You are on page 1of 18


As India progresses towards higher level of growth and greater and more concentrated efforts in the development of Infrastructure and manufacturing sector, the Iron and steel industry is poised for a rapid growth in the years to come. Steel demand in the country is increasing at an average rate of 10% and is likely to remain in 10-12% range at least for the next decade. In order to meet the steadily growing steel demand in the country, domestic steel producing capacity is required to be higher than 110 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) within next three years and, 150 mtpa by the year 2016-17. The increase in domestic demand will be largely driven by its investments in infrastructure, and its strategy of inclusive growth which is enabling the opening up of relatively less explored rural markets. However, the per capita consumption in India continues to remain way below the per capita global average. India is amongst top five iron ore producing countries in the world alongside China, Australia, Brazil and Russia. India has approximately 26 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves comprising hematite (58%) and magnetite (42%). Government owned NMDC is Indias largest producer and exporter of iron ore, while Seas Goa is the largest private sector producer and exporter of iron ore in the country. While the economic reforms and liberalized export regimes has accelerated production and export of iron ore, the domestic production of iron and steel hasnt kept pace with the iron ore production. India exported about 117 Million tonnes of Iron Ore in 2009-10 out of which 93% in the form of fines. The high level of exports of fines are due to couple of reasons: one reason being non availability of adequate steel making and agglomeration capacity within India and secondly

due to high prices of Iron ore in the International market driven by demand from China. It has become economical to export, even the historically accumulated dumps of lower grades of fines from Goa/Reddi region. The following salient features of iron ore scenario in India need to be kept in view: Five states namely Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Goa and Orissa produces over 96% of the Iron Ore. 65% of total iron ore production is accounted from the four districts namely. Keonjhar (Orissa), Bellary (Karnataka), Singhbhum West (Jharkhand) and Dantewada (Chattisgarh). Public Sector produces 27% and private sector about 73% of iron ore. Share of captive Mines on total production is falling, from 43% in 2002-03 to 20% in 2009-10. Due to variation in quality of ore and operating practices, percentage of fines varies from state to state in the range of 48% (Orissa) to as high as 76% (Goa).

In India partly due to the sponge iron sector, the overall percentage of lumps usage in steel making (i.e. 47%) is higher than most other countries. India is the only country where over 30% of steel comes from the induction furnace sector using sponge iron. Sponge Iron Plants use only lumps and are generally located in areas with accessibility to Iron Ore Mines. As hard ore reserves is depleting day by day, lump generation suitable for blast furnace operation is coming down resulting in large amount of surplus production of fines It would be more profitable in the long run if the iron ore industry finds domestic buyers. In order to ensure utilization of large quantity of fines generated in the country, one should therefore examine the technical and economical viability of the use of pellets. Production capacity for beneficiation and agglomeration has to be linked to the mine itself, since only the mines could absorb the cost of beneficiation and agglomeration. The Ministry of Mines would need to consider a separate policy on incentivizing beneficiation, while the Steel Ministry may work out incentives for agglomeration.

Fairly high rate of change in technology for production of steel may lead to changing pattern of use material inputs and feed stock causing significant shift in respective share of lumps and agglomerated iron ore for hot metal in furnace, which will enable the use of ores which could not be utilized earlier. Technology choice for steel production will continue to be market driven. It is hoped that the present and prospective steel plants in India will use fines based technologies so that surplus domestic production is utilized in the country. Beneficiation of ores and value addition would also increase the economic efficiency of these processes which will increase and give a further fillip to steel production in India. Shifts in the energy use due to the imperatives of environment, emission of green house gases, domestic availability and overall cost efficiency and changes in scale of operation will also lead to smaller/ modular production facilities with lower demand for land. The steel plants are looking towards the use of iron ore pellets along with sinter and lumps as this strategy opens up the opportunity for the utilization of fines and are less energy intensive.


As regards technology of iron ore making there is clear shifts towards DR (Direct Reduction) and SR (Smelting Reduction) processes. The focus of many new technologies in iron and steel making is to convert iron oxide (mostly Hematite) to steel with increased efficiency. The smelting reduction process hold particular promise with regard to using the inferior grades of iron ore and ore slimes/fines. There is increasing trend for utilization of pellets or sinters as feed in blast furnaces because of their uniform size, known composition and strength. From a purely technical point of view, pellets having a more regular shape and superior reduction characteristics are definitely superior to lumps ores as the iron oxide feed stock. The three different methods that can be used for the production of iron from Iron ore are: Coke-Ovens -Sinter-Blast Furnace (BF) Route, Direct Reduction Technique and Smelting Reduction Technologies. 1. Coke-oven-Sinter-BF route Coke-oven-Sinter-BF route is used by integrated steel plants that produce steel from iron ore. In this process, the iron ore is first subjected to a sintering process.

