Potentials for Rare Earth Elements Industrial Cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union

Potentials for Rare Earth Elements Industrial Cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union

_ Yuri Kofner, Head, Eurasian Sector, Centre for Comprehensive International and European Studies, Higher School of Economics. Moscow, December 21, 2018.

The strategic importance of rare earths

One of the most important types of strategic raw materials that ensure the development of modern high-tech is rare earth elements (REE). Today, rare earth elements are needed for such high-tech civilian and defense industries, such as aerospace, the nuclear industry, and radio electronics.

Rare earth elements (REE) are a group of seventeen metallic elements: fifteen lanthanides with the atomic numbers from 57 (lanthanum, La) to 71 (lutetium, Lu), together with yttrium (Y, atomic number 39) and scandium (Sc, atomic number 21). They all share similar chemical properties. Elements with a lower atomic weight from lanthanum to samarium (Sm) with atomic numbers from 57 to 62 are called light rare-earth elements (LREE); while europium (Eu) in lutetium with atomic numbers from 63 to 71 are heavy rare earth elements (HREE).

The modern smartphone cannot work without a number of rare earth metals, such as yttrium, lanthanum, terbium, neodymium, gadolinium, and praseodymium.

In fact, REEs are abundantly present in the earth’s crust. However, they are extremely difficult and costly to extract from rocks and minerals (sometimes referred to as called “chemical connectivity”). Yet, the numerous practical applications of rare earth elements often depend on the physical properties (electrical, magnetic, spectroscopic and thermal), which are characteristic of specific rare earth elements only. Thus, the main production task and the difficulty is their separation.

One of the main health and environmental problems is the fact that rare earths are often mined together with radioactive elements such as thorium and uranium. In addition, extracting and concentrating REEs requires large amounts of electricity of toxic chemicals.

The global market

The world market for rare earth elements is characterized, on the one hand, by rapid growth in demand from high-tech industries, and the monopolization of rare earth supply, on the other hand. For this reason, we are seeing an intensive increase in prices for rare earths. For example, the world price of cerium oxide in July 2011 was 38 times higher than its average price in 2009 [1]. And it is likely that this trend will only increase.

The fact is that over 90% of the world’s rare earth elements are produced in the Peoples’ Republic of China, and in 2013, Chinese companies controlled 42% of their global reserves [2]. Now it has risen to over 50% [5]. Against the background of the US’ protectionist policies, there is the possibility of China taking retaliatory measures by further reducing export quotas for rare earth metals. This, in turn, will drive up the commodity price for them on the global market.

Dependence on China

Despite the economic and military-political partnership of Russia and the other EAEU member states, being dependant on the supply of critical rare earth elements from China is an impermissible threat to the military, economic and technological security of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.

In 2012, Russia’s REE production amounted to about 2 thousand tons (2% of world production) [3]. Producing only raw materials, Moscow subsequently had to rely on processing the mined product outside of the Russian Federation. Without the implementation of new projects, the country’s share in the global volume of REE production has already fallen below 1.5%. According to the Rostec State Corporation, by 2020 Russian demand for rare earth elements will reach 5-7 thousand tons per year, according to a more optimistic scenario – almost 13 thousand tons [4]. Yet domestic demand is almost completely satisfied by imports from China.

China has the largest reserves of rare earth elements in the world – 55 million tons, or 50% of all explored world reserves. Russia is in second place with 19 million tons (17% of the world’s reserves). The United States accounts for 13 million tons or 12% of the world’s reserves [5].

The European experience

In 2013, the European Union launched the EURARE project [6] in order to make the European rare earth industry more independent (from China) by searching for ways to supply both raw materials and rare earth alloys from within the EU and other regions of the world [7].

Achievement of this goal is so important to the EU’s policymakers that in June 2018 as part of the “Horizon 2020” innovation program, the European Commission launched the tender “Securing European Critical Rare Earth Metals” (SecREEts) with a total value of over 17 million euros. By 2023 the project aims to secure no less than 3000 tons of rare earth elements annually for the needs of the European industry with an estimated generated worth of 75 million euros [8].

