• Arunachal Pradesh is likely to become India’s prime producer of vanadium.
• Vanadium is a chemical element with the symbol V and atomic number 23. It is a hard, silvery-grey, malleable transition metal.
• The elemental metal is rarely found in nature. It is recovered as a by-product from the slag collected from the processing of vanadiferous magnetite ores (iron ore).
• Vanadium is a high-value metal used in strengthening steel and titanium.
• The largest deposits of vanadium of the world are in China, followed by Russia and South Africa.
• China, which produces 57% of the world’s vanadium, consumed 44% of the metal in 2017.
• 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 about 84,000 tonnes of vanadium produced across the globe in 2017.
Exploration in Arunachal Pradesh:
• The Geological Survey of India (GSI) found promising concentrations of vanadium in the palaeo-proterozoic carbonaceous phyllite rocks in the Depo and Tamang areas of Papum Pare district in Arunachal Pradesh.
• This was the first report of a primary deposit of vanadium in India, with an average grade of 0.76% V2O5 [vanadium pentoxide].
• Vanadium mineralisation in Arunachal Pradesh is geologically similar to the “stone coal” vanadium deposits of China hosted in carbonaceous shale. This high vanadium content is associated with graphite, with a fixed carbon content of up to 16%.
Mains Paper 1: Geography
Prelims level: Vanadium
Mains level: Vanadium metal uses and reserves