The treated iron from the sintering plant is fed in to the Blast furnace along with coke. The output from the furnace is the pure iron in molten stage, which is called hot metal. The hot metal output from the Blast furnace is either directly fed in to the Basic Oxygen Furnace or used for producing pig iron. 2. Direct Reduction Technique The Direct reduction technique is an alternative to the Blast furnace technique. Iron ore is first crushed and reduction agents (coal and gas) remove the impurities and oxygen. This produces 97.0 percent pure iron, which is called, solid Sponge Iron or direct reduced iron or hot briquettes iron. Sponge Iron Plants use only lumps and are generally located in areas with accessibility to Iron Ore Mines. 3. Smelting Reduction Technique Smelting reduction technique is the third technique used for the production of iron from iron ore. Here the hot metal (liquid iron) is produced from iron ore in two steps. Ores are partly reduced in the first step and then final reduction and melting, takes place in the second stage. Different processes are used for smelting. COREX Technique is the latest process used for smelting. Here coal is directly used in a smelter gasifier as an energy carrier & reducing agent. The other smelting techniques are Hismelt, Ausmelt, Romelt, Plasmasmelt and The Direct Iron Smelting Reduction (DIOS) 2.1 The Steel Making Process For producing Crude Steel, two types of techniques are adopted; they are the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) type and Electric arc furnace (EAF) type.

Basic Oxygen Furnace Technique (BOF)

Hot metal from the Blast furnace or reduced iron from the smelting plant is fed in to the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) after pre-treatment to remove undesired elements like sulfur, silicon or phosphorous. Molten Steel in liquid form is obtained. Impurities go out in gaseous form and as slag. Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Steel scrap or Pig iron or Sponge iron is used as the raw material in this process. Here the raw material is melted using heat generated with the

aid of an electric arc produced by graphite electrodes. The crude steel produced from the above said processes are either used for producing ingots or fed in the continuous casting process cycle. 3.0 ALTERNATIVE IRONMAKING TECHNOLOGY India has adequate reserves of iron ore, but not enough coking coal. The coking coal reserves in India are of poor quality. Hence, there is a tremendous interest in alternative miron making. The Major objectives of developing the Alternative Iron making processes in India are: To provide an alternative to traditional BF iron making To do away with the requirement of metallurgical coke as prime reductant and heat source.

In the process it will also improve steel quality and lower steelmaking cost, improve productivity of iron and steel plants, increases flexibility: raw materials, min. capacity, exploit opportunities for utilizing waste iron oxides, and assures environmental acceptability. Direct-Reduction (DR) process Direct-reduced iron (DRI) is produced from direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets or fines) by a reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal. The reducing gas is a mixture majority of Hydrogen (H 2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) which acts as reducing agent. This process of directly reducing the iron ore in solid form by reducing gases is called direct reduction. The various processes of DR technique based on Coal and Gas are given below: Coal-based Rotary Kiln Processes Gas-based Shaft Furnace Processes Coal / gas-based Rotary Hearth Furnace Processes Multiple Hearths Furnace-based Processes Coal-based DR in Tunnel Kilns Fluidized Bed Processes9 Smelting reduction (SR) processes Unlike Direct Reduction, SR produces liquid hot metal like a Blast Furnace. Smelting reduction technology is a coal-based iron making process and thus different from the conventional coke-based

conventional blast furnace. Most smelting reduction processes also avoid the agglomeration of iron ore. Smelting reduction technology, as the name clearly suggests, involves both solid-state reduction and smelting. Smelting is melting involving chemical reduction reactions. Smelting reduction technology exploits the principle that coal can be gasified in a bath of molten iron. Smelting reduction technology is the only recent serious contender to replace the conventional energyintensive blast furnace that has been the dominant iron making technology for centuries. The various processes of SR technique are COREX, FINEX, ITmk3, HIS melt, FastMelt and Mini Blast Furnace (to extend BF technology to small capacity) 4.0 WHY PELLETISATION? If we look at the life indices of iron ore, the very long term forecast of iron and steel production and the consequent demand for iron ore made on optimistic assumptions also show that the steel industry can remain comfortable with domestic iron ore supplies, however, the life of high grade lumpy ore as on 1.4.2010 will be 10 years. According to the industry, the high quality iron ore resources will be exhausted much before the full operational life of the plants in place today or those being planned to be set up. Value addition to the iron ore fines through various activities such as beneficiation, pelletisation is the need of the hour which will generate economic activities as well as employment with in the country and will also be economically beneficial to the mining communities in the long run. Incentives to be given for adopting latest technologies for direct use of fines in iron making by agglomeration of fines or in the form of pellets or sinters as fines forms considerable part of iron ore resources. India is also the largest producer of sponge iron. Pellet use in BF in India is absent whereas in technologically advanced plants the preferred burden in BF is a mixture

