Ramco Cements has commissioned two limestone beneficiation plants to improve efficiency in cement production and extend the life of its limestone quarries.
The 200tph beneficiation plant at Alathiyur will upgrade limestone raw mineral to enable its use in cement production. The INR370m (US$6.2m) project was followed by the start of a second such facility at its Madurai cement factory.
Limestone beneficiation is a process whereby low-grade material is blended with high-quality, sweetener-grade limestone containing eight per cent silica to enable the use of the material. Cement-grade limestone contains about 11-14 per cent silica, twice as much as the low-grade material.
AV Dharmakrishan, CEO of Ramco Cements, said the beneficiation plant will help the company extend the life of its limestone quarries by 25-30 years.
A further unit is planned for southern Tamil Nadu at a cost of INR380m. The plant will use a colour sorter, an optical system to remove black stones from the crushed limestone. Commissioning is expected in about a month's time.