Arunachal Pradesh likely to be India’s prime producer of Vanadium

In an exploration being carried out by the Geological Survey of India, the eastern Himalayan State has been placed on the vanadium map and geologists are confident of finding a deposit soon.

Jan 12, 2021 14:30 ISTModified On: Jan 12, 2021 14:30 IST
Vanadium in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh can become India’s prime producer of Vanadium. It is a high-value metal that has been used in strengthening steel and titanium. The largest deposits of Vanadium are in China, followed by South Africa and Russia.

In an exploration being carried out by the Geological Survey of India, the eastern Himalayan State has been placed on the vanadium map and geologists are confident of finding a deposit soon.

Even though India is a significant consumer of Vanadium, it has not been a prime producer of the essential metal. As per the GSI officials, the metal has been recovered as a by-product from a slag that was collected from the processing of vanadiferous magnetite ores.

About Vanadium:

In its pure form, it is a grey, soft and ductile element primarily derived from mined iron ore, steel slag, and phyllites. As per the Indian Bureau of Mines, the total estimated reserves of the metal is 24.63 million tonnes.

Vanadium found in the areas of Arunachal Pradesh:

The promising concentration of vanadium was found in the palaeo-proterozoic carbonaceous phyllite rocks in Tamang and Depo areas of the state’s Papum pare district. This was also the first report of a primary deposit of Vanadium in the country with an average grade of 0.76% Vanadium pentoxide.

The mineralisation found in Arunachal Pradesh has been geologically similar to the stone coal Vanadium Deposits that are found in China. This high vanadium content has been associated with graphite with a fixed carbon content of up to 16%.

As per the specialist, the vanadium mineralisation found in Arunachal Pradesh is comparable to the significant vanadium deposits of the world.

How the discovery took place?

During the exploration, the geologists had discovered two bands of around 7-meter thick carbonaceous phyllite with a length of more than 6 km in the Depo area. This further prompted the Geologists to extend their research to other areas of the state.

As per the reports, the good prospects of the metal for a length of 15.5 km and with a thickness of 7 meter were found in the Saiya, Deed, and Phop areas of the Lower Subansiri district. The content of the metal was also found in Palin-Sangram in Kra Daadi, Pakke-Kesang district, Kalamati in West Siang, Kaying in Siang district, and Kalaktang in West Kameng.

Use of Vanadium and why is it significant

•  The alloys made of vanadium are durable in extreme environments and temperatures and are also corrosion-resistant.

•  The addition of the alloy also improves the tensile strength of steel and of the reinforcing bars that are used for tunnels, buildings, and bridges.

•  Apart from increasing the fuel efficiency in the aviation and automobile industries because of its high-strength to weight ratio, it also forms the essential part of vanadium redox batteries that have the least ecological effect in energy storage.

Global demand for vanadium:

As per the GSI specialist, its global demand has been skyrocketing but there was a deficit of around 17,300 metric tonnes in 2017 between the demand and supply. The Vanadium which has been found in India’s Arunachal Pradesh can help boost the national and local economy.

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