of Sinter and Pellets with minimum dependence on lumps. It is obvious that increase1 0 of steel production at the desired pace cannot be sustained without securing availability of the required raw materials. This calls for utilization of low grade ores and fines. The process of beneficiation and pelletisation of low grade iron ore and slimes will play a critical role in conserving our good quality iron ore reserves. Ministry of Mines has already decided to lower cut off level of Fe in hematite ore from 55% to 45%. This category of ore will be separately stored in the mines and will require crushing and grinding prior to beneficiation. Low grade iron ore, iron ore fines and iron ore tailings/slimes accumulated over the years at mine heads and generated during the existing washing processes, need to be beneficiated to provide concentrates of required quality to the Indian steel plants. However, these concentrates are too fine in size to be used directly in the existing iron making processes. For utilizing this fine concentrate, pelletization is the only alternative available. Pelletizing turns very fine-grained iron ore into balls of a certain diameter, also known as pellets, which are suitable for blast furnace and direct reduction. Pellet plants can be located at mines, near harbors or be attached to steel mills. Pellets form one of the best options, due to their excellent physical and metallurgical properties. Moreover, due to their high strength and suitability for storage, pellets can be easily transported over long distances, with repeated transshipments if necessary. 4.1 Advantages of Pellets: Iron ore pellet is a kind of agglomerated fines which has better tumbling index as compared to that of parent ore and can be used as a substitute for the same. Iron ore pellets are being used for long in blast furnaces in many countries where lump

iron ore is not available. In India, the necessity of pelletisation is realized because of several reasons and advantages. The excessive fines generated from the iron ore mining and crushing units for sizing the feed for blast furnace and sponge iron ore plants are mostly un-utilized. Pelletisation Technology is the only route that is going to dominate the Indian steel industry in future. Pellets have; Good Reducibility: Because of their high porosity that is (25-30%), pellets are usually reduced considerably faster than hard burden sinter or hard natural ores/lump ores.1 1 Good Bed Permeability: Their spherical shapes and containing open pores, gives them good bed permeability. Low angle of repose however is a drawback for pellet and creates uneven binder distribution. High uniform Porosity (25-30%): Because of high uniform porosity of pellets, faster reduction and high metallization takes place. Less heat consumption than sintering. Approx. 35-40% less heat required than sintering. Uniform chemical composition & very low LOI: The chemical analysis is to a degree controllable in the concentration processing within limits dictated by economics. In reality no LOI makes them cost effective. Easy handling and transportation. Unlike Sinter, pellets have high strength and can be transported to long distances without fine generation. It has also good resistance to disintegration. Pellets also helps in utilization of waste ore and lean ore as cheaper and abundant raw material. The irresistible profitability of Pelletization can be established by simply converting the above mentioned advantages into monetary benefits. 5.0 PELLETISATION METHODS Pelletizing processes turns very fine-grained iron ore into balls of a certain diameter,

known as pellets, which are suitable for blast furnace and direct reduction. The major raw materials are iron ore fines, bentonite and additives. Hematite (Fe203) and magnetite (Fe304) iron ores are the usual feed stock. Limonite ore is also pelletised mixed with hematite or magnetite ore. The use of magnetite is preferred as heat energy consumption is lower and quality of the pellet is better, due to oxidation of Fe 3 0 4 in the temperature range of 800 o C1200 o C.1 2 Bentonite is a binder and facilitates formation of the green balls of adequate strength. Additives, such as limestone, dolomite/dunite and coal are added in the mix. Fluxes are added to adjust slag forming constituents and improve fusion temperature and reducibility. The addition of coal reduces heat energy consumption and improves porosity of the pellets. 5.1 Selection of process technology The selection of process technology will mainly depend on the following considerations: Type of iron ore, viz. hematite or magnetite Availability of type of fuel Plant capacity and cost Type of iron ore: Magnetite ore is the ideal raw material for pellet making. During preheating it releases heat due to oxidation to hematite and reduces heat energy consumption, increases productivity and strength of the pellet. As a result, fines generation during heat treatment in the rotary kiln will be less. In case of hematite ore, strength of the pre-hardened pellet will not be adequate to withstand

