagram illustrates a typical material flow:
Chrome ore in various sizes is typically charged into a submerged AC
Electric Arc Furnace and reductants (coke, coal and quartzite ) are
added. The smelting process is energy intensive requiring upt to 4,000
kWh per tonne material weight. Slag is separated from the liquid
ferrochrome and tapped into ladles for further processing. Liquid
ferrochrome is then poured into moulds and after cooling crushed into
sizes as required by the customers. Crushed ferrochrome is railed to
final customers or harbours for shipment.


A wide range of ferroalloys is produced, reflecting not only the

appropriate metallurgical application but also the composition of the
ore in terms of its Cr2O3 content and its Cr:Fe ratio. The main alloys
are high-carbon ferrochromium (HCFeCr), produced from ores with
Cr:Fe ratios of 2.0-3.6, and having a chromium content of more than
60% and carbon of 4-6%, and charge chrome produced from lower
grade ores, mainly from South Africa, with Cr:Fe in the range 1.3-2.0,
and containing 50-55% Cr and 6-8%C. These two alloys are sometimes

collectively referred to as high-carbon ferrochromium.

Some 7.6 million tonnes of HCFeCr were produced in 2007. South Africa
accounted for 46% of production followed by Kazakhstan: 14%, China:
14% and India: 11%. Finland, Russia and Zimbabwe together
contributed a further 10% whilst some 5 smaller producer countries
brought the balance of 5%.

World High Carbon Ferrochromium Production in 2007

*Brazil, Iran, Japan, Sweden & Turkey

Maximum levels of the impurities sulphur, phosphorous and titanium
are specified in the alloys and minimum or maximum levels of silicon,
depending upon the steelmaking process which might require the
exothermic oxidation of the silicon to provide additional energy.

Smaller quantities of chromium are added to the steels in the form of

medium-carbon ferrochromium (MCFeCr) and low-carbon
ferrochromium (LCFeCr) in stages or processes which require lower
carbon levels. MCFeCr contains less than 5%C and LCFeCr has less
than 0.1%C and less than 1% Si. LCFeCr is generally used by
steelmakers for their final trimming adjustments to the steel

There were 681,000 tonnes of Other Ferrochromium (MCFeCr and

LCFeCr) produced in 2007 with China, Russia, South Africa and
Kazakhstan being the main producers.

World Other Ferrochromium Production in 2007

*Brazil, Germany, Japan & Turkey

Ferrosilicochromium (FeSiCr) is also produced. It is used in the
intermediate stages of LCFeCr production, through exothermic
oxidation of the silicon with a chromite melt, or directly by some steel
producers to add both Cr and Si to the melt rather than as separate
Indian Buyers of Chrome Ore

Grishma Chrom Materials, Thane

Engaged in supplying of Carbon chrome powder, chromium metal
powder, chromium carbide powder, chromium nitride powder,
chromium aluminium powder, ferro alloy powder, ferro chrome powder,
ferro silicon powder, ferro titanium powder & ferro tungsten powder.

3, Paras Industrial Estate, Opposite Bank Of Baroda Navghar Road,
Vasai East,
Maharashtra, India, 401 210.

Rudra Ferro Alloys Private Limited, Delhi

Suppliers and traders of High Carbon Ferrochrome, High Carbon

chrome, ferro chrome alloys. Also exportes flurospar, flurospar lumps,
High Carbon chrome and High Carbon silicon.

C-120, Street No. 3, (Near Police Station Bhajanpura),
India, 110 053.

Hira Power And Steels Limited, Raipur

Leading supplier and manufacturer of High Carbon Ferrochrome

minerals, ferro alloys, ferro chrome, HC ferro manganese, HC silico
manganese, HC Ferrochrome, HC manganese ore, Carbon Ferrochrome,
pyrolusite, MnO2, hausmannite, Mn3O4, and manganite, MnO(OH).

557, Urla industrial area, URLA, Raipur (C.G.),
Chattisgarh, India, 492 001.

