Beach Mineral mining in Tamilnadu only depositional area

Government of India, Central Water Commission in 2016, published one book in the name of “Status report on Coastal Protection  & Development in India”. It contain lot of Information. Particularly in Tamilnadu larger area  of beach is depositional. That is why we can able to collect replenishable deposit without affecting environment as well as coastal area. The book is given below.

Measures for revival of heavy mineral industry in India and increase the forex in-flows

a) Minerals namely garnet, ilmenite, zircon, rutile, leucoxene, silimanite,
Monazite, etc are the minerals collectively called as heavy mineral or
beach minerals.
b) India is blessed with 35% of entire world’s reserve of many of these
minerals and world’s 2nd or 3rd richest reserve in the entire world.
These minerals are widely found in coastal districts of Kerala, Tamil
Nadu, AndraPradesh and Orissa.
c) From independence to 1998, only a Central Government company
named IREL (Indian Rare Earths Ltd) was producing these minerals
d) In the year 1998, the then Prime Minster A.B.Vajpayee liberalized this
sector and encourage private participation of these minerals (except
e) Private players especially emerged in Tamil nadu and Andra Pradesh,
positioned the industry to be ranked No.1 in the world’s production
f) Due to in-fighting, and some corrupt bureacrats, baseless allegations
was floated on this industry and invited various measures against this
industry, effectively killing the industry altogether.

Step 1 : Revoke TLV (threshold limit value) back to 0.75% monazite in
the rule Atomic Mineral Concession Rule (AMCR) 2016 which was
amended by Ministry of Mines vide GSR 134(E) dated 20.02.2019

Step 2 : Call back the lease cancellation efforts made by Ministry of
Mines vide their letter No. 1/1/2019-M.VI dated 01.03.2019
Competent authority (for step 1&2) : Ministry of Mines

Step 3 : Revoke the canalization of these minerals through Indian rare
earths Ltd (IREL) by DGFT vide Notification No. 26/2015-2020 dated

Competent Authority : DGFT, Ministry of Commerce

Expected Forex inflow : 4500 crores equivalent in US Dollars
immediately and 15% growth each year.

savings in FOREX outflow : 3000 crores worth of Tio2 pigment
import is happening each year which can
be saved.

Expected new employment : 75,000 employees immediately and
further when expansion happens.

Since the liberalization of the sector by the then Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee this industry grew from mere Rs.35 Crores per year to 4500 crores.

Subsequently DGFT vide Notification No. 26/2015-2020 dated 21.08.2018
canalized the export of beach minerals through IREL and prevented the
private players direct export. The canalization guidelines was so one sided
except IREL no other parties can export. So at present the export value
decreased from Rs.4500 crore to Rs.1000 Crore per year.

Meantime Ministry of Mines amended the threshold value vide GSR
134(E) dated 20.02.2019. So there is no possibility to grant fresh mining
leases to private parties.

Ministry of Mines vide letter No. 1/1/2019-M.VI dated 01.03.2019
directed all the state governments to cancel the private mining leases
granted to private parties for beach minerals.

This resulted in following drastic outcomes :
1) employment loss of more than one lakh employees.
2) The replenishable beach placer deposits was carried away by ocean
currents to neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka since it is not mined
in time in India.
3) India lost the dominance in industry which was achieved over a gradual
growth in the past 30 years. The entire beach mineral market and its
dominance went to developed countries and China.
4) Premature termination of the mining leases make fear on the minds of
foreign investors above Indian government.
5) The skilled labours in beach mineral industry as well as industry
owners migrates to the nearby countries and started developing the
industry on other countries. As a result, India will lose the technical
dominance on this industry too
6) In addition to Rs.4500 Crore foreign exchange loss, 10% export duty
loss to the Central Government plus, 28% GST and 3% royalty to the
State Government.
7) Apart from 75000 employees in this industry, employment by way of
ancillary industries approximate 50000 employees.
8) Though India has 1/3rd of the reserve, due to the above action, Indian
Titanium producers import Ilmenite (which rightfully belongs to Indian
shores) from Srilanka as well as from other countries. Thus, foreign
exchange outgo loss to our nation.
9) The newly developed Indian Titanium Industries are struggling due to the heavy import cost of Ilmenite, through plenty of Ilmenite available in India, but could not use it. So India is losing foreign exchange of Rs.3000 Crores per year by way of Titanium Ti Oxide import from overseas countries.

