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Innovation in the Mining Sector

India is a mineral rich country. The Mining Industry contributes significantly to the economy of India and provides basic raw materials to many important industries.  The distribution of minerals in India is uneven and many areas are yet to be fully explored. Exploration activities in India are mostly carried out by Geological Survey of India (GSI), Mining Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), various State Directorates of Geological Mining (DGMs), public sector undertakings (PSU) and private sector entities both domestic and subsidiaries of many global companies.

India total land area 3.2875 million sq. km out of which, GSI has identified 0.571 million sq. km. as Obvious Geological Potential (OGP) area for minerals.

What are the reasons to invest in Mining Sector?

India has vast mineral potential  and Under the “Make In India Initiative” there is an ease of doing business in India.

For the companies interested in mining or for the raw material for their industry, Mining Lease & Licence grant  is done through auctions.

An Inter-ministerial Group facilitator is established by law for expediting the clearances and approvals in India.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified about 100 blocks for the exploration companies to venture into the revenue share model as enabled by the National Mineral Exploration Policy, 2016.

Mining leases in India are granted for longer and stable tenure of 50 years.

The demand for various metals and minerals is growing substantially. The recent innovations in the mining sector in US are:

US 9638017 B2

Title: Batch solution mining using lithological displacement of an evaporite mineral stratumand mineral dissolution with stationary solvent

Assignee: SOLVAY SA (Brussels, BE)

Publication Date: 2 May 2017

Abstract:

Batch initiation and/or exploitation phases of in situ solution mining of a mineral from an underground evaporite mineral stratum. The initiation phase may comprise a lifting step which employs a lithological displacement (lifting) of this stratum from an underlying non-evaporite stratum with application at the strata interface of a lifting hydraulic pressure greater than overburden pressure by a solvent suitable to dissolve the mineral; a soaking step for dissolution of mineral upon contact with stationary solvent, and a brine extraction step. The method may further comprise one or more exploitation phases carried out after the initiation phase. The exploitation phase may comprise a partial filing or filling step with the same solvent or different solvent than during lifting, another soaking step, and another brine extraction step. The lifting, cavity partial filing/filling, and brine extraction steps are being discontinuous. The evaporite mineral stratum preferably comprises trona.

2.) US 9822013 B1

Title: Selective mining enhanced recovery process

Assignee: Innovare Technologies Ltd. (Carlyle, CA)

Publication Date: 21 Nov 2017

Abstract:

Some embodiment of the present disclosure include a method and method for recovery of solution mined minerals. The method may include creating superheated steam using a steam boiler; passing the superheated steam through a turbine/generator to generate electricity; reheating the steam exiting the turbine/generator to saturation with a steam reheater; using the saturated steam with an absorption chiller to create chilled water; and recovering minerals using the chilled water in a cooling crystallizer system. In embodiments, the method and system may be used to recover minerals, such as potash (KCl), washing soda (Na2CO3.10H2O); nahcolite (NaHCO3); and glauber salt (NaSO4.10H2O). The method may utilize the trigeneration of steam, electrical, and chilled water utilities, which may be used for a recovery process.

3). US 9803458 B2

Title: Solution mining using subterranean drilling techniques

Assignee: TRONOX ALKALI WYOMING CORPORATION (Stamford, CT, US)

Publication Date: 31 Oct 2017

Abstract:

A method of solution mining a subterranean mineral ore deposit such as trona ore in which a borehole is drilled from a subterranean mechanically-worked mineral ore mining operation to connect a mineral ore bed to be solution mined, using subterranean drilling apparatus located proximate to the mechanically-worked mineral ore mining operation. The mineral ore bed is isolated from the mechanically-worked mineral ore mining operation by passage of the drilled borehole through an impermeable layer adjacent to the mineral ore bed to be solution mined. The mineral ore bed is then solution-mined using a mining solvent introduced into the mineral ore bed to solubilize the mineral and form a mining solution, and the resulting mining solution is withdrawn from the mineral ore bed.

4). US 20170325052 A1

Title: Method and Apparatus for Protecting a Miner

Assignee: Strata Products Worldwide, LLC (Sandy Springs, GA, US)

Publication Date: 9 Nov 2017

Abstract:

An apparatus for protecting a miner from injury by a machine in a mine includes an explosion-proof housing. The apparatus includes a proximity sensing portion disposed in the explosion-proof housing having a magnetic field source which produces a magnetic field that is used to sense a location of the miner relative to the machine. The apparatus includes a wireless communication portion disposed in the explosion-proof housing through which the magnetic field produced by the magnetic field source is changed remotely and wirelessly from outside the explosion-proof housing. A method for protecting a miner from injury by a machine. A system for protecting a miner from injury by a machine in a mine

5). US 20170291178 A1

Title: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR COLLECTING HEAVY MINERALS

Assignee: Vortex Technology, LLC (Reno, NV, US)

Publication Date: 12 Oct 2017

Abstract:

The invention relates to a method and system for the environmental remediation of materials that are contaminated with heavy minerals, such as heavy metals. The invention finds utility in removing heavy minerals from materials such as soils, sediments, mine tailings and ores. The invention provides a means for removing heavy minerals from contaminated materials without the use of water while reducing the generation of dust. Thus, the invention provides an environmentally friendly method for the remediation of sites that are contaminated with heavy minerals.