breakage in rotary kiln due to tumbling of the pellets. Availability of type of fuel: Non-availability of adequate natural gas in the country will require use of costly oil in non-captive straight-grate process. In case of gratekiln process, main fuel can be pulverized coal. The use of coal gas as main fuel in the straight-grate unit in the country is encouraging. Plant capacity and cost: The construction of straight-grate units for capacities 1.5 mtpy and below is more expensive. The economy of scales, price of the raw materials, especially iron ore and fuel determine cost of the pellet. The main methods of producing pellets are; the Travelling grate process and Grate kiln process 1. The Traveling Grate process, accounts for two thirds of the worlds installed pelletizing processes. It comprises of the following three steps :1 3 Raw material preparation Forming green pellets Pellet hardening A Typical flow diagram of the process is given in AnnexureI. The process advantages are : Pellets remain undisturbed throughout the entire process (including cooling) Uniform heat treatment Minimized dust and fines generation Superior process flexibility Low specific heat consumption and; Uniform heat treatment, leading to uniform product quality 2. The first Grate-Kiln System pellet plant was installed in 1960. The plant took iron ore concentrate and produced superior iron ore pellets for blast furnace and direct reduced iron feed. There are two main processes for producing iron ore Pellets: The Grate-Kiln System and the straight grate system. In the straight grate system, a continuous parade of grate cars moves at the same speed though the drying, induration and cooling zones. Any change in one section effects the residence time in another. In the Grate-Kiln System, independent speed

control of the grate, kiln and cooler are available to the operator. This provides process flexibility to adjust to changes in concentrate feed. Energy Efficiency In a Grate-Kiln System, the traveling grate is used to dry and preheat the pellets. A refractory lined rotary kiln is used for induration. In a straight grate, the grate cars have to go through the drying and induration zones. So, a deep bed of pellets with a hearth layer is required. What this means is that a modern Grate-Kiln System will have a power requirement of less than 20 kwh/ton, while a straight grate system will use over 35 kwh/ton.1 4 Another part of the Grate Kiln System process flexibility is because there is only one burner. The kiln burner can use liquid gas, or solid (coal or wood) fuels separately or in combination. One burner reduces maintenance costs and improves fuel efficiency. In the Grate Kiln System, 95% of the air used for combustion is +1,000 C air from the cooler. A straight grate, with up to 50 burners, cannot match this level of energy recovery. The Process adopts three equipment viz. grate, rotary kiln and annular cooler. Green balls are first dried and preheated on the straight grate followed by hardening in a counter flow manner in rotary kiln and air cooling in an annular cooler. The flow diagram of the process is given in Annexure-II. 6.0 INDIAN SCENARIO According to the industry, the high quality iron ore resources will be exhausted much before the full operational life of the plants in place today or those being planned to be set up. The life of high grade lumpy ore as on 1.4.2010 will be approx. 10 years. Therefore the utilization of low grade ores and fines is must. Moreover, with the rapid setting up of new steel capacities in the country, the domestic iron ore requirements

including that of fines will grow expeditiously.1 5 Adequate Sintering and Pelletisation capacities do not exist in the country. Such capacity has to be built up through appropriate fiscal incentives. The steel makers will also have to take necessary initiatives to reduce lump ore consummation and change the iron ore consumption mix with adequate technological changes by higher utilization of fines through sinters and pellets instead of remaining over dependent on lumps. The current sinter and pellets usage in the Indian plants is lower than those in the best of the plants abroad. Higher sinter and pellets use will help the industry reduce costs as also make use of the fines generated in mining iron ore. Most entrepreneurs today looking at setting up small and medium size plants have realized that Pelletisation projects have to be planned on low-grade iron ore below 58% Fe. This can only be achieved only after beneficiating low grade ore, and that has made beneficiation process an important issue. So far we do not have any mining company or any other agency producing iron ore concentrate like China, and this poses some very critical questions. Who should perform the beneficiation process. Shall we wait for the availability of concentrate from outside agency or add beneficiation process as part of Pelletisation project. Other challenges posed are additional investment and infrastructure i.e. availability of water and disposal of slimes. 6.1 Fuels Since most of the pellet projects under consideration are going to be independent units or part of DRI plants, the selection of economical and efficient energy source is an important issue i.e. Oil, Gas, Imported low ash Coal, Indigenous low ash Coal, Producer Gas etc. The economics of use of these fuels is very much dependent on the process technology used and the location of the plant.

