India’s largest iron ore producer, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), on Tuesday unveiled its new state-of-the-art Research and Development (R&D) Center in Patancheru, Hyderabad, to advance innovation in mineral processing and sustainable steel technology. 

The Hyderabad-based Navratna company has made strategic investments of over Rs 150 crore in research and development in the past five years and Rs 50 crore in building the new R&D Centre.

“Embracing our responsibility to innovate and lead the Indian Mining Industry towards a sustainable future through research and development, we open the doors to NMDC’s new state-of-the-art R&D Center,” Amitava Mukherjee, CMD, NMDC, said in a release. 

“As we stride forward to innovate and inspire, we are not just investing in research here, we are investing in India’s Future,” he added. 

The new facility, which spans an eight-acre plot in Patancheru, is a `decisive’ step towards driving the digital transformation of India’s largest iron ore producer. It will further reinforce its commitment to Responsible Mining by building a sustainable ecosystem at its core.

The R&D Centre houses cutting-edge laboratories manned by experts that foster innovation in sustainable mineral technology and ore beneficiation. 

The newly inaugurated NMDC R&D Centre boasts an array of sophisticated instruments, including an automated mineral analyser and an automated fusion bead-based X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyser, ensuring precise and efficient characterisation of various minerals. 

The Centre features a dedicated facility for pelletisation studies, which will generate crucial data for the installation of commercial pellet plants. This will enhance NMDC’s in-house requirements and capabilities and benefit the sector by providing valuable insights into mineral processing and pellet production.

One of the unique aspects of the new R&D Centre is the hydrogen reduction facility, integrated with a microwave-assisted heating furnace. This innovative setup will play a vital role in developing green steel-making technologies, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable practices in the steel industry.

Equipped with the latest technology and infrastructure, the Centre is an expert in Mineralogy, Elemental Analysis, Bulk Materials Handling and Storage, Mineral Processing, and Coal and Coke Characterization.

At the forefront of innovation, the Centre will serve as a hub for collaboration with leading academic institutions and industry experts to become the nerve centre of the industry.