It is also worth noting that as part of the “Lisbon Strategy” the European Commission in the late 1990s – early 2000s created “European Research Area”, which became the basis for the “European technological platforms” (ETPs). ETPs are platforms created on a mutual basis by combining the intellectual and financial resources of the EU and of the largest European industrial producers, where a strategy for the development of science and technology is being developed, which then forms the basis of specific research programs and projects. Their final goal is the successful sale, through industrial and research cooperation, of value-added products on the European and world market [9].

Eurasian industrial cooperation in the field of rare earths

Against this background, there is an urgent need to solve the problem of recreating the entire technological chain of rare earth industries in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – from the extraction and enrichment of raw materials to chemical-metallurgical processing, production of rare earth metals, individual rare earths, and finished products. All of this has to be done in a competitive environment and without a substantial domestic market.

Due to the importance of rare earth elements for the needs of high-tech industries and the military-industrial complex of the EAEU member states, the formation of a complete technological cycle of the industry of rare earth metals is a strategic area of economic cooperation of the countries belonging to the Eurasian Economic Union.

In 2016, following the EU’s example, the Eurasian Economic Commission decided to introduce 14 so-called  Eurasian technological platforms (EATPs) aimed at industrial and research cooperation, the creation of competence centers in the member states, shaping the economy of the future, constant technological innovation, and enhancing the global competitiveness of the Eurasian Union’s industrial potential.

We propose the creation of the Eurasian technological sub-platform “Rare Earth Elements” (EATP “REE”) as part of the EATP “Technologies for the extraction and processing of solid minerals”. It is noteworthy that one of its declared activities is “mining and deep processing of rare earth ores” [11].

The objectives of the Eurasian technological sub-platform “Rare Earth Elements” could be:

  • the creation in the EAEU of a competitive full-cycle production complex of rare-earth elements;
  • promotion of import substitution of rare earth elements for the needs of high-tech and strategic sectors of the economy of the EAEU member states;
  • promotion of the share of EAEU member states in world exports of rare earths;
  • assistance in the development of innovative production processes and high-tech goods using REEs on the basis of scientific and technical cooperation.

The EATP “REE”’s stakeholders could be:

  • a consortium of high-tech enterprises from the EAEU member states;
  • a consortium of enterprises from the EAEU member states that are engaged in the extraction and processing of rare earth metals;
  • a consortium of specialized research institutes and universities;
  • the Eurasian Economic Commission;
  • Ministries of Industry of the EAEU member states;
  • Ministries of Environmental Protection of the EAEU member states;
  • the Eurasian Development Bank;
  • national development banks of the EAEU member states;
  • interested foreign companies and banks (with no more than 49% of shares);
  • NGOs of the EAEU member states that are engaged in environmental protection.

In addition to the tasks and activities that have already been outlined in the passport of the Eurasian technological platform “Technologies for the extraction and processing of solid minerals”, the main measures to support the EATP “REE” could be:

  • the building an imitation (computer) model of the world market of rare earth metals, which will allow for a deeper understanding of its structure and the interrelations of its subjects;
  • the establishment of research and technical cooperation between the parties to the platform;
  • the establishment of cooperative production chains between enterprises from the EAEU member states in the field of mining, processing, and the production of finished products from rare earth elements.
  • to contribute to the conclusion of long-term contracts to ensure the refinancing of the innovation process of REE production of the EAEU countries, including multilateral credit schemes.

Here we would like to separately single out two state support measures, which, from our point of view, would be necessary at the initial stage for the successful launch and operation of a union-wide REE industrial complex that would be competitive in the global market later on.

Firstly, it is necessary to introduce changes in the state program of the Russian Federation “Development of industry and increase of its competitiveness” (15 April 2014, N 328) [12], highlighting in it REE industrial cooperation and participation of the rare earth enterprises from other EAEU member states as priorities of Russia’s import substitution policy.

