Bhubaneswar: Corporate honchos, Ministry of Mines officials, environmentalists and stakeholders of Mines and Metal sector brainstormed, deliberated and reviewed the status of red mud generation and its safe disposal, and productive utilisation to drive the nation to a cleaner future.
Ministry of Mines in association with Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC) organised the ‘Red Mud Networking Meet’ in New Delhi today to identify the research gaps and call for urgent action-oriented approach in addressing this abundantly generated waste (known as red mud or bauxite residue).
All the key Speakers, Dr. K. Rajeswara Rao, IAS, Additional Secretary-Ministry of Mines, Govt.of India, Shri Anil Kumar Nayak, Joint Secretary-Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India, Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO, Shri Alok Chandra, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Mines, Shri Anupam Agnihotri, Director, JNARDDC, pitched in with their suggestions and urged the stakeholders to take concrete steps in strengthening the efforts of the Government, which is working relentlessly for a cleaner climate and managing waste utilisation.
Dr. Rajeswar Rao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines, emphasised the need to develop technology for Red Mud processing to extract Iron & rare earth elements. He called for all Aluminium producers to come together to address the Red Mud challenge. Shri Anil Mukim, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India, graced the occasion & interacted with the participants.
Dr. T. K. Chand, CMD, NALCO complimented Secretary, Mines & Additional Secretary, Mines for putting Red Mud in the five year action plan of the Ministry.
Dr. Chand said, ‘’Red mud being a solid waste produced in the process of Alumina production from bauxite, can be a source of revenue and wealth creation if iron, gold, silver, rutile, lleminite & other rare earth elements are extracted. Its’ use in cement / bricks, ceramic and construction industries needs a big push.’’ Dr. Chand urged the sector to follow outstanding practices and work in protection of environment to ensure a cleaner and sustainable industrial environment.
All the mining majors – NALCO, Vedanta, Hindalco, alongwith Ministry of Mines and JNARDDC officials were present in the meet.
NALCO, the Navratna PSU under Ministry of Mines, has been significantly investing in R & D of Red Mud utilisation and have taken up several projects in this area. It may be noted that NALCO has consistently set global benchmarks in Environmental Management to ensure sustainable industrial growth. Recently, the Company’s Panchpatmali Bauxite Mine has also been conferred with the coveted ‘Golden Peacock Environment Management Award’ for the year 2019 at the 21st World Congress on Environment Management and Climate Change.