6.2 Status of Pellet Plants in India: The use of pellet in the blast furnace is limited in India. Pellets constitute about 30% of the blast furnace burden in JSW. Sinter comprises 70% of blast furnace burden in other major plants in the country. However, Pellets constitute 7080% burden in Corex units and gas based DR units. The use of pellet began in India with commissioning of the gas based DR units in late 1990s, although first pellet plant was commissioned in 1966. With the rise of steel production through EAF route in India, the requirement of pellet has increased to meet production of DRI. The availability1 6 of large quantities of subgrade fines and slimes in the mines has necessitated beneficiation of the same followed by pelletisation. As a result, a number of pellet plants have been installed and several units are under implementation. The details of Pelletisation units (actual and projected) in the country are given in Annexure-III. 6.3 Pellet quality: The chemical analyses of pellets produced in major plants in India are given in the table below: Chemical Analyses of Pellets produced in Major Plants Plant Fe,% SiO2,% Al203,% Ca0,% Mg0,% ESSAR 66.13 2.76 1.07 0.83 0.19 KIOCL 65.0 2.98 2.36 JSW 64.22 3.2 2.05 1.48 0.37 Tata Steel 65.96 2.33 2.13 0.51 0.03 *Proposed The constituents of blast furnace burden in other countries are presented in table below : Blast Furnace Burden Constituents in different countries Raw materials USA EU Japan South Korea China Sinter, % 10 62 74 75 70 Pellet, % 82 25 6 10 12 6.4 Approach for adopting suitable technology at a smaller scale There are certain technologies which can actually help in reducing the cost of

pelletisation. In fact new technologies have come up with smaller size pellet plants in China to be adopted for Indian conditions. For projects above 2 million tons / year1 7 capacity, proven technology for hematite ore pelletisation is readily available from western world and few plants are already operating successfully in India. For smaller plants many Indian entrepreneurs have been looking at Chinese suppliers and evaluating various technologies available in China, where hundreds of similar plants are operating, however, under very different circumstances. Further analysis of the same here will explain the challenges posed for these smaller projects in the Indian context and the solutions to address the same. 6.5. Technology selection for pelletisation There are several process technologies and systems available for iron ore pelletisation. The selection of right technology for a particular situation can make a lot of difference in every respect. To quote few are: (a) Vertical Shaft Kilns of capacity 33,000 600,000 TPA. (b) Vertical Shaft Kilns inclined & circular cross section for capacity 200,000 700,000 TPA. (c) T r a v e l G r a t e , R o t a r y K i l n & C i r c u l a r C o o l er for capacity 200,000 5,000,000 TPA (d) Integrated Pellet + DRI Plant for capacity 60, 000 270,000 TPA (e) Steel Belt sintering technology for capacity 80,000 2 Million TPA (f) Long Straight Moving Grate for capacity - in practice preferred for 2 Million TPA and above. (g) Batch processing Kilns for very small capacity. Now improved process technique is available where the heat requirement is as low as 120 130 K Cal. /Kg. It is also possible to make an integrated pellet and DRI plant where the project cost and energy consumption is reduced drastically. The future of sintering and pelletising is directly related to the future of the iron making processes that use sinter and pellets, mainly the Blast furnace and DR1 8

process. The future of these processes in turn depends upon steel production and consumption, which have been on an upward trend. Our situation is quite different from that of the Chinese pelletisation industry and the Chinese technology and design institutes are still in the process of establishing the knowhow for pelletizing hematite ore. Compared with China, where the feed material to almost all plants is magnetite ore concentrate fines available from mining companies and Pelletization of magnetite ore is easier for various reasons. Also, almost all the Chinese pellet plants are located in the blast furnace area, and they use blast furnace gas as main fuel. However, the demand and supply has changed the scenario of availability of quality ore fines. Three to four years back fines of above 63% Fe grade were considered as typical feed material for pellet plants. Today, however more and more pellets plants are using beneficiated fines as feed material. 7.0 TECHNO-ECONOMIC ISSUES The countrys iron ore requirement is going to increase substantially (almost 340 Mt/yr by 2020) in line with domestic steel production requirement outlined in National Steel Policy. The percentage of Fines to lumps is generally rising as mining goes deeper. Limited reserves of high grade iron ore pose a great challenge in long term sustainability of Indian iron & steel industry. In order to ensure optimum use of existing iron ore resources with special emphasis on conservation of high grade ores, there is a pressing need to utilize existing low grade iron ores including slimes and dump fines which are stockpiled in millions of tonnes in different mine heads. The solution lies in beneficiation which will not only help in utilization of hitherto wasted low grade ores/ slimes by upgrading

