|ZINC & LEAD AND ASSOCIATED METALS|
Metallic lead does occur in nature, but it is rare. Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and (most abundantly) copper, and is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral is galena (PbS), which contains 86.6% lead. Other common varieties are cerussite (PbCO3) and anglesite (PbSO4).
The principal ores of lead are galena (PbS), anglesite (PbSO4) and cerussite (PbCO3). Most ores contain less than 10% lead, and ores containing as little as 3% lead can be economically exploited. Ores are crushed and concentrated by froth flotation typically to 70% or more. Sulfide ores are roasted, producing primarily lead oxide and a mixture of sulfates and silicates of lead and other metals contained in the ore.
Zinc is the 23rd most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. The most heavily mined ores (sphalerite) tend to contain roughly 10% iron as well as 40-50% zinc. Minerals from which zinc is extracted include sphalerite (zinc sulfide), smithsonite (zinc carbonate), hemimorphite (zinc silicate), and franklinite (a zinc spinel).
|MINERAL RESOURCES IN INDIA|
|The Indian zinc-lead industry comprises two primary producers – Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) and Binani Industries Limited (BIL), both in private sector.|
|Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL)|
HZL was earlier a Government of India enterprise and post disinvestment in April 2002, it has become a private sector and presently a group company of Vedanta Resources. HZL is a vertically integrated producer from mining to smelting with its major operations in Rajasthan, while BIL has a smelter located in the west coast. HZL is the only primary lead producer in the country. It has a total lead production capacity of 85,000 tpa at its two lead plants at Chanderiya, one of which has been operationalised in 2005 using eco-friendly Ausmelt technology with a capacity of 50,000 tpa. The secondary lead production in the country, in both organized and small scale sectors is estimated at 50,000 tpa.
In India, HZL is the major producer of cadmium and silver, which are recovered as by-products from the smelting of zinc-lead concentrates. It is estimated that the zinc-lead reserves of HZL contain nearly 27,600 tonnes of cadmium and 3,700 tonnes of silver. Cadmium, silver, antimony, bismuth, mercury, indium, and arsenic are generally associated as minor/trace elements with zinc-lead-copper deposits. Based on content in the ore, these are concentrated at ore beneficiation stage and finally some of these are recoverable during refining of main metals.
|Binani Industries Limited (BIL)|
Binani Zinc is the pioneer in the manufacture of high grade electrolytic zinc in India since 1967. The project initially commenced as Cominco Binani Zinc, on 2nd August 1962, the technical and financial collaborative arrangement was with Cominco Limited a Canada based world leader in non-ferrous metallurgical field. After the withdrawal of Cominco Limited as the financial collaborators in 1991, in alignment with their worldwide policy, the company was rechristened as Binani Zinc Limited.
Binani Zinc Limited got into collaboration with M/s.UM Engineering of Belgium for a modernisation & expansion programme.
The ultra-modern zinc production plant with a capacity of 30 kty is located across 110 acres of land in lush green, verdant Edayar village, Ernaculam District, Kerala on the banks of serene river Periyar, 20 km upstream from the Cochin port.
This strategic location, named as Binanipuram, has proven ideal as it facilitates the loading and off-loading of zinc concentrate, provides cost efficient power supply, ease in transportation, abundant water and easily available resources, inclusive of a literate workforce.