Indian manganese ore deposits occur mainly as metamorphosed bedded sedimentary deposits associated with Gondite Series (Archaeans) of Madhya Pradesh (Balaghat, Chhindwara & Jhabua districts), Maharashtra (Bhandara & Nagpur districts), Gujarat (Panchmahal district), Odisha (Sundergarh district) and with Kodurite Series (Archaeans) of Odisha (Ganjam & Koraput districts) and Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam &Visakhapatnam districts).
Wherever manganese ore is mined on a commercial scale, it always contains other constituents than the manganese mineral. Because of this chemical behavior it is not only desirable, but often necessary, to remove, as far as practicable, these constituents previous to marketing.
The process of sintering is an agglomeration technique for fine ore that relies on heat to melt the surface of smaller particles together to form larger agglomerates. A typical sinter plant consists of a number of sequential operating units with the sinter strand at the heart of the plant. The simplified process sequence is as follows:
Raw materials such as ore fines, coke/coal, dust/sludge and in some cases slag modifiers and additives, are batched and conveyed to a blending system. The raw materials are blended in a rotating mixing drum with Sinter Fines and water to achieve a Green Feed in a process commonly referred to as NodulizingThe nodulized green feed is introduced to the sinter strand on top of a sized Hearth Layer to form the Sinter Bed. The sinter burns through vertically while the bed moves horizontally towards the discharge end. The sintered material is discharged through a finger crusher onto a cooling strand, where ambient air is blown through the crushed material from below. After cooling, the sinter is conveyed to a crushing and screening station where it is sized and finally conveyed to product storage.
Manganese ore is mined by both underground and surface methods depending upon the geological setting of the deposits. The manganese ore is usually hand sorted into lump ore and fines. The manganese content in the lump ore is higher compared to that of the fines. At present, the manual sizing and sorting of manganese ore practised in India give an yield of about 30 to 55 per cent of saleable manganese ore from the ro.m. ore and the ore fines are being stockpiled at the mines, since there is no market for the same.
Taking into consideration the relevant factors in the Indian situation, namely manganese being an essential ingredient for steelmaking, limited reserves of proved manganese ore, low recovery of saleable ore and progressive growth of steel production of the country, the installation of suitable beneficiation including agglomeration facilities to beneficiate the low grade manganese ore fines and agglomerate them and also to improve the lump recovery, is considered absolutely necessary for the conservation of the country's limited reserves.
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