May 2024
Volume 75    Issue 5

Valorization from waste: Combined reduction of chromite ore-processing tailings and subgrade manganese ore to produce 200 series stainless steel scrap

Kumar, Pankaj; Tripathy, Sunil Kumar; Sahu, Nilamadhaba; Kapure, Gajanan U.


Chromite ore processing tailings and low-grade manganese ores are typically considered waste due to their limited or negligible utility, leading to environmental and storage concerns. Researchers globally have explored various methods to utilize or upgrade these wastes, particularly because dumping chromite ore has been linked to severe health issues through Cr(VI) leaching. Individually, these ores lack economic value, and there has not been research on simultaneously reducing both low-grade ores. In this study, the focus lies on smelting these ores together, aiming to create a precursor alloy for 200 series stainless steel scrap. Initial research indicates the potential for scrap formation, validated through laboratory experiments with varying coke rate, basicity and holding time. The investigation discovered that smelting this combination could yield a metal product consisting of 59 percent Fe, 24.93 percent Cr, 7.56 percent Mn, 0.62 percent Ni and 0.93 percent Si. The optimum basicity was found to be 0.6 with 80 percent recovery. Notably, this process eliminates intermediate steps in 200 series stainless steel production, potentially reducing overall carbon dioxide emissions. This proposed method represents a cleaner, sustainable approach to repurpose these two waste ores, projecting a net profit of US$330/t.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2024) 41:297–309,


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