This mining license spread over 40 square kilometers area is in the province of Chami, which are about 350 km. from the capital city of Nouakchott and 150 km from the port city of Nouadhibou. Geological mapping and extensive trenching (more than 20 km) led to a mineable proven (measured) reserve of over 725,000 million tons of quartz mineral considering top 2.7-meter depth in the licensed area. Pits (up to 20 m depth) have been opened at 33 locations in the licensed area. Quartz veins of varying dimension have been observed up to a maximum thickness of 8 m and height of 10 m. These vein runs in to more than kilometer distances. The deposit is by and large in the form of white milky to glassy crystalline boulders and at certain points smoky / colored quartz. The boulder size varies to a large extent starting from lower than 500 mm to more than 3000 mm.
There is variability in terms of quality of quartz (silica content ranging between 98.00 99.9 % and color ranging between white crystalline / amorphous / milky to grey (smoky), black, yellow, red, etc.). Big (> 1 m) boulders are often found along with small (< 0.5 m) boulders. The resource can be subdivided broadly in to three types based on its application:
i. High purity quartz (> 99.8 % silica) finds application in making EMC-filler (semi conductors), telecommunication, high temperature lamp tubing, solar panel, fiber optics, crucibles, etc.
Some of the high quality quartz samples from promising pits were sent to DORFNER / ANZAPLAN in Germany for evaluation in terms of quality and process ability. They confirmed highest purification to IOTA 4 standards and describe the deposit as one of the top five deposits in the world.
The African plate is composed of five cratonic masses including the Kalahari, Congo, Tanzania, Saharan and West African Craton. The last two form a major part of present day Precambrian basement of Western Africa. Geology of Mauritania can be identified with 5 main geological provinces, which include the Reguibat Shield, the Taoudeni Basin, the Tindouf Basin, the Mauritanides Chain and the Atlantic Coast Sedimentary Basin, being listed in the increasing order of geological age.
The Reguibat Shield, which covers a significant part of the North of Mauritania, is composed of the Archean and Lower Proterozoic metamorphic rocks and granites. The Archean metamorphic comprises of lithounits in ferruginous quartzites, mica schist, gneisses and amphibolites.
The Taoudeni Basin lies in the southeast of Reguibat Shield and is the largest Proterozoic basin of WAC, the litho-units comprising the Upper Proterozoic sequence of sandstone, mudstone and limestone, the Cambrian to Ordovician sequence of conglomerates, mudstone & sandstone and Silurian to Carboniferous sequence of sandstone. The eastern part of this basin is covered with Mesozoic to Cenozoic sediments.
The Tindouf Basin represents a small portion in the northeast extent of Mauritania. The basin consists of dolomite of the Upper Proterozoic and sandstone, shale and limestone of the Ordovician to Devonian age.
The Mauritanides Chain is located in the Western Margin of Taoudeni Basin and represents the greenstone belt comprising of thrust metamorphosed sequence constituting sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Precambrian to Paleozoic era. The formations can be identified in three zones. Moving from West to East, the first to strike is the Precambrian sedimentary sequence called the external zone.
The Atlantic Coast Sedimentary Basin is the Western most geological provinces in Mauritania and covers the entire Atlantic coast of the nation. The formations are mainly the calcareous-argillaceous-marly sandstone range from Lower Cretaceous to Quaternary, wherein the older formations are exposed towards Eastern end abutting to Mauritanides Chain.
