Vedanta signs MoU for reuse of bauxite residue

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 12, 2021

To maximise value-extraction from the residue for further usage downstream

Vedanta, one of the largest producers of aluminium and its value-added products, has signed a memorandum of understanding for value-creation from bauxite residue (red mud), which is a by-product generated during processing of bauxite into alumina.

Bauxite is the primary ore for producing aluminium. It undergoes an intermediate refining stage to produce alumina and then through electrolysis aluminium is produced. About three tonnes of bauxite produces one tonne of alumina and about two tonnes of alumina gives one tonne of aluminium.

Last August, Aditya Birla Group company Hindalco Industries signed an agreement with its group company UltraTech Cement to supply 1.2 million tonne of red mud annually.

UltraTech Cement will use the red mud for replacing up to 3 per cent of clinker raw mix volume. Use of red mud reduces the cement industry’s dependence on natural resources and promotes a circular economy.

Bauxite residue has many metal values like iron, alumina, rare earth elements and titanium dioxide. Creating indigenous capabilities for extraction of REEs from bauxite residue has been the brainchild of NITI Aayog.

Research institutes

Along with other aluminium producers, Vedanta has entered into the partnership with three research institutes namely CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, and Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research, Development & Design Centre, Nagpur.

All three research institutes will work together to develop technologies for red mud beneficiation for REE enrichment, recovery of alumina values, recovery of iron values and process for extraction and separation of Titanium and REEs. Once established, the processes will be validated through an integrated facility.

Rahul Sharma, Deputy CEO – Aluminium, Vedanta, said the aim is to maximise value-extraction from bauxite residue for further usage downstream.

Vedanta produced 1.9 million tonnes of aluminium in FY20. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries.

Published on April 12, 2021

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