Why in News?
- Exploration carried out by Geological Survey of India (GSI) has placed the eastern Himalayan State Arunachal Pradesh on the vanadium map of the country and geologists are confident of identifying a deposit soon.
Why is the discovery important?
- India is a significant consumer of vanadium but is not a primary producer of the strategic metal.
- It is recovered as a by-product from the slag collected from the processing of vanadiferous magnetite ores (iron ore).
- According to data provided by GSI, India consumed 4% of about 84,000 metric tonnes of vanadium produced across the globe in 2017. China, which produces 57% of the world’s vanadium, consumed 44% of the metal.
- The global demand for vanadium has been skyrocketing but there was a deficit of 17,300 metric tonnes between demand and supply in 2017.
- The vanadium find in Arunachal Pradesh could help boost the local and national economy.
- Vanadium is a rare, soft, ductile gray-white element found combined in certain minerals and used mainly to produce certain alloys. It is a high-value metal used in strengthening steel and titanium.
- Vanadium alloys are durable in extreme temperature and environments, and are corrosion-resistant. Its addition improves the tensile strength of steel and of reinforcing bars used for buildings, tunnels and bridges.
- Apart from increasing fuel-efficiency in automotive and aviation industries due to its high strength-to-weight ratio, the metal forms the integral part of vanadium redox batteries that have the least ecological impact in energy storage.
The Geological Survey of India
- The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is a scientific agency of India. Founded in 1851, it is one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India after Survey of India (founded in 1767), for conducting geological surveys and studies of India.
- It is an attached office to the Ministry of Mines.
- GSI is also the prime provider of basic earth science information to government, industry and general public, as well as the official participant in steel, coal, metals, cement, power industries and international geoscientific forums.