GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF MINES
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.420
TO BE ANSWERED ON THE 26th NOVEMBER, 2014
STUDY FOR EXPLORATION OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS
- SHRI AVINASH PANDE:
Will the Minister of MINES be pleased to state:
- whether Government is planning to formulate any policy or has undertaken any study for the exploration and exploitation of Rare Earth Elements; and
- if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?
A N S W E R
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR MINES & STEEL (SHRI VISHNU DEO SAI)
(a) & (b) Yes Sir, exploration and exploitation of Rare Earth Elements (REE) are being undertaken.
Monazite, a mineral of Thorium and REE is the only commercial source of Rare Earths in the country at present. It is a prescribed substance under the provisions of Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and also appears as Atomic Mineral in Part B of First schedule of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957. Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMDER), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) carries out the exploration, establishment and development of atomic minerals in the country, including Monazite.
Geological Survey of India (GSI) is also carrying out exploration in different parts of the country for other sources of REE.
lndian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), a PSU under the administrative control of DAE, has been processing Monazite at its Rare Earths Division at Alwaye, Kerala. During the period 1952 to 2004, IREL has processed Monazite to produce Rare Earths compounds. In 2004, this has stopped due to lack of market, as materials from another Asian Country became available at a much lower cost. Recently IREL has set up a plant at Orissa Sand Complex (OSCOM), Odisha to process 10000 tonnes of Monazite per annum. IREL has set up a facility at its Rare Earths Division, Alwaye, Kerala, to produce Separated High Purity Rare Earth utilising mixed rare earth chloride produced from Monazite processing plant at Odisha.
Courtesy : http://mines.nic.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/NO420_STUDY-FOR_EXPLORATION.pdf
The Commissioner of Customs Office, Tuticorin vide their letter dated 22.06.15, reply to our application dated 28.05.2015, replied that no unwanted materials are detected in the container, while the Export Cargo process through the scanner and no radioactive materials were detected by the scanner in the Export Cargo. He further replied that no Thoirum or Uranium or Monazite are detected by the scanner, while trying to export illegally by any of the exporter. This will confirm that, the complaint against Beach Mineral industries are false. Copy of our application and replied received from Tuticorin Customs office is given below.
Our Beach Mineral Producers Association send the below mentioned objection letter to the news published in Frontline as “The Mother of All Loot” and “Life is not a Beach” print edition dated 24th July 2015 by Ilangovan Rajasekaran. We hope they may publish the same in their magazine.
Date : 10.07.2015
The Hindu Group, Kasturi Buildings, 859/860, Anna Salai,
This is with reference to the News of cover story about Beach Sand Mining Heading as “The Mother of All Loot” and “Life is not a Beach” print edition dated 24th July 2015. .
This is one sided story created by Ilangovan Raja Sekaran with ulterior motive only to help Mr.Dayadevadas. For this ill motive, they have used the Ex-
No sea erosion is acquired in any of the beach mineral mining area, as the mining activity is carried out under the direct supervision of Geologist and Mining Engineers etc., Out of 7500 KM of Indian coast line, more than 1500 km coast is eroded, Whereas, mining is in selected packets only. This will establish that there is no connection between sea erosion and placer mineral mining.
A Group of fisherman were fed by Mr.Dayadevadas to give statement against the mining industries. We have a video on our website for this effect, please visit www.beachminerals.org .
Mr.Ashish Kumar tampered the documents and created a forgery inspection report with ill-motive immediately after he was transferred from Tuticorin Collector. Permission for prosecution was sent to government with documentary evidences. All the documents are available in our websitewww.beachminerals.org. You can go through the same.
Export of minerals does not comes under the purview of MMDR Act. In fact all the private mining lessees obtained proper clearances from MoEF, whereas, Govt., Company Indian Rare Earths Ltd alone not obtained environmental clearance or CRZ Clearance from MoEF.
There are videos in our website, where the fisherman community panchayat president lady told there is no affect to fisher man community due to the beach mineral mining.
