Iron ore fines which cannot be used directly for production of iron must be first pelletized. Depleting reserve of high grade iron ore lump and high demand by steel making units has created a big market for agglomeration of low grade ores and fines respectively. Among all the agglomeration process pelletization is most suitable as pellets can be used in both, Blast furnace and DRI plants.

Pellets are balls produced from natural iron ores fines or concentrates of different mineralogical and chemical composition with remarkable properties such as:
  •  Uniform size distribution within a range of 9mm to 15 mm diameter
  •  High and even porosity of 25-30%
  •  High iron (Fe) content of more than 63%
  •  Practically no loss on ignition or volatiles
  •  Uniform mineralogical composition in the form of an easily reducible     hematite or hematite-bearing compounds
  •  High and uniform mechanical strength
  •  Low tendency to abrasion and good behavior during transportation
  •  Sufficient mechanical strength even at thermal stress under reducing atmosphere

Following points are other important aspects of a pellet plant in context of Indian market:
  •  Iron ore fines are available in abundance.
  •  In few years Indian Pellet market will grow to 100 million ton per annum.
  •  Iron ore pellet has an excellent export potential.
  •  Prepared raw material results in lower cost of production in Blast Furnace and DRI.
  •  Strong business sense considering price difference in fines and calibrated lump ore.
  •  Reduces pollution at mines and iron making units.
  •  Conserve non-renewable natural mineral resources.
Raw Materials
The proposed pellet plant will require Iron Ore fines, Additives (Limestone & Dolomite), Binders (Bentonite & Organic binders) and solid fuels viz; coal or coke breeze. Quantity and sources of the annual requirement of raw materials for 1.2 million TPA pellet plant are as given

Pellet Plant Facilities
  •   Raw material grinding facilities
  •   Mixing and balling facilities
  •   Straight grate induration furnace

There will be common facilities for all the three units like:
  •   Raw material storage & handling
  •   Infrastructure
  •   Finished product storage yard.
  •   Utilities
Per /Tonne
Tonne /Year(million)
Iron Ore Fines 1.03 (96.9%) 1.2 Open market
Bentonite 0.008 minimum (0.75%) 0.0096 Kutch & Bhuj (Gujrat)
Coal or Coke breeze 0.015 (1.43%) 0.18 Open market, and coke producers
Dolomite/ Limestone 0.01(1%)* depends on CaO% 0.012 Open market
*IOF-Depends on LOI, BENTONITE-Depends on % of MONTMORILIONITE, COAL OR COKE BREEZE- Depends on % of FC, LIME STONE/DOLOMITE- Depends on % of CaO & MgO contents.