Bringing back this sector, effectively with the three steps mentioned above
will go a long way not only on country’s economy but also providing local
employment to rain show coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh.

India can easily displace China’s position in Rare Earth

Possible exploitation of Rare Earths in India and take India to great heights on technological advancement, manufacturing hub and huge FOREX in-flow.

a) Minerals namely garnet, ilmenite, zircon, rutile, leucoxene, silimanite,
Monazite, etc are the minerals collectively called as heavy mineral or
beach minerals.
b) Monazite which is the only radioactive mineral among these contains
65% Rare earth oxides, 15-20% phosphates, 10-13% Thorium and
0.2 -0.4% Uranium
c) India is home to largest reserves of Monazite and every beach mineral
company is producing these minerals as tailing. These tailings are
either put back in to sea or safeguarded in trenches as per guidelines
of Atomic Mineral department.
d) Only IREL is extracting these rare earth oxides from this mineral but
that is not enough.
e) Rare earth oxides are set of 18 elements (such as cerium,lanthanum,
neodymium, etc) used in various sophisticated applications yet
inevitable applications such as speakers, magnets, motors, solar
panels, etc. With the current trend moving toward electric vehicles, the
demand for rare earth is bound to go up.
f) As of now, entire world is depending on China for rare earth and India
can easily displace China’s position

Steps Reqired:  Ministry of Mines and Department of Atomic energy to
allow private companies to process monazite and come up with a
policy to collect back strategic waste products such as uranium and

Competent Authority : Ministry of Mines and Department of
Atomic energy

Expected Forex inflow : 120,000 crores equivalent in US
Dollars and 5% growth each year.

Expected new employment : 500,000 employees

Unexploited Potential of India in the field of Rare Earth Elements

Unexploited Potential of India in the field of Rare Earth Elements – Will  Government implement make in India Programe in Rare Earth Industry?

