KMML signs MoU with CSIR-NIIST

The project is to extract scandium from the acid used in the production process

March 18, 2023 05:58 pm | Updated 08:22 pm IST - KOLLAM

The Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) under the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science & Technology ( NIIST) to extract scandium from the spent acid used for the beneficiation of ilmenite at the pigment unit.

The new concept has been developed in collaboration with the Research and Development Department of the KMML. A rare mineral mainly used in aerospace and nuclear applications, scandium has huge industrial demand and costs more per gram than gold. According to KMML officials, only 50 tonnes are produced annually in the world and no other State produces the mineral. “If this innovative project in the KMML is successful, it will be a great asset to the country and the State,” they said.

The MoU was signed recently after a panel discussion at the Strategic Material Conclave held as part of the ‘One Week One Lab’ programme organised in Thiruvananthapuram in connection with CSIR-NIIST Research and Development activities. The panel discussion included researchers, policymakers, and industrialists among others. The ‘One Week One Lab’ programme is held for a week in all 37 laboratories of the country under the CSIR. The discussion on strategic material was organised under the theme ‘Raksha 2023’. VSSC-ISRO Director S. Unnikrishnan Nair inaugurated the conclave and KMML managing director J. Chandrabose was the guest of honour. CSIR-NIIST Director C. Anantharamakrishnan presided over the function. The event was attended by scientists and officials.

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