Coal India Ltd to Launch M-Sand Projects in a Big Way
Recently Coal India Limited (CIL) will start large scale Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) projects.
CIL provides processing facilities for waste overburden in its open cast mines under its ‘Overburden Rock-to-M-Sand’ initiative.
During opencast mining, the soil and rocks above the surface are removed as waste to extract the coal, and the broken rock (overburden) is dumped in waste landfills.
Overburden rocks are used to level land for the construction of roads and railway tracks.
M-Sand is produced by grinding rocks and quarry stones, after that they are given a prescribed size of 150 microns. It is different from the sand extracted from the river.
Sand Mining Law and Minor Minerals –
- Sand is classified as a “minor mineral” under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act).
- The administrative control of minor minerals rests with the state governments and is regulated through the states’ own rules.
- Finding an alternative to river sand has become imperative due to high demand, regular supply and complete ban on sand mining to protect the river ecosystem during monsoon.
- Sand Mining Framework (2018) prepared by Ministry of Mines envisages alternative sources of sand in the form of Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) from crushed rock fines (crusher dust), sand from Overburden (OB) of coal mines.
Benefits of M-Sand-
- It is more cost effective than using natural sand.
- It reduces the need for natural sand mining, as natural sand mining creates negative environmental impacts.
- It reduces the amount of water needed for construction projects, as it does not need to be washed before use.
- It helps in maintaining the water level.
- Sand is classified as a ‘minor mineral’ under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. Its administrative control rests with the state governments.
Sand obtained from the river-
- M – Concrete strength is less as compared to sand.
- Due to the excess of flaky, pointed and angular particles, the joints are weak.
- The silt content is 3.20%.
- There is no control over the quality, as it is naturally produced. There can be differences in the amount of silt in the sand of the same river bed.
M-Sand (Manufactured Sand)
- It has higher concrete strength as compared to river sand.
- M – Sand particles are cuboidal. This makes strong joints.
- It has zero silt content.
- Being manufactured in a controlled environment, it is of superior quality.
Source – The Hindu