Secondly, in view of the strategic importance of rare earth elements for the needs of state security, the EAEU member states could agree on the introduction of quotas on various domestic rare earth products in the defense industry and defense procurement. These quotas could be low at the beginning, from 0% to 0.5%, depending on the particular REE and its application, and then be raised step by step. It would also necessary to provide delays and exceptions for countries and various spheres.

The horizons for the implementation of this project as a whole could be: until December 2021 – preparation of the EATP, and, beginning from January 2022 – launch of the EATP “REE”.

Rear earth potentials of the Eurasian Union

In 1990 USSR’s rare earth complex took third place in global production and fully met the needs of the domestic market. 8.5 thousand tons of rare earth elements were produced in the USSR annually, of which 20‒25% were oxides of individual REEs (20% of the world’s volume) [13].

In terms of proven reserves, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan rank second after China with its Bayan Obo deposit in the province of Inner Mongolia [14].

The main operating REE deposits in the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union are:

  • the Lovozero deposit in the Murmansk region (Russia);
  • the Kutessay-2 deposit (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Melovoye deposit (Kazakhstan). Its uranium reserves are estimated at 44 thousand tons [15].

Russia has significant reserves of rare earth elements in still undeveloped deposits in Eastern Siberia (Tomtorskoe, Chuktukonskoye, Katuginskoe, Beloziminskoe, etc.), which are located in remote and harsh climatic conditions. This determines the high capital cost of their potential development. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, 154 million tons of ore with a niobium oxide content of 6.71%, yttrium – 0.6%, scandium – 0.048% and terbium – 9.53% are located in the Tomtor deposit in Yakutia [16]. The start of production at the Tomtorskoe deposit is expected in the 2020s. The total capital expenditure required for this project is estimated at 560 million US dollars [17].

Also promising is a project to develop the eudialytic ores of the Alluive site in the Murmansk region.

Kazakhstan has eight deposits of rare earth elements: four of them are concentrated in the Mangystau region in the uranium deposits of Melovoe, Tokmak, Taibogar and Tasmuryn. The Akbulak and Kundybay deposits are located in the Kostanay region in Southern Kazakhstan.

REEs are often mined together with uranium. According to estimates of the World Nuclear Association, the Republic of Kazakhstan is second in the world (after Australia) in terms of proven uranium reserves (842.2 million tons or 14% of the world’s reserves) and first in production (about 39% of world production). Russia ranks 4th (485.6 million tons; 8%) and 6th place (5%), respectively [18].

In Kazakhstan, the state nuclear enterprise “Kazatomprom”, in cooperation with Japan’s “Sumitomo Group”, established a production facility in Stepnogorsk for the production of various rear earth concentrates [19].

The Kazakh “Irtysh Rare Earth Co. Ltd.” Currently produces small amounts of cerium oxides, however, from raw materials imported from third countries [20].

The Solikamsk Magnesium Plant (OAO SMZ) can process loparite concentrate obtained from the Lovozero mining and processing plant into an alloy of rare earth chlorides. They then could be shipped to Kazakhstan for further processing at the “Irtysh Rare Earth Co. Ltd.” processing plant for turning them into rare earth products for final consumption.

The Moscow Polymetallic Plant can produce oxides of rare earth metals of the yttrium group, as well as Sm-Co magnets [21].

In early 2018, the “Laboratory for Innovative Technologies” launched an experimental separation production line of rare earth elements in Korolev, Moscow region with a potential capacity of about 130 tons per year [22].

The extraction of rare earth elements and their further concentration is a very energy-intensive process. High-intensity magnetic and electrostatic methods are mainly used. In this regard, the member states of the EAEU have a competitive advantage in terms of costs, since they enjoy relatively low electricity prices. For this same reason, the Russian company “EN +”, owned by OJSC “Rusal”, is seriously planning to build data processing and mining centers near its hydropower plants in Siberia [23].

