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Chromium Ore, Chromite, Properties, Uses, Distribution Map

Chromium Ore

Chromium is a critical alloying metal. It is used in the production of alloys with other metals such as nickel, cobalt, copper, and others, as well as in many other metallurgical, refractory, and chemical industries. Chromium increases the strength, hardness, and toughness of its alloys.

Chromite (Cr) is the only commercially viable chromium ore, also known chemically as iron chromium oxide. It is a steel-grey, lustrous, hard, and brittle metal with a high melting point that takes a high polish and resists tarnishing. Resistance to corrosion, oxidation and wear are the properties of chromium that make it so versatile and indispensable.

Read about: Iron Ore

Chromite Ore Distribution in India

India’s chromite reserves are estimated to be 203 MT. Odisha has more than 93 per cent of the resources (Sukinda valley in Cuttack and Jajapur). Manipur, Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have minor deposits. Odisha is the sole producer of Chromite Ore (around 99 per cent). More than 85% of the ore is of high quality (Keonjhar, Cuttack, and Dhenkanal).

Karnataka is the state with the second-highest production. The main production comes from the districts of Mysore and Hassan. Other producers include Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district and Manipur’s Tamenglong and Ukhrul districts.


Read More: Manganese Ore

Chromite Distribution in World

The mineral chromite is the primary source of chromium. South Africa, Kazakhstan, India, Albania, and Turkey are among the countries that mine it. Here is the map of Chromite Distribution in the World attached below:


Read More: Cobalt Ore

Chromium Ore Properties

Chromium ore is a naturally occurring mineral that contains the metal chromium. It is typically found in mineral deposits, including ultramafic rocks and other chromite-rich seams. The ore is processed to produce metallic chromium, which is then used in various applications, including stainless steel production, chromium plating, and as an alloying element in cast iron and steel.

Chromium is a gleaming, brittle, and hard metal. It has a silver-grey colour and can be highly polished. It does not tarnish in the air, but when heated, it gives birth to and forms green chromic oxide. Because chromium is unstable in oxygen, it forms an impermeable oxide layer that protects the metal beneath.

Read about: Energy Resources

Chromium Ore Uses

Chromium ore is processed to produce metallic chromium, which is then used in various applications, including:

  • Chromium is a key component in the production of stainless steel, contributing to its strength and resistance to corrosion.
  • Chromium is used for electroplating to provide a hard, durable, and corrosion-resistant coating for metal objects.
  • Chromium is added as an alloying element in the production of cast iron and steel to enhance their strength and toughness.
  • Chromium is used in the leather tanning process to produce strong and durable leather goods.
  • Chromium compounds are used as pigments in various industries, including paint, ceramics, and plastics.
  • Chromium is used as a catalyst in the production of chemicals and in the refining of petroleum.
  • Chromium is used to produce refractory materials, which are used in high-temperature applications such as furnace linings.

In summary, chromium ore is a valuable resource for various industries due to its unique properties, including its strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion.

Read More: Types of Resources

Chromium Ore UPSC

Chromite ore (also known as chrome ore) is used in the metallurgical industry to make chromium ferroalloys and metals. It is also used in the chemical industry to produce sodium dichromate, which is a chemical industry product as well as an intermediate product used in the production of other chromium chemicals.

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What are the ores of chromium?

The mineral chromite is the only source of chromium, and it accounts for 99 percent of the world's supply.

Where is chromite ore found in India?

More than 96% of chromite resources are found in Odisha, primarily in the districts of Jajpur, Kendujhar, and Dhenkanal. Minor deposits can be found in Manipur, Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, among other places.

What is chrome ore used for?

The most common uses for chromium ores are in the production of stainless steel, grey cast iron, iron-free high-temperature alloys, and chromium plating for surface protection. Chromium ores are used in the chemical industry to make chromium compounds for leather tanning.

Which is India's largest chromite mine?

The Sukinda chromite valley in Odisha is India's largest chromite deposit (193 million tonnes total reserve) and accounts for 98% of the country's chromite ore produced by opencast mines.

What is the difference between chromite and chromium?

The mineral source of chromium is chromite, also known as iron chromium oxide (FeCr2O4). In its purest form, chromite contains 68% chromium (Cr2O3) and 32% iron oxide (FeO). Due to the natural replacement of chromium and ferrous iron by other elements, high-purity chromite deposits are rare.

What is the main source of chromium metal?

Chromium is mostly found in chromite. This ore can be found in a variety of locations, including South Africa, India, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. Chromium metal is typically made by reducing chromite with carbon in an electric-arc furnace, or by reducing chromium(III) oxide with aluminium or silicon.

What is the origin of chromite ore?

The exact age & origin of chromite ore deposits can vary depending on the deposit, but many are thought to have formed between 1 & 3 billion years ago during the Earth's early history. The Bushveld Complex in South Africa and the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe contain the majority of the world's known chromite.

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