Rare metal discovers in Sutlej send
Ropar, November 24, 2023: As per media reports, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has detected the presence of tantalum, a rare metal used in the manufacturing of electronic components, in the Sutlej river sand.
According to the news published in The Tribune, the presence of the metal was recently detected when research scholar Sakshi Rohilla (team member of Dr Resmi Sebastian) was characterising the sand, prior to the study on dynamic properties of the sand.
This study on the dynamic properties of sand was intended to get the information on the behaviour of the sand under seismic loading. The results are already published in the international journal of Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering.
Dr Sebastian explained that the experiments were basically aimed at studying dynamic properties of soil and rocks and how these would have a bearing in case of an earthquake. “Mineral analysis was otherwise never a goal in the experimentation we were doing,” she said. Dr Sebastian also said since traces of tantalum have been found, it could be in the interest of the state to assess the economic viability of mining such rare metals.
While the results look promising, further investigations are required to quantify the extent of the availability of the metal at various locations.
These tests were conducted in 2021 and the EDX analysis of the material showed the presence of the metal in Sutlej sand.