July 19: Government authorities are planning to send five metric tons raw iron extracted from Dhaubadhi-based iron in Nawalparasi to China for testing. The Department of Mines and Geology has already tested the raw iron extracted from the site. The tests have indicated that commercial production of iron is viable but the authorities decided to send the samples to China to ascertain the finding.
Director General of the department Dr Somnath Sapkota informed New Business that they are planning to send the samples to China within two weeks.
The iron mine is 10 kilometers long and 15 to 30 meters wide while its depth is believed to be 100 meters. Studies have shown that more than 100 million metric tons of raw iron is available in the biggest iron mine of the country.
Director General Sapkota said that they can say with certainty how much iron can be extracted from a given sample of ore only after tests in Chinese lab. Generally, one metric ton of iron is extracted from three metric tons of ore.
The department informed that the Chinese lab will send its report within three months. Further studies for commercial production of iron will be held after the report is available. According to the department, it will take around a year to complete all the process.
The department further said that the minimum cost for testing the samples will cost around Rs 150 million.
Senior Divisional Geologist Narayan Baskota at the department informed New Business Age that the iron at Dhaubani-based mine is not of high quality but of medium standard. According to him, the iron is not suitable to make steel but will be of good use to make iron rods.
“The iron ore in Dhaubani has 36 percent of the metal,” he said.
According to Baskota, ores with more than 55 percent iron do not require tests. Such ores can me sent directly to the furnace for extraction of the metal. The iron ore in Fulchoki, on the southern outskirts of the Kathmandu Valley has around 55 percent of iron.