A state of art crushing plant involving primary (600 x 900 mm) and secondary (400 x 600) jaw crushers, 4-deck vibrating screen and tramp magnets with quartz lump production capacity of 100 tph has been commissioned in 40 sq km quartz mine at Chami, Mauritania. Lump production facility also includes manual sorting of quartz lumps over 1200 mm flat conveyor belt (35 m long). An extension of quartz lump production facility has been also commissioned in the form of tertiary vertical shaft impact (VSI) crusher to produce -4.76 mm size quartz grits at 20 tph to meet the requirement of engineered stone industry. The tertiary crushing section involves magnetic drum & roll separators, linear & gyro screens and six product storage hoppers other than the VSI. All the crushing equipment, product delivery and discharge chutes, conveyor belts are connected through ducting line for suction of dust. A total of three bag filters have been installed to operate under dust free environment. Feed for VSI is manually sorted and output from VSI passes through drum magnetic separator to ensure quality of the end product. An industrial shed was constructed over 750 sq meter area to house one three deck linear screen, two high intensity (12,000 G on belt surface) magnetic roll separators, three triple deck gyro screens, seven z-conveyor belts, six hoppers (60 T capacity each), series of grate and plate magnets, packaging machines and two fork lifters. Color sorting machine is being installed as an alternative to manual sorting of quartz. As a part of production quality control, a lab has been set up for particle size distribution analysis.
Mined big boulders (greater than 2 ft in height and 3 ft in length and free from joints or cracks) are numbered based on their origin and chronology and their dimension, color, crystalinity, etc. are documented. Boulders are transported either near to portable quarry machine or to stationery wire dressing machine. They are dressed one or all the sides depending on the requirement of cutting on a block cutter and market demand.
White or light smoky colored and crystalline or milky quartz boulders (lower than 2 ft in height and 3 ft in length) are subjected to rock breaking to produce size below 500 mm, the size suitable for primary jaw crusher. Post crushing sizes of 20 100 mm are manually sorted to get lumps completely free from monolayer of schist or laterite coating out side of quartz boulder. The sorted boulders are screened to produce various sizes as per market demand.
Manual or machine sorted lumps (lower than 20 mm) are fed to VSI for rock to rock crushing and subsequently screened to produce grits of various size as per market demand. The produced grits passes through a series of magnetic equipment to generate product completely free from ferrous iron particles (physical process contaminant) and colored quartz particles.
Cut slab / tile are subjected to auto polishing till glass smooth finish is obtained. Finished tile sizes of 1 x 1 or 1 x 2 or 2 x 2 feet are also made depending on the market demand. Likewise, half slabs of 2 x 3 or 2 x 4 feet sizes are made.
Small size quartz tiles are arranged on table and joined together using clear epoxy resin. They are subjected to polishing post consolidation. Full size of slabs 9 x 5 feet are available in thickness of 15 30 mm. Other small sizes and thickness of mosaic slabs are also made depending on market demand.
We have maintained high quality standards in the market by offering quality-centralized lot of products. And, this is done by using high grade raw material obtained from reliable sources. In order to ensure the safety of the products, we carefully store the lot under hygienic conditions and safe environment. Moreover, the lot is stringently and regularly checked by the experts.
In mineral processing, the reduction of minerals by crushing and grinding may be regarded as having one or other of two main objectives: the attainment of a size appropriate for the direct industrial application of the mineral, e.g. barytes, sand, aggregate; or the release of metallic or ore inclusions from an unwanted matrix with a view to maximum separation. In both cases, quarrying, as a rule by explosives, followed by coarse crushing of the quarried lumps and then by intermediate or secondary crushing of the product, is the normal course of reduction and, with a few exceptions, is irrespective of the ultimate objective. After this, the methods of fine crushing and grinding and the accompanying ancillary processes are chosen in accordance with the objective in view and with certain physical properties of the mineral. In the later stages of reduction, power consumption increases rapidly with fineness of product, and it follows therefore that grinding beyond the desired size or optimum range is to be avoided as far as possible. In practice it is more often the case that power is unnecessarily expended due to inadequacy of the ancillary equipment, its inherent inefficiency or unsuitability.
The basic principle upon which a crusher works is the application of the necessary force in a suitable way to overcome bonding forces by which a lump of mineral is held together. In machines where the opposing crushing members are held mechanically apart this force is applied either as direct pressure or squeezing until fracture occurs; or by impact, where the rock may either be freely suspended, e.g. as in hammer mills, or stationary as in stamp mills.