Shivam Chemicals & Minerals Limited, Agra

Manufacturing and selling industrial High Carbon Ferrochromes,

precision High Carbon Ferrochromes, automotive High Carbon
Ferrochromes, ferro High Carbon Ferrochromes and industrial ferrous
3/220, Roshan Mohalla,
Uttar Pradesh, India, 282 003.

Andhra Ferro Alloys Limited, Visakhapatnam

Exporters and suppliers of High Carbon ferro chrome such as industrial

High Carbon Ferrochromes, precision High Carbon Ferrochromes,
automotive High Carbon Ferrochromes and ferro High Carbon

Flat No. 501, Swagruha Coral, Pandurangapuram, R.K. Beach,
Andhra Pradesh, India, 530 003.

Shyam Sel Limited, Kolkata

Manufacturer / Supplier / Exporter of : Alloy Steel Bars,

Construction Bars, Ferro Chrome Alloys, Ferro Manganese, Ferro
Manganese Alloys, High Carbon Ferro Alloys, High Tensile Steel
Structures, Light Steel Structures, Silico Manganese, Silico Manganese
Ferro Alloys, Spring Steel Bars, Steel Angles, Steel Structures, Steel
Wire Rods, Unequal Angles

86 C, Topsia Road, Vishwakarma Building, Ist Floor.,
West Bengal, India, 700 046.

India's Mineral Sector

India is endowed with significant
mineral resources. India produces 89
minerals out of which 4 are fuel
minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non-metallic
and 22 minor minerals.

The total value of mineral production

(excluding atomic minerals was Rs.
404768 million in 1998-99. The entire metallic production is
accounted for by iron-ore, copper-ore, chromite and/or zinc
concentrates, gold, manganese ore, bauxite, lead concentrates, and
silver. Amongst the non-metallic minerals, 92 percent of the
aggregate value is shared by limestone, magnesite, dolomite,
barytes, kaolin, gypsum, apatite & phosphorite, steatite and fluorite.



ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT - Ministry of Mines





India is the world’s largest producer of mica blocks and mica

splittings. With the recent spurt in world demand for chromite, India
has stepped up its production to reach the third rank among the
chromite producers of the world.

Besides, India ranks 3rd in production of coal & lignite and barytes, 4th
in iron ore, 6th in bauxite and manganese ore, 10 in aluminium and 11th in crude steel in
the World.
Life Indices: Some Important Minerals

S.No. Mineral/Ore/Metal Recoverable Depletion Recoverable Projected Balance

reserves as during Reserves as production life at
on 1.1.1985 1985-97 on 1.1.1997 during 1996-97
1996-97 level of
. .
(m.tonnes) (m.tonnes) (m.tonnes) (m.tonnes) (years)++

1 2 3 4 5 6

Crude oil (as on1.1.91)

1 993.00 230.00 763.00 50.00 15

Natural Gas (B.Cu.M.) (as

2 858.00 161.00 697.00 30.00 23
on 1.4.90)
Coal (as on 1.1.91) . . . . .

I 8507.00 201.00 8306.00 39.00 213

Non Coking
II 60346.00 1397.00 58949.00 269.00 219

4 2333.00 80.00 2253.00 8.00 282

Copper metal (as on

5 3.95 0.43 3.52 0.06 64
Lead metal (as on 1.1.89)
6 1.93 0.56 1.37 0.10 14

Zinc metal (as on 1.1.89)

7 7.00 1.10 5.90 0.15 38

Gold (as on 1.1.89)

8 103000.00 16727.00 86273.00 1850.00 47

Iron ore
9 10440.00 686.00 9754.00 72.00 135

10 Chromite Ore 139.00 15.00 124.00 2.40 52

11 Magnesite 222.00 6.70 215.30 0.73 295

12 Manganese Ore 83.17 17.65 65.52 1.80 36

13 Limestone 69353.00 876.00 68477.00 101.00 678

Rock Phosphate High

14 grade 14.78 8.79 5.99 0.72 8
I 0.50 0.35 54.25 0.017 3191
Beach sand
II 54.10

16 Kyanite 1.55 0.51 1.04 0.06 19


The Department of Mines and Geology was established in 1887. Upto

1951, the functions of both geological survey and Inspectorate of
Mines were carried out by the department of Mines and Geological
survey. In 1951 with the federal financial integration, the Hyderabad
geological survey was merged with the Geological survey of India and
the safety aspect of Mines became part of the Director General of
Mines Safety, Dhanbad.