By Beach Mineral Producers Association

  1. The term “rare earth” is the English translation of French terre rare (terre refers to an oxyde). It arises from the rare earth minerals from which they were first isolated, which were uncommon oxide-type minerals (earths) found in Gadolinite extracted from one mine.
  1. Rare earth elements or rare earth metals are a collection of seventeen elements namely Scandium, Yttrium and lanthanides (15 elements in the periodic table with atomic numbers 57 to 71 namely: Lanthanum (La), Cerium (Ce), Praseodymium (Pr), Neodymium (Nd), Promethium (Pm), Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), Terbium (Tb), Dysprosium (Dy), Holmium (Ho), Erbium (Er), Thulium (Tm), Ytterbium (Yb) and Lutetium (Lu)).
  2. Of these Rare Earth Elements, our country has been blessed with abundance of the following Rare Earth Elements namely Scandium, Yttrium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium and Neodymium.
  1. The table below contains the Atomic number, Atomic symbol, their name and use of each of these Rare Earth Elements.
Atomic Number (Z) Atomic Symbol Name Selected Usages
21 Sc Scandium Aluminum- scandium alloy
39 Y Yttrium YAG garnet, YBCO high- temperature superconductors
57 La Lanthanum High refractive index glass, flint, hydrogen storage, battery-electrodes, camera lenses.
59 Pr Praseodymium Rare- earth magnets, lasers, green colors in glass and ceramics, flint
60 Nd Neodymium Rare- earth magnets, lasers, violet colors in glass and ceramics, ceramic capacitors.
  1. In India, these Rare Earth Elements occur as part of Monazite. Monazite is found as part of the beach sand minerals present on the southern and eastern coast of India.
  1. India has 27% of Total world reserve of beach minerals, whereas our mining ratio is 0.01% according to the Atomic Energy Department Additional Secretary key note address.
  1. The beach sand minerals are themselves a complex of seven associated minerals namely Garnet, Ilmenite, Sillimanite, Rutile, Leucoxene, Zircon and Monazite all of these are recognized as associated minerals under Rule 69(x) of the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.
  1. Of these, Ilmenite, Rutile, Leucoxene, Zircon and Monazite are treated as “Atomic Minerals” under Part B of Schedule I of the Minor Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. These substances were earlier governed under the provisions of Atomic Energy Act, 1962. Under the said Act, these minerals were also notified as “Prescribed Substances”.
  1. Under the Industrial Policy, 1991, exploitation of these minerals was reserved for Public Sector with only very selective Private Sector participation. The reasoning given by the Government at that time was that there were potential nuclear applications for beach sand, and that in the absence of adequate safeguards and measures, it was necessary to reserve these minerals for the Public Sector.
  1. By 1998, the Government’s thinking had changed. The Government now realized that Titanium was a wonder metal and a source of unlimited export revenue. The Government also realized that Ilmenite, Rutile, and Leucoxene were sources of Titanium, and that they were, as a matter of fact, not radioactive at all. The Government also realized that inherent inefficiencies in PSUs, prevented India from becoming a world player in Titanium, in spite of its staggering Ilmenite reserves. Therefore, the Government notified the 1998 Policy in Beach Sand Minerals, permitting domestic private sector participation in beach sand minerals.
  1. Pursuant to the 1998 policy change, the Department of Atomic Energy commenced issuing licenses for handling Prescribed Substances. Pursuant to this, numerous private sector entrepreneurs entered the field.
  1. As a result, India has emerged as one of the world’s largest players in Titanium Feed stock material.
  1. As the Government began to adopt a more and more scientific approach to the issue, and as the Government’s knowledge and research on the subject increased, it soon realized that Ilmenite, Rutile, Leucoxene and Zircon were not at all fissile in nature and that the policy which described them as “atomic minerals” was poorly researched, retrograde and contrary to national interest.
  1. Thus, on 18.1.2006, the Government issued a notification deleting these four minerals from the list of “prescribed substances”, with effect from 1.1.2007.
  1. Meanwhile, the Government’s knowledge continues to improve. The Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules have been notified and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is rendering yeoman service in a field of radiation safety.
  1. The five REEs we have listed above (Yttrium, Scandium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, and Praseodymium), though found as part of the Monazite mineral, are not fissile and are non- radioactive.
  1. To extract these from the Monazite mineral involves a five step process:
  2. The first step is to mine the monazite that contains the rare earths. Depending on the grade, it could take anywhere from 6 to 86 tonne of ore to produce a single tonne of rare earth mineral.
  1. Next the material goes to a chemical plant for separation. This step, called “cracking,” usually involves using acid or heat. The product that comes out is a rare earth concentrate, containing all REEs mixed together. Cracking can also result in byproducts like Tantalum, Zirconium or Thorium.

iii. Rare earth concentrate must then go to another facility where it is separated into individual rare earths that are refined into oxides. Separation is done by atomic weight, starting with cerium, the most abundant rare earth. To get valuable dysprosium, for example, the less valuable rare earths that come before it on the periodic table must first be separated out. To get terbium, it takes more than 30 days of processing.