The determining factor in the choice of the primary crusher is often the tonnage to be handled and the size of the largest lumps, for where both are large the gyratory type has many advantages, foremost of which are lower power consumption, first cost and choke feedingin fact the gyratory may be buried, and truck loading is common practice. The jaw crusher on the other hand needs a feed controller, which in the case of the very large units involves the provision of a massive apron feeder the cost of which may be high. The jaw crusher, however, is capable of receiving a larger lump for any rated capacity and in certain cases is applied as a primary sledging breaker, although, unless there is an abnormal quantity of massive lumps present in the mine or quarry, it would seem preferable to break such boulders by the use of explosives.
An important advantage of the jaw crusher over the gyratory crusher is that of being able to deal with materials having a high clay content, although this advantage is less where discharge openings are large.
In mineral processing, it is assumed, for the present purpose that intermediate crushing is not necessary and that the run-of-mine or quarried mineral has, in one pass, been reduced in size so that all is below say 6-in. ring size. From this stage forward the utilization of the product assumes primary importance. For example, if the economic mineral is wolfram or scheelite, necessitating separation from the matrix by hydro-gravity separation, the further size reduction must be effected with the aim of minimizing the production of fines, whereas if flotation separation is to be used no such consideration applies. Similarly, in the production of road-surfacing aggregate the shape of the secondary crushed product is important and here particles approaching cubic shape are preferable.
Prior to secondary crushing it is important and desirable to remove the fines already below the set of the crusher. Run-of-mine and quarry product when accepted into the plant comprises rock of varying sizes some of which is below the primary crusher open setting, but its removal from the crusher feed at this stage is not so important as in secondary crushing where the feed is of a shorter range and hence packing by fines more serious. Moreover the mechanical and siting problems involved in removing, say, minus 6 in. ring size from quarried rock of 30 in. cube would outweigh any increased efficiency of the crushing operation.
It is desirable to remove undersize material from the crushing unit for a number of reasons: power has been expended in effecting its size reduction; its presence in the crushing unit and the packing of the voids between the uncrushed oversize not only reduces throughput but results in increased wear and higher power costs. If, in addition, the fines are of an argillaceous character the presence of such in the crusher will prove to be an intolerable nuisance.
The secondary crushers to be considered are the following: cone-type gyratory, rolls, hammer mills, gravity stamps. This range of four secondary crushing machines includes two in which size reduction is effected by pressure and two by impact. Of the four to be discussed the hammer mill has its own particular field of use from which other types of crushers are excluded; rolls are extensively used in the crushing of minerals preparatory to gravity separation and whilst much of their former use has been taken over by the cone gyratory, the spring roll makes an efficient crusher to sizes from 3/8 to 1/16, taking over where the cone crusher leaves off. Despite occasional claims to the contrary it is unwise to effect size reduction much below 1 by a cone crusher.
The cone-type gyratory, of which the Symons is perhaps best known, is pre-eminent as a secondary crusher and is capable of effecting a size reductionratio of the order of 6-8:1. This type of machine is best employed in close-circuit with a screen but is unsuitable for minerals of an argillaceous character. Protection against the inclusion of steel in the feed is imperative and all units of this type are more satisfactory handling dry feed. In cases where the feed is damp to wet it is advisable to limit the closed setting to 1/2 and unless extra water can be added to ensure the non-build-up of fine material in the bowl regular inspection is advisable.
The use of hammer mills is in the field of softer minerals, such as gypsum, barytes and limestone, and particularly where the presence of clay would most definitely exclude the use of crushing machines in which fracture of the mineral is effected by pressure. In this latter field in particular, the hammer mill is also used as a primary crusher. The hammer mill is an impact breaker and is capable of effecting large reduction ratios. Where the mineral is soft and would easily clog, this type of crusher is extensively and successfully employed, modifications being made to the cage to facilitate screening and retention of material in the grinding zone.
The gravity stamp, which crushes by impact and is a wet crusher, is being superseded by the rod and ball mill in fields where formerly it was extensively used. In particular, the stamp was used extensively in crushing gold-bearing quartz and cassiterite lode material as in the Cornish mines. The stamp gives a very big reduction ratio feed of from 1.5 to 2 in. is reduced to 30 mesh but its inefficiency from the viewpoint of power expended must be largely attributed to the hit and miss method of removing the pulp from the stamp box.
