M-Sand Projects

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    In Context 

    • Coal India Ltd to launch M-Sand Projects.

    About the projects  

    • Need:  Due to high demand, regulated supply, and a complete ban on sand mining during monsoon to protect the river ecosystem, finding alternatives to river sand became necessary.
    • Overview: Sand Mining Framework (2018) prepared by the Ministry of Mines envisages alternative sources of sand in the form of Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) from crushed rock fines (crusher dust), and sand from Overburden (OB) of coal mines.
      • Coal India Ltd (CIL) has envisaged processing the overburden rocks for sand production in mines where OB material contains about 60% sandstone by volume which is harnessed through crushing and processing of Overburden.
    • OB to M-Sand initiative of CIL is facilitating the processing of waste overburden in its OC Mines. 
    • Benefits: Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) from the overburden of coal mines has several benefits in terms of economy and environmental sustainability, including
    • Cost-effectiveness: Using manufactured sand can be more cost-effective than using natural sand, as it can be produced in large quantities at a lower cost.
    • Consistency: Manufactured sand can have a consistent grain size and shape, which can be beneficial for construction projects that require a specific type of sand.
    • Environmental benefits: Using manufactured sand can help to reduce the need for mining natural sand, which can have negative environmental impacts. 
    • Reduced water consumption: Using manufactured sand can help to reduce the amount of water required for construction projects, as it does not require washing before use.
    • Better workability: Manufactured sand is more angular and has a rougher surface, which makes it more workable for construction projects.
    • Commercial sale of produced sand can generate additional revenue for coal companies
    • Lesser Sand extraction from the river will reduce erosion of channel beds & banks and protect water habitat

    Do you Know?

    • Sand is classified as a “minor mineral”, under The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act), and administrative control over minor minerals vests with the State Governments, accordingly, regulated through State specific rules.