The subprogram “Development of the industry of rare and rare earth metals” of the state program of the Russian Federation “Development of industry and increasing its competitiveness” (2017–2020) is currently being implemented in Russia. The goal of this subprogram is the creation in Russia of a competitive industry of rare and rare earth metals with a full technological cycle to meet the needs of the domestic military-industrial industry complex, civil high-tech industries and of foreign markets. The estimated final budget of this subprogramme (based on PPP) is 145 billion rubles [24].

The expected effects

At the beginning of 2018, the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank called rare earth products one of the most promising areas for EAEU exports to the world market [25].

The governments of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union should set the ambitious goal of creating a powerful, innovative and competitive union-wide rare earth industrial complex. Its implementation could become of the “flagship” projects of the EAEU, which are now being actively discussed (and sought after) in the Eurasian Economic Commission and aming the scientific expert community of the member states.

There are weighty arguments in favor of the success of the development of a competitive union-wide rare earth industrial complex:

Geological exploration, mining and primary processing of metal ores is one of the traditional areas of competence, which the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan are known for internationally, along with, for example, their oil and gas industry.

Despite this, the creation of a full cycle rare earth industry could bring with it a substantial multiplier effect, as it creates the raw material base for the development of a domestic high-tech industry.

The rare earth industry is closely connected with other traditional innovative and strategic sectors that Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus are known for: nuclear energy, aerospace, and the military-industrial complex.

The development of a Eurasian rare earth industry entails significant benefits in the education and science sector of the EAEU since it creates a demand for the training of highly qualified cadres and innovative R&D projects.

Last but not least, the development of a Eurasian rare earth indthe ustrial complex will become one of the strategic building blocks of the economic and military security, and therefore sovereignty, of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Literature:

  1. Vishneva V.O. Efficiency of using the balanced scorecard for the development of the full technological cycle of the industry of rare earth metals within the EAEU. // Regional problems of economic transformation. 2015. № 10.
  2. Rare Earth Elements. A briefing note by the Geological Society of London. 2013

Notes:

[1] Rare Earths Prices, Lynas Corporation Ltd. 2012. // http://www.lynascorp.com/Pages/what-are-their-prices.aspx

[2] Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of April 15, 2014 No. 328 “On Approval of the State Program of the Russian Federation“ Development of Industry and Improving its Competitiveness ”.

[3] Bogdanov, S. V., Grishaev, S. I., Cherny, S. A., Safronov, I. A. Actual Issues of Mining, Production and Use of Rare Earth Elements in Russia // Sb. reports of the All-Russian Conference on rare-earth materials “RZM-2013”. 2013

[4] Rostec. 2013. // https://rostec.ru/news/3323/

[5] Ibid.

[6] EURARE. // http://www.eurare.eu/

[7] Europe’s rare earth deposits could shore up tech industry. 2015. // https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/europe-s-rare-earth-deposits-could-shore-tech-industry.html

[8] Secure European Critical Rare Earth Elements. // https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/216075/factsheet/en

[9] EEС. Analytical reference “European technological platforms”. 2012 // http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/act/prom_i_agroprom/dep_prom/Pages/European%20technological%20platforms.pdf

[10] EEС. Brochure “Eurasian technological platforms.” 2017. // http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/act/prom_i_agroprom/dep_prom/SiteAssets/broshura%20ETP.pdf

[11] Passport of the Eurasian technological platform “Technologies of mining and processing of solid minerals”. // http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/act/prom_i_agroprom/dep_prom/SiteAssets/ETP-pasporta/Tverdie%20iskopaemie.pdf

[12] The state program of the Russian Federation “Development of industry and increase of its competitiveness” dated April 15, 2014 N 328. // http://government.ru/programs/203/about/

[13] Vereshchagin, Yu. A., Emelina, T.N. // Mining Informational and Analytical Bulletin (scientific and technical journal). 2007. № 12.