The recent patents filed in the mining sector in India are:

201727036276

Title: MODIFIED MINERAL BASED FILLER COMPRISING COPPER SALTS

Assignee: OMYA INTERNATIONAL AG

Omya is a leading global producer of industrial minerals, mainly fillers and pigments derived from calcium carbonate and dolomite, and a worldwide distributor of specialty chemicals.

Publication Date: 12 Oct 2017

Abstract:

The present invention relates to a modified mineral based filler comprising at least one alkaline earth metal carbonate comprising material and at least one water insoluble copper salt comprising the copper mineral malachite in an amount of at least 10 wt. % which covers at least partially the surface of the at least one alkaline earth metal carbonate comprising material and a method of producing the same.

2). 201737036976  

Title: JAW CRUSHER MINERAL MATERIAL PROCESSING PLANT AND METHOD FOR PROCESSING MINERAL MATERIAL

Assignee: METSO MINERALS INC.

Metso Minerals Industries, Inc. manufactures and offers equipment, services, and process solutions to quarrying and aggregates production, mining and mineral processing, construction contractors and civil engineering industries.

Publication Date:  17 Oct 2017

Abstract:  

A jaw crusher a mineral material processing plant and a method for processing mineral material. The jaw crusher (100) comprises a fixed jaw and a movable jaw for forming a crushing chamber (3) therebetween which is open at the top the fixed jaw comprising a first wear part (1 ) mounted thereto and the movable jaw comprising a pitman (4) and a second wear part (2) mounted thereto; wherein the pitman (4) is rotatably mounted to a first eccentric shaft (8). The pitman (4) is further rotatably mounted to second eccentric shaft 9 configured to guide the stroke of the movable jaw to create a movement pattern with a substantially linear crushing stroke wherein the eccentricity of the second eccentric shaft (9) is larger than that of the first eccentric shaft.

3). 201717023428

Title: PLANT AND METHOD FOR RECOVERING METALS AND/OR METAL OXIDES FROM INDUSTRIAL PROCESS WASTE IN PARTICULAR REFINERY WASTE

Assignee: SAIPEM S.P.A.

SAIPEM is one of the global leader in drilling services, as well as in the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of pipelines and complex projects, onshore and offshore, in the oil & gas market.

Publication Date: 29 Sept 2017

Abstract:

A plant (1) for recovering metals and/or metal oxides from industrial process waste in particular oil product refining waste comprises a furnace (2); a feed line (30) connected to a main inlet (12) of the furnace for feeding the furnace with a solid waste containing metals in particular in oxide form; an outlet line (18) connected to a solid phase outlet (17) of the furnace for drawing a metal enriched solid phase out of the furnace; the furnace is a belt conveyor furnace (2) having a belt conveyor (9) closed in a loop with a substantially horizontal configuration and having a top face (11) which receives the waste to treat and conveys it between two longitudinal opposite ends (7 8) of the belt conveyor furnace (2) respectively provided with the main inlet (12) and the solid phase outlet (17).

4.) 201747012798

Title: AN UNDERGROUND MINING SYSTEM FOR REDUCED COSTS IMPROVED EFFICIENCIES HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AND A SAFER WORKING ENVIRONMENT THROUGH PENETRATED BLOCK EXTRACTION

Assignee: UNDERGROUND EXTRACTION TECHNOLOGIES PTY LTD

Publication Date: 21 April 2017

Abstract:

The present invention relates to a mining method including the step of forming one or more sets of gate roads. Each set of gate roads includes at least two headings typically for providing and retuning ventilation. Dead end plunge cuts extend from the sets of gate roads. Each plunge cut is formed with a continuous miner coupled to a flexible conveyor system. Each plunge cut is greater than 30 metres in length. Advantageously narrow elongate pillars may be left between adjacent plunge cuts thereby resulting in greater material removal per volume and improved operating costs when compared with bord and pillar mining.

5). US 201717031232

Title: PROCESS FOR REMOVING HEAVY METALS FROM HYDROCARBONS

Assignee:  PETROLIAM NASIONAL BERHAD (PETRONAS)

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational ranked among the largest corporations on FORTUNE Global 500®.

Publication Date: 4 Sept 2017

Abstract:

This invention provides a process for removing mercury, from a mercury-containing hydrocarbon fluid. More specifically, the invention relates to a process for for the removal of mercury from a mercury-containing hydrocarbon fluid feed comprising the steps of: (i) contacting the mercury-containing hydrocarbon fluid feed with a metal perhalide having the following formula: [M]+[X]- wherein: [M]+ represents one or more metal cations wherein the metal has an atomic number greater than 36; an atomic radius of at least 50 pm and a 1st ionization energy of less than 750 kJ mol-1; [X]- represents one or more perhalide anions; and (ii) obtaining a hydrocarbon fluid product having a reduced mercury content compared to mercury-containing hydrocarbon fluid feed.

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