  1. Next the rare earths are treated through a process, called beneficiation that produces high-value oxides, metals or magnetic powders. These products are made to the specifications of each manufacturer. An oxide made to the specifications of one customer might not suit another’s needs.
  1. Finally, the rare earths are put into the end product, whether it is a permanent magnet for a wind turbine, or a high-efficiency light bulb.
  2. Thus, extracting these Rare Earth Elements does involve the “cracking” of the Monazite mineral. In the process of cracking, there will be two by-products namely Thorium Oxide (approximately 6%) and Uranium Oxide (approximately 2%) which will have to be handed back to the Government since it is radioactive, and the Rare Earth Oxide which is inert and non-fissile.
  1. REEs are incorporated into many modern technological devices, including superconductors, samarium- cobalt and neodymium-iron-boron high-flux rare- earth magnets, electronic polishers, refining catalysts and hybrid car components (primarily batteries and magnets). Rare earth ions are used as the active ions in luminescent materials used in optoelectronics applications, most notably the Nd: YAG laser. Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers are significant devices in optical-fiber communication systems. Phosphors with rare earth dopants are also widely used in cathode ray tube technology such as television sets. Rare earth oxides are mixed with tungsten to improve its high temperature properties for welding, replacing thorium, which was mildly hazardous to worth with.
  2. The Department of Atomic Energy has issued a publication which shows that following shocking statistics:
Country Reserves of Rare Earth Oxides Annual Production (in tonnes)
Chine 36,000,000 120,000
Brazil 48,000 650
Malaysia 30,000 380
India 1,80,00,000 35

The above shocking statistics is also to be found on the Government website  Countries like Brazil and Malaysia which have a fraction of our reserves are producing many more times than us.  

Now China is monopolizing in this industry. India itself imported more than 40,000 M.Ton of rare earth oxides per year which results approximately 1,52,000 million dollar foreign exchange outgo per year.

Most western economies are looking at India to emerge as a global producer of Rare Earth Elements, so that their dependency on China can be decreased. Unfortunately, the negative approach of the Department of Atomic Energy, stemming for our cold-war, socialist mindset which is preventing Private Sector participation in Rare Earth Elements production.

  1. At present, there are adequate safeguards in the Radiation Protection Rules as well as the Atomic Energy (handling of prescribed substance) Rules to ensure that the cracking is carried out in a safe manner, and the truly fissile by-products are safety handled thereafter. It is needless to mention that Atomic Energy (factories) rules, which are currently applicable to Government Companies can work wonderfully, if extended to private sector also.
  1. Thus, adequate safeguards exist. The Government can also evolve any further conditions as it may see appropriate.
  2. It may be worth mentioning that the present BJP led government had gone to the extent of allowing private enterprises in India in strategic defense production and hence it is more important to allow this sector also for private participation considering the outflow of foreign exchange in importing these products and also the strategic importance of increasing the production of rare earths, thorium and uranium to reduce the dependence of the country on other nations and make “the production and processing of the mineral monazite, a make in India program”.

India is just like an elephant without knowing its real strength.

Our country India has a coastline of 6000 kms out of which AMD has explored about 2000 kms, with detailed survey completed in 1000 kms alone. This is from speech by Joint Secretary, Atomic Energy Department in a conference on Beach Sand Mineral Policy. This 1000 Kms study establishes that India has 35% of the total world reserves of Ilmenite and Garnet. If all the 6000 kms are studied by AMD in detail, definitely India will have more than 75% of the total world reserve.

In terms of Rare Earth reserve, this 1000 kms detail study establishes 6.9 Million M.Ton. Whereas, China has 44 Million M.Ton reserve. If our government study all the 6000 kms in detail through AMD of Atomic Energy Department, our reserve will goes more than 41 million M.Tons. It means India will have rare earth reserve equal to China. So there is no possibility to threaten USA and other developed countries by China in the name of Rare Earths. We can dominate USA and other developed countries through our Rare Earth reserves. Which prevent AMD or DAE and our Indian Government from studying detail through AMD?  That is 100 million question.

Everyone knows that, Chinese companies alone prevent this through some selected media people and some corrupted officials as well as politicians.  They will send adverse reports to our top commandos. Since they have no idea about this, their reaction is “stop this activities immediately”. This propaganda is made only to avoid India from producing Rare Earth or from carryout exploration work for rare earth all over India. Thus China is enjoying the monopoly position in Rare earth and dominate all the developed countries including USA, Japan etc., Though India has equal to China in terms of reserves, India is now just like an elephant without knowing its real strength.  Will policy makers open their eyes?

I feel to write this while seeing this video link :




Monazite is not used for any strategic purposes.  RTI reply confirm the same.