The use of smooth-faced rolls as a secondary crusher preparatory to ball milling in a lead-zinc differential flotation is exemplified by practice at the Zinc Corporation Ltd mill, Broken Hill, New South Wales. Here run-of-mine ore is reduced to minus 0.5 in two stages of primary crushing and subsequently by slow-speed rolls to 0.25, the latter being in closed circuit with screens. The use of rolls in this case was influenced by the desire to feed to the ball mills a product minus 0.25, to be able to operate the circuit wet, and to use bucket elevators to raise the roll discharge to the close-circuiting screen. Further advantages in this particular installation were the elimination of the dust problem and the ability to change the size of the ball mill feed to a finer product if desired.
Note:Under Section 100 of the CGST & RGST Act 2017, an appeal against this ruling lies before the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling constituted under section 99 of CGST & RGST Act 2017, within a period of 30 days from the date of service of this order.
Further, the applicant being a registered person, GSTIN is 08AAECR5585Q1ZG, as per the declaration given by him in Form ARA-OI, the issue raised by the applicant is neither pending for proceedings nor proceedings were passed by any authority. Based on the above observations, the application isadmittedto pronounce advance ruling.
4.1In the matter personal hearing was given to the applicant, Mr.Keshav Maloo, Authorised Representative, of applicant appeared for personal hearing on 17.08.2018. During the PH he reiterated the submissions already made in Advance Ruling Application and requested that the case may be decided at the earliest. He was asked to produce a sample copy of invoices of Boric Acid, Ramming Mass and Quartz which he did on a later date.
4.2The jurisdictional officer in his comments has stated that as per business parlance Ramming Mass consists of crushed quartz powder in unison with boric acid added in a specified ratio which falls under chapter heading no. 3816 and attracts 18% of GST. Further he has stated that crushed Quartz stone is to be classified under chapter heading no. 2506 and to be taxed at 5% under GST. He stated that crushed quartz stone on standalone basis cannot be used as a lining of furnace and qualify the Tariff head no. 2506 and GST rate of 5%.
A large number of units situated in the jurisdiction of the zone are engaged in the process of crushing, screening, grinding and mixing of quartz / quartzite mineral stones (in boulder form) to convert them into quartz/ quartzite grains and powder, which is known in trade parlance as Silica Ramming Mass or Ramming Mass. The quartz/quartzite mineral contain more than 95% of silica (up to 99.9%), hence the name. The quartz and quartzite minerals are not mixed with each other, since quartz mineral has higher silica content as compared to quartzite mineral. The assessees classify the aforesaid goods under chapter heading 2506 of CETA, whereas the zone is of the preliminary view that goods are more appropriately classifiable under Chapter heading 3816 of CETA in view of Chapter Note 1 of Chapter 25.
The issue was deliberated in the Conference where, two heads of classification viz., CETH 2506 and 3816 were discussed in case of the product Ramming Mass of the kind obtained by crushing/ grinding and mixing of quartz and quartzite minerals of different sizes andwhere no external binders are addedto such mixture.
It was noted that explanatory notes to the HSN of Heading 3816 covers certain preparations (e.g. for furnace linings), with an added refractor binder . Many of the products of this heading also contain non-refractory binders such as hydraulic binding agents, therefore, to qualify for classification under heading 3816, refractory binder is required to be added to such powdered (grained quartz/ quartzite mixture. Since no refractory binder is added to the impugned product, the same is not covered under heading 3816. This view is reinforced by the Tribunal in the case ofM/s. Mayur Chemicals Industries [2001 (136) ELT 1389] upheld by the Honble Supreme Court.
Prominerhas the ability to supply the complete industrial deep processing solution to supply the quartz sand and high purity quartz (HPQ) sand. The quartz sand is widely used in glass, ceramic, casting, construction industry and filler for rubber, paper and paint industry. The HPQ sand is strategic mineral using for high-tech industry such as semi-conductor, optical, lighting, quartz glass, crucible and solar energy industry.
