MSMC's Pohara Sillimanite Mine in Bhandara District is the main producer of Sillimanite-Corundum-Pyrophyllite. These are scarce and high value minerals. They command good demand in high alumina refractory bricks manufacturing industries. Pyrophyllite extensively used as filler in Rubber, Paper, Roofing, Soaps, Cosmetics, Asbestos products and insecticides. It also finds use in production of traditional ceramics, with particular reference to H.T. insulators.
For this purpose, MSMC appointed Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata a laboratory of C.S.I.R. Govt. of India, for characterization of Pohara Mine Pyrophyllite, its possible utilization as body mix in Ceramics industries and also as industrial filler in Rubber, Paper, Roofing, Soaps, Cosmetics, Asbestos products and insecticides.
Studies on characterization of Pohara mine Pyrophyllite reveled the following : 1) Two types of Pyrophyllite is available at Pohara mine; one contains high Silica, lower Alumina and higher Alkali (about 2.5%) in comparison to other which contains lower Silica and higher Alumina and lower Alkali (about 1)
2) The P.C.E. value of low Alumina Pyrophyllite is 28 and that of high ranges from 32 to 33%
3) Both types of pyrophyllite in ground form can be utilized with advantages in ceramic industries; the low alumina type in body mix (upto 15%) to replace quartz & the other in white wear composition (upto 22.5%) to replace quartz and china clay concurrently in ratio of 1:2.
4) Pyrophylite lumps become white smooth powder after wet grinding and this powder can be used as " industrial filler" in many industry.
Process Outline : Reliving on the findings of the investigation of C.G.C.R.I., the MSMC proposes, to set up facilities for Pyrophyllite grinding. The process would involve crushing of Pyrophyllite lumps with a suitable Jaw crusher down to 20 mm size and then to grind the crushed Pyrophyllite to -250 mesh size sylex-lined ball mill using Ceramic balls as grinding media, preferably in wet grinding circuit to help improving smoothness and brightness of the groundmass.
Limestone, has a favorable attribute that on calcinations at about 10000 C, it produces quick lime and the same is the chipest known source of Alkali. In industry, it is the second largest " Heavy" (or basic) chemical and is used.
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Lime is most recently used in highway construction for soil stabilization and as a filler and antistripping agent in asphalt.
Under such circumstances, MSMC appointed Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorki, a laboratory of CSIR, Govt. Of India, to investigate pyrological characteristic of Gaurala Limestone for its conversion to " Soft Burnt" quick lime and other down the line products namely lime based distemper, Cementitious binder and hydrated Lime.
As a part of its expansion program on value added limestone products, MSMC would under take the following :
a) Augmenting capacity of quick lime production to 10,000 MT per Annum.
b) Production of lime based distemper, wherein line fines intermixed with ash (by-product to quick lime lumps) would be the primary raw material.
c) Production of "Cementitious binder". This is cheaper alternative to cement, can be used with advantages by mosaic tile manufacturer in replacement of white cement. It would also find extensive use in construction of roads, building, stabilization of embankments etc.
d) Production of hydrated lime suitable for use in chemical industries.
MSMC has taken following measures for preliminary value addition: Providing an integrated crushing and screening unit at mine site will be at essential aid to produce graded and sized dolomite chips for supply to mosaic tile manufacturer and other allied industries directly from the site and to improve quality of production raised from the mine.