[14] Rare Earth Elements Profile, British Geological Survey. 2010. // http://www.bgs.ac.uk/downloads/start.cfm?id=1638

[15] V.E.Boytsov, A.A. Vercheba. Geological and industrial types of uranium deposits. // Tutorial: KDU. 2008

[16] Rostec. 2013. // https://rostec.ru/news/3323/

[17] Rostec estimated the capital expenditures for the development of the Tomtor deposit at $ 560 million. 2018. // https://tass.ru/ekonomika/5255551

[18] World Nuclear Association. World Uranium Mining Production .2018. // http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/mining-of-uranium/world-uranium-mining-production.aspx

[19] Norilsk Nickel. 2013. // http://www.norilskcomplex.ru/home/novosti/redkozemelnye_metally_v_rf_-_vozrozhdenie_proizvodstva_zavisit_ot_namerenij_gosudarstva/

[20] Rare metal and rare earth deposits of Kazakhstan. 2015. // http://metalmininginfo.kz/archives/2256

[21] Tverdov, A. A., Jura, A. V., Nikishechev, S. B. Rare Earth Metals Market Review // Globus. Geology and business. 2013. № 1 (25).

[22] Elements of high technology: how world powers compete for the rare-earth metal market. 2018. // https://russian.rt.com/world/article/488763-redkozemelnye-metally-dobycha-rossiya-ssha-kitay

[23] The structure En + Deripaska has allocated a mine site in Irkutsk. 2018. // https://www.vedomosti.ru/technology/news/2018/08/03/777307-irkutskenergo-predlozhila-uchastok-dlya-mainingovih-ferm

[24] Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of April 15, 2014 No. 328 “On Approval of the State Program of the Russian Federation“ Development of Industry and Increasing Its Competitiveness ”.

[25] Belyaninov: the main export of the EAEU is coal, gold, rare earth metals. 2018. // https://news.rambler.ru/other/39178225-belyaninov-osnova-eksporta-eaes-ugol-zoloto-redkozemelnye-metally/?updated

Source : http://greater-europe.org/archives/6229

Due to the wrong policy of government, India import 7.6 Lakhs M.Ton Titanium from China – KMML Ex-Chairman accepted this

India has 1/3rd of the total world reserve of Titanium feed stock Ilmenite. When Mr. Vajpayee was Prime Minister, he opened this field to private companies. So Indian export increased from Rs. 35 Crores to Rs.4000 Crores. Due to some personal motive with some IAS officer who was transferred to a high post, the entire scenario changed. Based on his advice, the Government take a wrong decision, which resulted, Revenue loss to government, foreign exchange earning loss to our nation and employment loss for more than one lakh people. Unfortunately some government companies also behind this to avoid healthy competition.

 

In Kerala, only government companies alone mined by engaging contractors. Whereas, Tamilnadu entire mining by private companies are manual mining which is simple in nature and eco-friendly. Now KMML Ex-Chairman accepted that, the present mining method to be changed for manual mining. Very import thing is our nation’s total requirement is 8 lakhs M.Ton of Titanium, whereas our present production is 40000 M.Ton alone and we are importing 7.6 lakhs M.Ton of titanium from China. This is the reason for the entire problem faced by the beach mineral producers. The Chinese companies , to maintain their market share destroy Indian Production by spreading false news through some paid news medias. The Honourable Supreme Court Judge also pointed out that, whenever an important case is listed, before one week, news were spread by social media for influencing the judiciary. The same method of technological attack is given against Indian Beach Mineral Industry. The news published in Indian Express is given below.

 

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To mine or not to mine

Rich mineral deposits on Kerala coast are a treasure trove that can change the state’s destiny which is fighting continued levels of fiscal and revenue deficits

Published: 20th October 2019 01:42 AM  |

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala government has vowed time and again that it will not stop mining the rich mineral deposits along the coastal areas of the state extending from Chavara in Kollam district to Aarattupuzha in Alappuzha district. It is a fact that the rich mineral deposit is a treasure trove that can change the destiny of the state, which has been fighting continued high levels of fiscal and revenue deficits, mounting debt liabilities and high interest payment burden.

