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
exclusively.
d) In the year 1998, the then Prime Minster A.B.Vajpayee liberalized this
sector and encourage private participation of these minerals (except
monazite).
e) Private players especially emerged in Tamil nadu and Andra Pradesh,
positioned the industry to be ranked No.1 in the world’s production
ranking.
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
21.08.2018.

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.

Beach Sand Mining

From: Joan Martinezalier
Date: Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 1:46 PM
Subject: from the EJAtlas, “Sand mining in Tamil Nadu”
To: president@beachminerals.org, EJOLT Project <ejoltmap@gmail.com>

Thank you for your message and for the information regarding this case. We have withdrawn the case on Sand mining in Tamil Nadu from the EJAtlas, in order to rewrite it as two separate cases, i.e. separating conflicts on sand and gravel mining in rivers and beaches as a raw material for the building industry,
and (as a separate issue) possibly conflicts on sand mining in beaches for ilmenite and other materials (if they exist in Tamil Nadu, as they exist in other countries – we have to do more research this). For instance, in the EJAtlas we have cases on conflictive ilmenite mining in sand dunes in Madagascar, South Africa (https://ejatlas.org/conflict/pondoland-wild-coast-xolobeni-mining-threat-south-africa). Are there similar cases in Tamil Nadu, and elsewhere in India? Your help on this issue would be appreciated.
Sincere apologies for the incovenience caused. You are right to complain. We shall take carefully into account all the information you have sent. With out best wishes,
———
Prof. Joan Martínez-Alier
ICTA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193 Spain

www.envjustice.org


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Pauldurai Perumal <president@beachminerals.org>
Date: Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 11:48 AM
Subject: Objection to the article “Illegal Sand Mining in rivers and beaches in Tamilnadu, India” published on 12.04.2017
To: leah.tmer@gmail.com, ejoltp@gmail.com
To,The EditorEnvironmental Justice AtlasSir,We draw your attention to the article “Illegal Sand Mining in rivers and beaches in Tamilnadu, India” published on 12.04.2017, in your website. The author has grossly mixed up two separate and completely different activities namely River sand mining and Beach sand minerals mining clearly indicating complete lack of understanding of the topics. Further, the article is based on speculative media reports grossly misleading the public at large.We present below the facts regarding Beach sand mineral mining which will help you understand the truth and you will realise that  the accusations made in the published article against beach sand mining are malafide, false and imaginary intending to discredit the business and bring disrepute to people engaged in this business.1)       Beach sand mineral mining is a permitted activity in the coastal regions as per Law. In fact, Beach Sand Mineral mining activity has been in existence for several decades in Tamilnadu and public sector company  Indian Rare Earths ( IREL)  was the first entrant into this field. Subsequently other private companies also entered into this activity and presently both public sector and many private companies are engaged in this BSM business in Tamilnadu.2)       The article contains several sweeping and irresponsible statements like “Laws remain in paper only”, Environmental clearances through bribery”, “ Violations of regulations ” etc. All these statements are false and baseless and as you can read below, there are Rules governing these minerals and there are various approvals required to carry out Beach Sand mineral mining.We wish to add the VV Minerals has all these necessary approvals and has been carrying out its operations in accordance with the Law.3)       Beach sand minerals (garnet, ilmenite , zircon, rutile , sillimanite , monazite) are classified as major minerals and placed in Schedule I- Part B – Atomic minerals in the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act. Mining leases are granted by the State Government after getting the approval from the Central Government. In addition, there are several clearances and approvals obtained from various statutory and regulatory authorities as follows:

  1. a) Clearance from Ministry of Enviornmnet and Forest (MOEF), Govt. Of India and also the State Pollution control board
  2. b) Licence from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for operating the BSM plants.  There are regular inspections by AERB and mandatory submission of regular returns to AERB to ensure compliance.
  3. c) Mining Plan Approval by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD), Govt of India. Mining leases are granted only after submission of Approved Mining Plan. In addition there are regular inspections by IBM and submission of regular returns to these departments to ensure compliance.
  4. d) Approval from Directorate of Mines Safety (DGMS), Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India to ensure Safety in Beach Sand Mines. The BSM mines are subjected to Regular Inspections by DGMS and have to submit statutory returns.
  5. e) Directorate of  Geology & Mining  (DGM), Tamil Nadu State Govt. is the authority which grants mining leases. Transport permits are obtained from the district officer of DGM after royalty payment.  The district officers of DGM issue permits after verification of the mine sites.

4)       The statement “Vaikundarajan doing illegal mining worth 96,000-  crore in the last decade” is a completely false and baseless accusation without any supporting facts. Please ref para 5: http://www.beachminerals.org/wild-allegations-leveled-v-v-mineral-v-sundaram-ias-found-wrong-motive-envy-vindictive-far-away-truth/.  As mentioned above, VV Minerals owned by Vaikundarajan has secured all necessary approvals to conduct its business . Further, there are public sector and other private companies engaged in this business and Vaikundarajan is being singled out in these accusations by certain journalists like Sandhya Ravishankar due to personal animosity and ulterior motives. The article in your website is also based on these false accusations in media to troll Vaikundarajan and thus the media is misusing their freedom of press to malign him and his business.

5)       The article also purports to create misconceptions and fears about beach sand mining. These misconceptions are imaginary with no scientific basis. Beach sand mineral mining is a very environmentally friendly activity and the following highlights of this activity will dispel any negative bias towards beach sand mining.

  1. a) In the coastal tracts beach sand minerals are excavated from shallow pits varying in depth from less than a foot to about a few feet depth. The excavation of beach sand is done manually without deployment of any heavy earth moving equipment and so there is no air or noise pollution.
  1. b) After extraction of the valuable minerals, the barren sand is backfilled into the excavations. Thus, the  land is reclaimed and restored to its original topography.
  1. c) the deposition of the beach sand minerals onto the beach is a continuous process replenished by natural geologic processes and hence there is no disturbance to the beach topography by this activity.
  1. d) All the excavations are above the water table and so this activity does not disturb the groundwater table. Hence there is no impact on the groundwater resources or its quality.
  1. Sandhya Ravishankar is paid news reporter engaged by one illegal mining gang. You can find more about her in http://vetri3337.blogspot.in/ , http://vvmemp.blogspot.in/ , http://niyasah01.blogspot.in/

 

Please publish the same in your website.

Yours Truly

N.Pauldurai @ Perumal