After the formation of Andhra Pradesh, the functions of processing the

applications for Mineral concession and the grant of Quarry leases
were transferred to the Revenue Department. Later in 1976-77, the
entire mineral regulatory for both Major and Minor Minerals were
transferred from Revenue to Department of Mines and Geology. At
present there are 22 district offices and 8 Regional offices to oversee
the regulatory and promotional tasks in the state.

The Department of Mines and Geology is the investigative,

administrative, advisory and promotional arm of the Govt. of Andhra
Pradesh in the mineral development. The Department of Mines and
Geology is entrusted with regulatory and promotional tasks, which
involve mineral investigation, exploration, receipt and processing of
Mineral concession applications, approve mining plans, grant and
monitoring of Leases, Vigilance, Issue of Permits, Monitoring of
production and dispatch, Collection of Mineral revenue, development of
Mineral based industries in the State.

It generates and collates Geo-Scientific data of the state and

coordinates with all geological agencies like Geological Survey of India,
National Mineral Development Corporation, Mineral Exploration
Corporation, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Singereni Collieries,
National Geophysical Research Institute, universities etc., for carrying
out geological investigations and explorations in the state. It helps in
identifying the Mineral potential for exploitation and development of
Mineral based industries in the state.

Functions of the Department

Regulatory & Promotional

Receipt and processing of Applications for the grant of leases under
Mineral Concession Rules.
Inspection of Applied areas to advice the Govt. for grant of Leases.
To monitor scientific exploitation of mineral wealth of the state.
To control illicit mining, quarrying and transportation of minerals.
Scanning and identification of Mineral Resources
Mineral Investigations, Exploration, Quantification and Analysis of
Guidance and Dissemination of Mineral Information
Promotion of Mineral Based Industries.
Mineral Revenue and assessments
To monitor production and dispatches of various minerals.
To monitor collection of royalty and seigniorage fee based on
Imposition of penalties on illicit mining, transportation and storage.
Mineral Rights
Under the federal constitution of the India, Mineral Rights are being
vested with the state and state is wholly responsible for judicial
exploration, exploitation, development, conservation, environment,
safety and promotion of Mineral based Industries.

Mineral Acts and Rules

Mineral Regulations are being governed by the Mines and Minerals

(Development and Regulation) Central Act 1957. Mineral Concession
Rules 1960. Mineral Conservative & Development Rules 1988. Mines
Act, Coal Act, Oil and Natural Gas Rules, Safety Rules, Forest
Conservation Act 1980, Environment Protection Act 1986, Andhra
Pradesh Minor Mineral Concession Rules 1966, Granite conservation
and development rules 1999, Mineral dealer rules 2000 and the rules
framed thereunder.

National Mineral Policy

In line with liberalisation and globalisation of India's economy, a new

mineral policy was formulated in 1993. This policy marks a watershed
in the history of development in the mineral sector in India. This policy
recognises the need for encouraging private investment both domestic
and foreign and the induction of state-of-the-art technology in the
Mines and Mineral sector. Under this policy, all the 13 minerals (Iron
Ore, Manganese Ore, Chrome ore, Sulphur, Diamond, Gold, Zinc,
Copper, Lead, Molybdenum, Nickel, Platinum group, Tungsten ore)
which were earlier reserved for public sector were open for exploration
and exploitation by the private sector. Thus, the entire mining sector
except for atomic minerals is now open for private investment
including foreign investment.

