The story of KIOCL
Incorporated on April 2, 1976, the KIOCL Ltd, a Government of India enterprise, was Asia's largest iron ore mining and pelletisation complex and the country's biggest 100% export oriented unit engaged in the business of exporting high quality iron oxide pellets and pig iron. Headquartered at Bangalore with the Company's mining and beneficiation facilities located at Kudremukh and iron oxide pelletisation complex and Pig Iron unit at the well connected coastal city of Mangalore in Karnataka. The 3.5 million-tonne capacity Pellet Plant complex comprises of the Filter Plant, Wet grinding mills, mechanised shiploading unit, 28-mw captive power plant, Roll Press, Pelletisation discs, Furnace etc.,
The idea of beneficiating the ore deposits was first proposed when several Japanese companies came together with the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a Government of India undertaking, evincing an interest in such a project. Pilot studies suggested that the surface ore with 38% iron could be enriched to a concentrate of 67% iron with available new technologies. The concentrate could be transported to Mangalore, on the coast of the Arabian Sea, 110 k.m. to the west of Kudremukh. But global steel industry went into decline in the late sixties and the Japanese withdrew. Interest was revived in early 1970 when Iran drew up its plans for an ambitious domestic steel industry and was looking for a reliable supplier of iron ore. Kudremukh seemed ideal, abundant and just across the sea and an agreement was reached.
The company was formed in April 1976. The 7.5 million ton annual capacity project at Kudremukh along with the 110 km slurry pipeline and filtration units at Mangalore was to be completed in August 1980. Shipments were to commence in September 1980. KIOCL Completed the project in time without cost or time overrun.
The Company added to its fleet a new unit of Pig Iron complex known as KIOCL Ltd located at the Bykampady Industrial area in Mangalore by merger with it w.e.f. 01.04.2007. The merged unit, named as Blast Furnace Unit (BFU) possesses a Blast Furnace of 350 cu. mtrs to produce 2,30,000 tonnes per annum of high grade pig iron of low phosphorous and low sulphur content. Both Pelletisation Complex and Blast Furnace Unit have their own captive power plants to meet their energy requirement. The public sector Company, under the Ministry of Steel, has a good track record of commitment to quality, customer satisfaction and environment management system that propelled it to achieve ISO 9001:2000, ISO 1401:1996 and OHSAS 18001:1999.
Mining activities at the worksite at Kudremukh, 110 Kms from Mangalore came to halt from the end of 2005 with the Supreme Court confirming the status of Kudremukh National Park area over the present mines at Kudremukh. The Company's Mangalore units of Pellet Plant and Blast Furnace Units are running with the outsourced haematite iron ore to convert into iron oxide pellets. Company's pioneering R&D programmes proved fruitful in switching over the system designed for conversion of Magnetite ore to that of hematite ore into iron oxide pellets under wet grinding process with the existing plant and machinery.
KIOCL's products are now widely accepted in the domestic and international markets and have a very high brand equity.
Mining & Benefication
The largest iron ore mine in India, is designed to produce 22.6 million ton's of crude ore per year with a daily production capacity of ROM 100,000 tones. The mine is planned for a three - shift operation. Blast holes of 12¼ " dia are drilled in 14m benches. The blasting is carried out using slurry explosives. Blasted material is loaded by 10.7 cu.m electrical shovel into large dumpers of 120 metric ton capacity.
The mined ore is transported from benches to three Gyratory Crushers capable of crushing the ore to minus 7" size. The crushed ore is screened into coarse and fine fractions before feeding to Autogenous Mills. The ore ground to minus 20 mesh size is subjected to primary magnetic separation and the concentrate, after re grinding, is subjected to secondary magnetic separation. Column floatation system has also been incorporated to improve the quality of magnetic concentrate.
The primary magnetic tailings are subjected to spiral separation to recover non - magnetic concentrate which is also further ground in the Ball Mills. Flotation technique for improvement in the quality of iron ore concentrate has also been added to the production facilities in the mining and beneficiation plant. Process modifications are carried out regularly to ensure that the product quality conforms to the product specifications in line with the requirement of the market.
The concentrate produced is pumped through a 67 Km long slurry pipeline to Mangalore where the slurry is filtered to produce filter cake with about 9% moisture. The tailings are pumped to a tailings dam from a different location in the same dam and clean process water moves by gravity to the concentrator plant. The entire operation using the most sophisticated equipment from crushing to ship loading is fully automated and computer controlled. Computerized mine planning techniques are in use to maintain strict quality control and process parameters.