In recent years quartz slab industry develops very fast as it is used widely in room decoration especially in kitchen, thus a great demand of white & transparent quartz sand is open for the market. Due to the simple production process, just crushing, optical sorting and sieving, the investment return cycle is short and the benefit well. Prominer is familiar with the complete industrial chain of the quartz slab, from the material sand production technology till the final quartz slab manufacturing plant and thus can provide support on every stage.
To get qualified quartz sand/powder, the first aim is to remove the impurities inside the quartz. Specific expertise in geology, chemical analysis and high purity processing are required in order to convert raw mineral quartz into high purity & high-value final product. Based on the geological setting, lab test and pilot test, Prominer supplies tailor-made technology to remove the fluid and/or mineral inclusions. Depending on the final quality and value, processing into high purity or high value quartz involves advanced technology such as: I. Physical Quartz processing technology: Crushing & Grinding Optical Sorting HIMS Magnetic Separation Flotation. II. Chemical Quartz processing technology: Mixed acid treatment Hot Chlorination Calcination III. Thermal treatment: Free contamination sintering Quartz crushing & grinding system: Most of the quartz sand application field has strict requirements on its size range, so during the crushing and grinding process, suitable crushing & grinding solution is required to liberate quartz crystals from gangue sufficiently without contamination, meanwhile minimizing the under-size particle production. The purity of quartz sand determines its value and application fields, and most processing is for removing the mineral impurities. So, the way to prevent new contamination during crushing and grinding process is also very important. Ceramic grinding system, stainless steel connecting parts, clean working environment and dedusting system are very helpful to minimize the emergence of new impurities. Quartz Optical Sorting: Optical sorting is a new and advanced technology to separate the mineral ore based on the difference of the material optical properties. It uses the photoelectric detection technology to automatically separate the particles of different optical characteristics from the granule materials. The optical sorting machine consists mainly feeding system, optical detection system, signal processing system and separation execution system. Compared with traditional manual sorting, it is with much higher efficiency. Quartz sintering process: Quartz lumps production causes fragmentation of the quartz rock along its crystal and impurities boundaries. Since crystal boundary contains most of the mineral impurities, the liberation of its crystal and impurities boundaries is very important in downstream processing. The calcination plus water quenching process is very effective to reach the aim of removing impurities. Apart from the common thirteen types of impurities such as K, Na, Li, Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Al, the gas & fluid inclusion is also the main impurity needs to be removed. During the sintering process, the crack will present at gas & fluid content area that also contain some mineral impurities. Sintering plus water quenching process is a kind of selective fragmentation technology to select liberation of gas and fluid inclusion. In order to prevent the new contamination issues, high purity quartz glass is chosen as the sintering chamber. Quartz Magnetic separation & flotation process: Attrition is applied to clean the surface of the quartz particles. Thereby fine particles attached to quartz surfaces, e.g. clay minerals or iron oxide coatings, are liberated, which allows the subsequent physical separation including magnetic separation and flotation process. Magnetic separation removes heavy minerals from quartz as they are mostly paramagnetic or even ferromagnetic. These minerals are attracted towards increasing magnetic field strength. Most of the gangue minerals are weak magnetic minerals, so the high-intensity magnetic separator is required. Generally, there are two types high-intensity magnetic separator including permanent magnetic type and electromagnetic type. Froth flotation selectively separates minerals according to the difference of those to be wetted, enhanced or suppressed by conditioning reagents. To prevent the new impurities obtained, the flotation cells with rubber or plastic liner is necessary. Chemical processing: Chemical treatment is an important addition to physical processing methods in order to achieve maximum purity quartz through the removal of surface impurities. Leaching and hot chlorination are the two chemical treatment processes. During mixed acid treatment, medium to strong mineral acids are used at elevated temperatures. A combination of several acids can be used (HF, HCl, HNO3) to improve chemical purification results. Mineral impurity like feldspar, mica, which is very difficult to liberate during physical processing, are dissolved in the process of mixed acid washing. Additional impurities, enriched in micro fissures and structural dislocations, can be removed by the enhanced dissolution of quartz. After boiled in reactor with sufficient time, quartz will be rinsed by deionized water washing away the dissolved impurities. Hot chlorination In the hot chlorination process, quartz is heated to temperatures of 1,000 1,200 C in a chlorine or hydrogen chloride gas atmosphere. This refining process is suitable to specifically reduce the level of alkali metal, alkaline-earth metal, and transition metal impurities which are highly restricted in semiconductor applications.
