Tata Steel has begun preparing to shift to the more eco-friendly underground mining at its Sukinda Chromite Mines in Odisha as part of its initiative to conserve mineral and natural resources.
The preparatory work for the underground mining project was launched by Tata Steel managing director H M Nerurkar on Saturday. The mine currently has an annual chromite ore beneficiation facility of 6.5 lakh tonnes.
"Mining at SCM is fully-mechanised at present. The roadmap ahead is to operate underground mines. This will go a long way in conserving natural resources, and thereby contribute to sustainable mining in the country," Nerurkar said in a company statement.
The state-of-the-art trackless mining technology with complete underground mechanisation will ensure maximum use of the mineral resources with minimal impact on the environment. The underground method would involve 100-per cent back-filling of voids with paste.
The paste-filling technology is the latest development in mining backfill that optimises ore extraction while ensuring complete compaction of voids under the ground with quick settling time.
The SCM is the only Indian producer of hexavalent chrome-free chrome concentrate, made through patented herbal treatment process that adds green credits to the organisation's environmental initiatives.