its Fe value, but also mitigate environmental hazard, arising out of large stockpiling of slimes/rejects. Newer and modern beneficiation techniques are required for upgradation of low grade iron ores with high yield. Because of varying mineralogical characteristics of ore bodies, specific beneficiation technology solution need to be developed by R&D organizations for recovery of micro-fines for each of the deposit through extensive test work and development of flow sheet.1 9 Globally, pellets are extensively used in BFs, particularly in USA and Canada. In India pellets are seen as a technical requirement in certain processes and so pellet prices remain high and quantity is limited. To encourage mine owners to set up pellet plants, Industry has been suggesting that Government must give incentives like depreciation, IT benefits, lower royalty rates, etc. Recently, Industry bodies have requested for removal of export duty on pellets as a value added product. Clearly success in adoption of pellets depends on its pricing relative to lumps. This issue really needs urgent and concentrated joint attention of Commerce Ministry, Mines Ministry and Steel Ministry. Perhaps an integrated view needs to be taken in relation to the export regime presently available for high grade Fines. Given the reality of our sponge iron industry, any strategy will have to centrally address the issue of efficiently replacing the use of lumps by pellets in respect of the DRI units and larger effort to move towards more efficient steel making technologies. Since good iron ore deposits are depleting fast beneficiation technologies will have to be adopted to meet iron ore demand. Agglomeration technologies such as pelletisation and sintering will have to be added to Indian steel plants

so that concentrates can be used and the agglomerated products used in iron making to produce iron and steel economically and in eco-friendly way. 8.0 RECOMMENDATIONS There is need for taking up fresh exploratory investigations by GSI & IBM to ascertain proved reserves as per International Convention. Further, the present classification of ore reserves need to be modified by reclassifying the reserves into four grades viz. high grade (Fe +62 %), low grade (Fe +52%), poor ores (Fe +45%) and very poor ores (Fe below 45%) and for each grade, proved reserves need to be separately estimated.2 0 The Government needs to provide encouragement by way of policy support, incentives, so as to facilitate entrepreneurial initiative towards upgradation of low grade iron ores including slimes in tailing ponds by beneficiation and subsequent utilization. Beneficiation of low grade ores, mostly at micro-fines level, provides concentrate which can be used in iron making in the form of pellets. Therefore, pelletisation technology will have a predominant role in supplying the prepared burden for iron making. Adoption of suitable pelletisation technology of varying capacity is encouraged to meet specific needs with respect to availability and type of iron ore fines/concentrate in the country. Major efforts are going on to develop new cost effective hot metal/steel production technologies based on utilization of iron ore fines/slimes and non coking coal (because of limited global reserves of coking coal).Some of these areHismelt technology. Finnex technology, Romelt technology etc. There is need to encourage adoption of some of these technologies taking in account of Indian raw materials. This will not only lead maximum utilization of fines but will conserve our natural resources.

Prospective entrepreneurs are apprehensive about the continuous availability of iron ore fines from same sources on long term basis because of sensitivity of the beneficiation technology to different iron ores. Therefore, there is need to develop some mechanism to provide iron ore linkages to them. In view of increasing demand of high quality iron ore and for environmental protection against dumped fines and slimes in the tailing pond, an improved beneficiation technique for iron ores, dumped fines and slimes, use of blue dust, through sintering and pelletizing need to be encouraged. While allocating /renewing iron ore mines, preference should be given to those who undertake to produce pellets/sinters. Incentivizing beneficiation and value addition, particularly in the case of notified areas of known mineralization. Bigger capacities of Steel Plants should be promoted who can make Capital Investments for Agglomeration and also they can use the waste energy efficiently. Government should facilitate & encourage pipe line transportation of fines/slimes.2 1 ANNEXURE-I Flow diagram of Traveling Grate Process2 2 ANNEXURE-II Flow diagram of Grate-Kiln Process2 3