Liberalized National Mineral Policy 1993 was brought out to integrate

the Indian Mineral Industry with the Global Mineral Industry and aims
to encourage Inflow of Private investment both domestic and foreign
Technology transfer/ Upgradation to improve productivity and Scientific

Policy on Foreign Direct Investment

The mining sector was opened to foreign direct investment(FDI) in

1993, initially all proposals were considered on a case to case basis by
Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), later FDI policy in the
mining sector was further liberalized, which opened up an "Automatic
approval" route for investments involving foreign equity participation
upto 100 percent except for Diamonds and precious stones.

State Mineral Policy

State Mineral Policy aims at optimum exploitation, scientific

development, value addition, marketing and exports under private and
joint sectors. Mineral Sector, Cement & Jewellery Sectors are identified
as Thrust areas in the New Industrial Policy; brought out simplified
entrepreneur friendly structural changes in the State Mineral Policy,
decentralized, deregulated & introduced Prefixed Time frame in the
processing of Mineral Concessions at each level for faster
implementation of projects. The Govt. has thrown the Mineral sector
open for private investment and likes to withdraw from areas in which
their presence is no longer required and disinvest from these public
sectors. State Investment Promotion Board Created to facilitate the
entrepreneurs to get single window clearance for all the mineral
Projects under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister. Any Mineral Project
filled under are circulate simultaneously to all the departments and
decision is made within 4 weeks.
Mining Policy, Regulation and Development Ministry of Mines 8
Mining Law and Policy
3.1 The Central Government can exercise powers for regulation of
mines and development of minerals to the extent that such regulation
and development under
the control of the Union is declared by Parliament by law to be
expedient in the public interest, as per Entry- 54 of List-I of the
Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. The State Governments
on the other hand have been given powers under Entry-23 of List–II for
regulation of mines and mineral development subject to the provisions
of List–I with respect to regulation and development under the control
of the Union.Parliament has enacted the Mines and Minerals
(Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act,1957) under Entry
54 of List-I to provide for the regulation of mines and development of
minerals undercontrol of the Union.3.2 In pursuance of the reforms
initiated by the
Government of India in July 1991 in fiscal, industrial and trade regimes,
the National Mineral Policy was announced in March 1993. The National
Mineral Policy recognized the need for encouraging private investment
including foreign direct investment and for
attracting state-of-the-art technology in the mineral sector. The policy
stressed that the Central Government, in consultation with the State
Governments, shall continue to formulate legal measures for the
regulation of mines and the development of mineral resources to
ensure basic uniformity in mineral administration so that the
development of mineral resources keeps pace, and is in consonance
with the national policy goals. 3.3 In furtherance of the objective of the
National Mineral Policy, the MMDR Act, 1957 has been amended in
1994 and 1999. The Mineral Concession

Mining Policy, Regulation

and Development
Chapter 3
Rules, 1960 (MCR) and the Mineral Conservation and Development
Rules, 1988 (MCDR), framed under the MMDR Act, 1957 have also been
modified. Salient features of the amended mining legislation are as

(i) There is no restriction on foreign equity holding in mining sector

companies registered in

(ii) There is a greater stability on tenure of mineral concessions, since

the minimum period of a mining lease is twenty years with a maximum
period of thirty years. A mining lease may be
renewed for a period not exceeding 20 years and may again be
renewed for a period not exceeding 20 years in respect of minerals
specified in Part C of the First Schedule of the Act. In respect of
minerals specified in Part A and B of the First Schedule of the Act, such
renewal is to be granted with previous approval of the Central
Government. The period of
prospecting licence is now three years, with scope of renewal by a
further period of two years.

(iii) Thirteen minerals like iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore,
sulphur, gold, diamond, copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, tungsten,
nickel and platinum group of minerals, which were reserved exclusively
for public sector exploitation, have been thrown open for exploitation
by the private sector.

(iv) With the 1999 amendment, a concept of reconnaissance

operations as a stage of
operation distinct from and prior to actual prospecting operations was
introduced. The
period of reconnaissance permit is three years. A reconnaissance
permit holder enjoys
preferential right for grant of prospecting license.




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