Most of the quartz sand application field has strict requirements on its size range, so during the crushing and grinding process, suitable crushing & grinding solution is required to liberate quartz crystals from gangue sufficiently without contamination, meanwhile minimizing the under-size particle production.
The purity of quartz sand determines its value and application fields, and most processing is for removing the mineral impurities. So, the way to prevent new contamination during crushing and grinding process is also very important. Ceramic grinding system, stainless steel connecting parts, clean working environment and dedusting system are very helpful to minimize the emergence of new impurities.
Optical sorting is a new and advanced technology to separate the mineral ore based on the difference of the material optical properties. It uses the photoelectric detection technology to automatically separate the particles of different optical characteristics from the granule materials. The optical sorting machine consists mainly feeding system, optical detection system, signal processing system and separation execution system. Compared with traditional manual sorting, it is with much higher efficiency.
Quartz lumps production causes fragmentation of the quartz rock along its crystal and impurities boundaries. Since crystal boundary contains most of the mineral impurities, the liberation of its crystal and impurities boundaries is very important in downstream processing. The calcination plus water quenching process is very effective to reach the aim of removing impurities.
Apart from the common thirteen types of impurities such as K, Na, Li, Mg, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Al, the gas & fluid inclusion is also the main impurity needs to be removed. During the sintering process, the crack will present at gas & fluid content area that also contain some mineral impurities. Sintering plus water quenching process is a kind of selective fragmentation technology to select liberation of gas and fluid inclusion.
Attrition is applied to clean the surface of the quartz particles. Thereby fine particles attached to quartz surfaces, e.g. clay minerals or iron oxide coatings, are liberated, which allows the subsequent physical separation including magnetic separation and flotation process.
Magnetic separation removes heavy minerals from quartz as they are mostly paramagnetic or even ferromagnetic. These minerals are attracted towards increasing magnetic field strength. Most of the gangue minerals are weak magnetic minerals, so the high-intensity magnetic separator is required. Generally, there are two types high-intensity magnetic separator including permanent magnetic type and electromagnetic type.
Froth flotation selectively separates minerals according to the difference of those to be wetted, enhanced or suppressed by conditioning reagents. To prevent the new impurities obtained, the flotation cells with rubber or plastic liner is necessary.
Chemical processing: Chemical treatment is an important addition to physical processing methods in order to achieve maximum purity quartz through the removal of surface impurities. Leaching and hot chlorination are the two chemical treatment processes.
During mixed acid treatment, medium to strong mineral acids are used at elevated temperatures. A combination of several acids can be used (HF, HCl, HNO3) to improve chemical purification results. Mineral impurity like feldspar, mica, which is very difficult to liberate during physical processing, are dissolved in the process of mixed acid washing. Additional impurities, enriched in micro fissures and structural dislocations, can be removed by the enhanced dissolution of quartz.
In the hot chlorination process, quartz is heated to temperatures of 1,000 1,200 C in a chlorine or hydrogen chloride gas atmosphere. This refining process is suitable to specifically reduce the level of alkali metal, alkaline-earth metal, and transition metal impurities which are highly restricted in semiconductor applications.
Silica sand deposits are most commonly surface-mined in open pit operations, but dredging and underground mining are also employed. Extracted ore undergoes considerable processing to increase the silica content by reducing impurities. It is then dried and sized to produce the optimum particle size distribution for the intended application.
For industrial and manufacturing applications, deposits of silica-yielding products of at least 95% SiO2 are preferred. Silica is hard and chemically inert and has a high melting point, attributable to the strength of the bonds between the atoms. These are prized qualities in applications like foundries and filtration systems. Industrial sands strength, silicon dioxide (SiO2) contribution, and non-reactive properties make it an indispensable ingredient in the production of thousands of everyday products.