Due to the Business motive and to curtail Indian Exporters, the overseas competitors spread systematic rumour that, the monazite is illegally smuggled which  is essential for our nations development, particularly for Atomic Energy and other strategic purposes. Though it is false, to establish the same, we approach Atomic Energy Department to inform how much quantity of monazite mined, and produced and how much Uranium and Thoirum is produced from the Monazite and how much Uranium and Thorium is used by Indian Government. Atomic Energy Department forward the same to IREL their own company, which confirm under RTI reply that, no quantity of monazite or Uranium or Thorium is used either by Government or by IREL. But they export monazite to overseas countries. Copy of the said reply is attached. This will establish that all the media reports and false news spread against private beach mineral producers are vindicative with ulterior  motive.


International Council on Mining and Metals published one report about 18 countries which developed by mining. Unfortunately India is not take place in the above said countries even though we are having 1/3rd of the total world reserves of beach minerals.

Stoppage of Beach Minerals is one of the reason for bad financial situation in Tamilnadu – White paper reveals.

The Tamil Nadu government has issued a white report on the state’s financial situation. The images from that white report are attached here and it is considered as the most important one. That represents the financial condition of the state which has been deteriorating since 2013.

Since then, 50,000 workers lost their jobs at the same time as the beach sand mine was totally shut down due to false allegations. This proves that the beach sand mining strike is one of the main reasons for the deteriorating financial condition of the state. Looking forward with the list, the financial situation has been deteriorated immensely in the period 2019 to 2021. In 2019, the central government seemingly ordered the concurrent cancellation of about 24 per cent of major mineral mining leases across India. That means the federal government canceled 72 of the 328 major mining leases across India. Among these, 64 mining leases are identified to be in Tamil Nadu. Hopefully the situation will be understood by now. What is the reason for Tamil Nadu becoming so bad financially?

The former Tamil Nadu Industry Minister did not write a letter to the Central Government stating that it was wrong for the Central Government to cancel the mining leases without consulting the State Government for its own hostility. However the present government is taking various measures to recover the financial position as earlier as possible. So let’s hope this action is taken as well. And, It is considered a mistake by the Central Government to cancel about 64 mining leases in Tamil Nadu without consulting the Government of Tamil Nadu. The State  Government is requested to write a letter to the Ministry of Mines asking them to withdraw the cancellation order. The above 64 mining leases is estimated to provide employment to 50,000 workers and will mine and export mineral sand to the tune of Rs. 5000 crore per annum. Of this, 28 per cent stands for GST. 10 per cent export tax is owned only by the Central Government. Therefore, GST tax compensation of Rs 1400 crore per annum, export tax compensation of Rs. 500 crore to the Central Government and the loss to the state government is estimated as Rs 200 crore per annum in the form of 3 % royalty and tax on it.

50,000 workers are paid a minimum of Rs 10,000 and a maximum of Rs 30,000.  On this way also Government will get 400 crore rupees a year in GST by spending a portion of their salaries on food, clothing and education to support 50,000 families. With this, the revenue available to the state government through ancillary industries and those who get employment
through this have been affected since 2019. So the state government alone is not responsible for this financial burden worsened. The action of the
present central government is also a factor.

Therefore, to protect the livelihood of a total of 50,000 workers and to fix
the financial position of the Government of Tamil Nadu, The state
government needs to appoint the right officers at the right place and plan
accordingly to restructure this industry.

Tamil Nadu, which has been the largest producer of beach sand in India since 1994, has now slipped to 3rd place due to a misguided order by the Central Government. India, the world’s largest producer of ore sand, is now ranked 5th. If this is the reason why all these incompetent officers are employed in important posts then there is no doubt about the size of the sesame. It is fortunate enough that Tamil Nadu has an unexpected Finance Minister.

Chief Minister Shri.M.K. Stalin has also appointed a good finance minister in accordance to emerge from a similar financial crisis. We therefore hope
that the Finance Minister will take note of the opposite period of the beach sand workers.