ICSOBA has held its 2011 event on the topic of bauxite residue. Both the disastrous failure of a retaining dam at the Ajka refinery’s red mud storage in area in Hungary in 2010 and the belief that solid wastes from alumina refineries are a challenging resource and an exciting opportunity for the industry, were reason for ICSOBA to organize a dedicated seminar on the topic of bauxite residue.

This Bauxite Residue Seminar attracted 130 delegates, representing alumina producers, researchers, technology suppliers and service companies, from 26 countries.

Delegates of the Bauxite Residue Seminar 2011 Goa, India

As first keynote speaker Dr Mukesh Kumar, President Vedanta presented his vision how to progressively eliminate waste and emissions in bauxite mining and alumina refining, while enhancing business performance and meeting community expectations for achieving Zero Waste and Zero Discharge.

Mr Ron Knapp, Secretary General of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), summarized IAI’s recent drawing together bauxite residue management best practices, and disseminating this information as guidelines for use by the global industry.

In three technical sessions a total of 34 papers were presented.

Session 1, Bauxite residue characterisation, addressed issues as: What is the composition and what are chemical & physical characteristics of bauxite residue actually? and How can we measure this, leading to the answer: How hazardous is red mud both for humans and for plants (re-vegetation).

Session 2, Bauxite residue processing, storage and storage area rehabilitation, provided answers to questions as What is best practices for construction and storage, and why, including pre-storage dewatering & neutralization? and How to go about closure, rehabilitation, groundwater treatment?

Session 3, Bauxite residue as feedstock, gave a broad overview of existing applications and R&D projects. Utilization in cement, construction and agriculture is the best known, but there is also interesting synergy with other waste materials. Important questions included: Does the application consume large or small volumes? and Can the new product compete in price and quality with existing alternatives?

Round table discussion and the seminar’s SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS document

At the end of the second day a draft Summary and Conclusions text was discussed and amended. The final text, which can be considered as the consolidated outcome of the seminar can be downloaded here
It will open in a new window and you can save or print it with the buttons that appear from mouse movement bottom right of the screen

Field trip to Belgaum’s re-vegetated bauxite residue storage

The Belgaum refinery is only a few hours’ drive from Goa, and the third and last day of the Seminar provided an excellent opportunity to visit the refinery’s re-vegetated bauxite residue storage area. The picture below say it all. As long as there is no large scale utilization of bauxite residue, dry storage followed by rehabilitation is the best we can, and should do. However, breakthrough and promising flow sheets are emerging through the Zero waste concept and through a multi-disciplinary approach.

The list of papers presented in the Seminar can be found in the Proceedings page..

diepa chaudhuri,
Apr 27, 2012, 11:49 AM