Minerals are among the most important resources in the world and their careful utilisation forms the basis of many development and sustainability plans.
Beach deposits in certain coastal areas are rich in heavy minerals such as garnet, sillimanite, ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene, zircon, and monazite containing valuable Rare Earth Elements (REE). Unless these minerals are not mined, it will be used for domestic purpose such as, for construction or filling the pits etc., which is a national waste.
These minerals originate from the erosion of rock formations in mountains. They are transported to the sea by rivers and streams, deposited on beach shorelines by water currents and finally sorted by wind in accordance with their density.
Based on origin and other controlling geological characteristics, minerals are broadly classified as replenishable and non-replenishable.
Beach minerals belong to the replenishable category as they are continually replenished. Additionally, the mining and separation of beach minerals is a fairly simple and environment-friendly process.
However, the Indian beach mineral industry is far from realising its full potential and becoming a global leader in every sense of the word.