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Domestic Vanadium Deposits

  • 12 Jan 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

A recent exploration by Geological Survey of India (GSI) has found reserves of Vanadium in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • GSI is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines.

Key Points

  • About Vanadium:
    • Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V.
    • It is a scarce element, hard, silvery grey, ductile and malleable transition metal with good structural strength.
      • Transition metals are all the elements in groups 3–12 of the periodic table. These are superior conductors of heat as well as electricity.
    • Ores:
      • Patronite, vanadinite, roscoelite and carnotite.
    • Uses:
      • Vanadium is used primarily as an alloying element in the Iron & Steel Industry and to some extent as a stabiliser in titanium and aluminium alloys used in the aerospace Industry.
      • Modern applications of vanadium include its use as vanadium secondary batteries for power plants and rechargeable Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) for commercial applications.
      • Vanadium alloys are used in nuclear reactors because of vanadium's low neutron-absorbing properties.
  • Reserves of Vanadium in Arunachal Pradesh:
    • Concentrations of vanadium have been found in the palaeo-­proterozoic (era) carbonaceous phyllite rocks in the Depo and Tamang areas of Papum Pare district in Arunachal Pradesh.
      • Phyllite is a fine-grained metamorphic rock formed by the recrystallization of fine-grained, parent sedimentary rocks, such as mudstones or shales.
      • Sedimentary rocks containing significant enrichment in organic matter over average sediments are called carbonaceous sedimentary rocks.
    • There are other potential sites in various districts in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • This is the first report of a primary deposit of vanadium in India.
  • Current Scenario:
    • India is a significant consumer of vanadium, but is not a primary producer of the strategic metal.
      • According to data provided by the GSI, India consumed 4% of total global production of Vanadium in 2017.
    • It is recovered as a by-product from the slag of processed vanadiferous magnetite (iron) ores.
      • Slag is the glass-like by-product left over after a desired metal has been separated (i.e., smelted) from its raw ore.
  • Global Reserves:
    • The largest deposits of Vanadium are in China, followed by Russia and South Africa respectively.


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