Glassmaking: Silica sand is the primary component of all types of standard and specialty glass. It provides the essential SiO2 component of glass formulation, and its chemical purity is the primary determinant of colour, clarity, and strength. Industrial sand is used to produce flat glass for building and automotive use, container glass for foods and beverages, and tableware. In its pulverized form, ground silica is required for production of fiberglass insulation and reinforcing glass fibers. Specialty glass applications include test tubes and other scientific tools, incandescent and fluorescent lamps, and television and computer CRT monitors.
Metal Casting: Industrial sand is an essential part of the ferrous and non-ferrous foundry industry. Metal parts ranging from engine blocks to sink faucets are cast in a sand and clay mold to produce the external shape, with a resin bonded core creating the desired internal shape. Silicas high fusion point (1760C) and low rate of thermal expansion produce stable cores and molds compatible with all pouring temperatures and alloy systems. Its chemical purity also helps prevent interaction with catalysts or curing rate of chemical binders. Following the casting process, core sand can be thermally or mechanically recycled to produce new cores or molds.
Metal Production: Industrial sand plays a critical role in the production of a wide variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In metal production, silica sand operates as a flux to lower the melting point and viscosity of the slags to make them more reactive and efficient. Lump silica is used either alone or in conjunction with lime to achieve the desired base/acid ratio required for purification. These base metals can be further refined and modified with other ingredients to achieve specific properties such as high strength, corrosion resistance, or electrical conductivity. Ferroalloys are essential to specialty steel production, and industrial sand is used by the steel and foundry industries for de-oxidation and grain refinement.
Chemical Production: Silicon-based chemicals are the foundation of thousands of everyday applications ranging from food processing to soap and dye production. In this case, SiO2 is reduced to silicon metal by coke in an arc furnace, to produce the Si precursor of other chemical processes. Industrial sand is the main component in chemicals such as sodium silicate, silicon tetrachloride, and silicon gels. These chemicals are used to produce household and industrial cleaners, to manufacture fiber optics, and to remove impurities from cooking oil and brewed beverages.
Construction: Industrial sand is the primary structural component in a wide variety of building and construction products. Whole grain silica is put to use in flooring compounds, mortars, specialty cements, stucco, roofing shingles, skid resistant surfaces, and asphalt mixtures to provide packing density and flexural strength without adversely affecting the chemical properties of the binding system. Ground silica performs as a functional extender to add durability and anti-corrosion and weathering properties in epoxy-based compounds, sealants, and caulks.
Paint and Coatings: Paint formulators select micron-sized industrial sands to improve the appearance and durability of architectural and industrial paint and coatings. High purity silica contributes critical performance properties such as brightness and reflectance, colour consistency, and oil absorption. In architectural paints, silica fillers improve tint retention, durability, and resistance to dirt, mildew, cracking, and weathering. Low oil absorption allows increased pigment loading for improved finish colour. In marine and maintenance coatings, the durability of silica imparts excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance.
Ceramics & Refractories: Ground silica is an essential component of the glaze and body formulations of all types of ceramic products, including tableware, sanitary ware, and floor and wall tile. In the ceramic body, silica is the skeletal structure upon which clays and flux components attach. The SiO2 contribution is used to modify thermal expansion, regulate drying and shrinkage, and improve structural integrity and appearance. Silica products are also used as the primary aggregate in both shape and monolithic type refractories to provide high temperature resistance to acidic attack in industrial furnaces.
Filtration and Water Production: Industrial sand is used in the filtration of drinking water, the processing of wastewater, and the production of water from wells. Uniform grain shapes and grain size distributions produce efficient filtration bed operation in removal of contaminants in both potable water and wastewater. Chemically inert, silica will not degrade or react when it meets acids, contaminants, volatile organics, or solvents. Silica gravel is used as packing material in deep-water wells to increase yield from the aquifer by expanding the permeable zone around the well screen and preventing the infiltration of fine particles from the formation.
Prominer has been devoted to mineral processing industry for decades and specializes in mineral upgrading and deep processing. With expertise in the fields of mineral project development, mining, test study, engineering, technological processing.