Jamshedpur, July 8: The 20th edition of �Conference on Non-ferrous Minerals and Metals� was held at Hotel Ramada here on Friday.
About 120 delegates assembled to deliberate on the challenges faced by the non-ferrous industry within the country and, the way ahead to match the global standards.
Several stalwarts from the non-ferrous industry including R. N. Parbat, former CMD of Indal, Abhijit Pati CEO, Vedanta Aluminum, V. Balasubramanyam (NALCO), and Dr. P. K. Banerjee (HINDALCO) participated in the inaugural session of the conference. Prof. P. Ramababu Kodali, director, NIT Jamshedpur, represented the academia.
The chairman of the conference Dr. K. Muraleedharan, director, CSIR NML, delivered the welcome address and emphasized on the need for the growth of the industry to move towards international benchmarks on per capita consumption of non ferrous metals. He also pointed out the importance of technologies for critical and rare metals recovery from the residues generated in major non ferrous industries.
From aluminum industry perspective, Abhijit Pati said that if we need to increase aluminum production, we need to add up to newer areas of application. To emphasize his point, he said that there are only 300 applications of aluminum in India as against 3000 globally.
Almost all the speakers were unanimous in their thinking that innovative and economically viable technologies needs to be developed to treat the waste generated in non ferrous and allied industry, like spent pot lining in aluminum industry, red mud, fly ash, copper smelter slag, etc.
A more detailed presentation on non-ferrous metal recycling was made by Dr. K. K. Sahu from CSIR-NML for general and innovative processes developed aspects by CSIR-NML.
A presentation from industrial giant OUTOTEC highlighted the importance of water management in nonferrous industry. About 1 million tons of e-waste is generated in the country annually and for the sustainability of critical and rare metals (like germanium , tellurium , gallium, indium, rare earths, etc), industrially viable technologies is needed wherein collaborative efforts are needed between industry and R&D organizations. The fluctuating price of nonferrous metals was also highlighted as a concern by industry personnel.
In this context, Dr. Sarangi from UCIL pointed out that the steep fall in uranium prices from UDS 140 to USD 26 in the recent times.
The conference will further deliberate through technical paper presentations by scientists and technocrats of Indian and overseas region, and poster presentations by students of various universities of Jharkhand and other regions of India.