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Chromite Mining Process

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What is Chromite?
Chromite ore is rock that contains a high enough
concentration of chromite to have economic value.
Chromite is the principle ore of the element chromium.
Chromite is a key industrial mineral used for
manufacturing stainless steel because of its very high
melting point.
Rock Containing Chromite Ore
Extraction of the Chromite Ore
Both surface and underground mining methods will
be used to mine the chromite. Mining produces both
ore and waste rock. Waste rock consists of all other
non-chromite bearing rock excavated during mining.
Surface Mining
Chromite ore is mined frst by surface methods. This
includes an open pit from which surface material,
non-chromite bearing overburden and chromite ore,
will be excavated. The chromite ore containing rock
will be drilled, blasted, removed and loaded onto large
trucks for hauling to the crusher and ore processing
facility.
Underground Mining
The transition to underground mining will be
considered once it is necessary to extract rock from
greater depths. The underground mine will be
reached from the bottom of the open pit. Blasthole
stoping methods will be used for underground
mining. Stoping occurs in underground mineral
mining when the surrounding rock is strong enough
to allow the drilling, blasting, and removal of ore
without caving.
How Does Blasthole Stoping Work?
1. The ore is drilled and blasted. The blasted ore is
then removed from a lower-level entry point called
a draw point.
2. The resulting open section or stope is then flled-
in before moving onto the next section.
3. Each stope will be developed by creating
horizontal tunnels or drifts in the rock parallel to
the ore body.
4. Large loaders or scoop trams will move the ore to
trucks for transportation to the surface.
Surface Mining
Blasthole Stoping


Pit Bench
Access Road
Access Road

Pit Bottom
Long-hole
drilling and
blasting
Stope
Blasted ore
Undercut
Draw point
Loading
crosscut
Transport drift
Chromite Mining Process
2
Processing Chromite
Ore extracted from the mine with a grade of 40% chromium oxide or greater is suitable for processing
directly in the off-site ferrochrome production facility. Ore with a lower grade must be processed to
increase its chromite content. Ore that is not suitable to ship directly to the ferrochrome production
facility will be processed at the mine site to produce concentrate.
The processing of chromite ore separates and concentrates the valuable chromite mineral. This
involves mechanical processes and separation using gravity. The result is a concentrate suitable for
refning, and tailings that have no economic value. Tailings are the materials left over from the ore
processing facility after the chromite has been extracted from the ore. Tailings will be managed over
the long-term at the mine site in a tailings management area.
Development of Ferrochrome
The fnal product of the ore and concentrate will be ferrochrome.
Ferrochrome production occurs in enclosed electric arc furnaces at
a temperature of approximately 1,700
o
C. This will produce a melted
ferrochrome metal product called matte. Matte is then moulded and
compressed into a marketable product.
Ferrochrome
The Mining Process
Defnitions
Ore: a mixture of
minerals from which at
least one of the metals
(e.g., chromite) can be
extracted at a proft
Waste Rock: consists of
other non-chromite ore
excavated during mining
Tailings: non-chromite
rock produced from ore
processing
Concentrate: a fne,
powdery product of
processing containing
a high percentage of
valuable metal