The picture you have showed with Mr.Gagandeep Singh Beedi is a mined mineral heap. Due to the ban imposed by the State Govt., it could not be transported and thus it become a national waste. The above picture is misused by your reporter to create this article.
In fact, the mega scale illegal mining was done by Mr.Dayadevdas alone for a tune of more than 3.9 million Metric Ton. You can visit the same in http://www.beachminerals.org/
The motivation behind this news is only to prejudice the judiciary and the government. In our opinion, the said reporter may receive a huge ransom for that purpose.
Please publish our objection on your print as well as digital medias.
N.Pauldurai @ Perumal
Beach Mineral Producers Association
New mining law comes at a cost for companies SAIL, Tata Steel, Hindalco
Under new mining law, the cost of production will increase for companies SAIL, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Hindalco, Sesa Sterlite
The new mining law, while streamlining the process of grant and renewal of mining leases of commodities like iron ore, manganese ore or bauxite, would increase the cost of production for companies like SAIL, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Hindalco and Sesa Sterlite.
Though the existing mining leases of these companies would continue till March 31, 2020, for non-captive usage and March 31, 2030, for captive purposes, which is a positive development, the pressure would come from the royalty pay out to the District Mineral Fund (DMF), now created to take care of the people affected due to mining activity. This payment would be in addition to the royalty they pay to the states.
The provision is that the companies would pay 100% of the value of the mineral as royalty to the DMF, which would lead to increased cost of production of finished goods like steel or aluminium as the case may be.
For instance, currently the royalty for iron ore is 15%. A company pays 15% of its value as royalty to the state government and now would pay another 15% to the DMF. Only once the lease expires either in 2020 or 2030 will the royalty to DMF come down to 1/3rd of the royalty they pay to state governments.
In the steel sector, for instance where SAIL and Tata Steel have captive iron ore mines, the additional 100% royalty pay out to DMF would increase their cost of production of steel. Ideally such price increases are passed on to the consumer. However, in case of steel if the prices in the international market are depressed at any given point of time, it would be difficult for the companies to pass on the hike.
Similarly, for non-captive miners of iron ore, the cost of mining the product would increase but its actual passage to buyers would depend on the demand for the commodity globally at any given point of time.
For a company like JSW Steel though there’s a long-term benefit as it could look at getting a captive iron ore mine through competitive bids, in the short-term it could get impacted if the iron ore prices rule high. The pressure on earnings of these companies would continue even when their existing leases expire and they are able to reclaim the mines through auctions.
Even then, the passing of the bid price to the end consumer would depend on the demand for that particular commodity globally at the given point of time.
India goes deep sea to mine gold
Scientists at the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa said that the country has been granted 10,000sqkm near RTJ for seabed exploration of polymetallic sulphide, a mineral deposit with three or more metals in commercial quantities. The license to conduct exploration for 15 years was granted in 2014 by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Earth sciences secretary Shailesh Nayak said they have completed the first level of exploration. ” A large amount of data was collected, including videos and photographs which are being analysed,” he said.
National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai and NCAOR will jointly take up the second level of exploration soon. The process involves a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that identifies hydrothermal vents, which are fissures on the surface, commonly found near active volcanic areas associated with tectonic structures. At RTJ, scientists involved in the planning of the exploration said that there are black smokers, a kind of hydrothermal vent that emits particle laden fluids. “These black smokers vents have plumes. When they emit hot liquid, they also eject minerals,” a scientist explained.
Polymetallic sulphide commonly hold copper, iron and lead, besides gold and silver in lesser quantities. A scientist at NCAOR said that a ROSUB 6000, a work class underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with a depth rating of 6,000metres developed at NIOT will be deployed. It will capture videos with its high resolution cameras from a distance of about 1.5 metres, as the black smokers vent eject hot fluid that have high temperature of 350 to 375 degrees Celsius.
The exploration will also help in studying the chemosynthetic bacteria which forms the base of the food chain.