However, local resistance and opposition from environmentalists have been hampering the project envisaged to establish a titanium complex in the state. Government officials and politicians are reluctant to speak about the issue fearing a backlash. “Titanium is a sunrise sector in the chemical industry. There is a demand for eight lakh tonnes of titanium pigment in the country and we are producing only 40,000 tonnes. The country imports around 7.6 lakh tonnes of titanium pigment a year from China.

If Kerala can tap the growing market for titanium mill products and other value-added products from the beach sand minerals to take advantage of the growing demand in the aerospace, aircraft repair, power generation, shipping and biomedical applications sectors, it can power the state economy and create more employment opportunities,” said M P Sukumaran Nair, former chairman of Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML).

A detailed survey conducted by Atomic Minerals Directorate had found that the mineral sand deposit between Neendakara and Kayamkulam Bar over a length of 22 km with a width of 225 m was one of the best in the world because of high titanium dioxide content in the mineral ilmenite. The reserve of total heavy mineral in the Chavara barrier beach is 127 million tonnes, while in the northern segment, which extends up to Thottappally in Alappuzha district, the reserve of total heavy mineral sand is 17 million tonnes. According to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Indian Air Force (IAF) will be spending around $150 billion on aircraft and aero engine in the next 15 years.

In India, most of the titanium processing is in manufacturing pigment-grade titanium dioxide. Kerala government entities, Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd produces 40,000 tonnes per annum (TPA) rutile-grade titanium, while the Travancore Titanium Products produces 15,000 tonnes of anatase-grade titanium pigment per annum. Two other small capacity plants are also processing titanium in the private sector. The Kerala government in 2018 commissioned a feasibility study to put up a plant to produce titanium mill products and other value-added products from the beach sand minerals, said Sukumaran Nair. The government had formulated an ambitious plan to increase the production of titanium dioxide to 60,000 tonnes and further increase the capacity of Chavara KMML plant to one lakh tonnes per annum. A committee appointed by the government had recommended to increase the capacity of the titanium sponge plant at KMML and start producing titanium metal alloy.

The government’s proposed mineral-based titanium complex and its downstream projects will be the biggest industrial development initiative so far undertaken by the state. The performance of Travancore Titanium Products and KMML is illustrative of the profitability of the titanium-based mineral industry. “If we opt not to mine it will result in a massive loss to the state’s economy. We may have to learn lessons from activities of this kind taking place in other fragile zones around the world and work out a coastline environment management plan,” he said.

‘OPT FOR METHODS THAT ARE ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY’

Regarding the local resistance, Sukumaran Nair said the present method of beach sand mining was not environment-friendly. Sea erosion in Chavara area is very high and the authorities should retain the sea barrier through backfilling. Use of heavy equipment for excavating soil should be discouraged. Local people should be employed as permanent workers and provided a handsome salary. The workforce should be integrated with the industry. The mineral sand that gets deposited every day through sea washing can be collected by employing Kudumbasree self-help groups.

FOCUS ON VALUE ADDITION

The state government has taken a policy decision to discourage export of raw mineral sand and promote export of value-added products. Ilmenite, rutile, zircon and monazite are the major heavy minerals extracted from beach mineral sand. Ilmenite is an important ore from which titanium dioxide pigment, titanium sponge, titanium chloride and titanium metal are made. However, the technology for processing ilmenite is a closed one. India has to source the technology from foreign countries and start processing the mineral sand. The project needs an investment to the tune of around `3,500 crore and the government should explore the possibility of a joint venture to realise the project.

SMUGGLING OF MINERAL SAND

Sukumaran Nair said while the public sector utilities were unable to extract mineral sand due to protests, some mineral sand processing units outside the state are sourcing mineral sand from the state through smuggling. Certain local people are employed by the smugglers to extract mineral sand and ferry it to the barges that reach outer sea. These smuggling lobbies are fuelling the local protest, he said. Industry insiders alleged that many political leaders were hand in glove with the mineral sand smugglers.

Source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2019/oct/20/to-mine-or-not-to-mine-2050253.html

 

தாது வளம் அதிகம் உள்ள இந்தியா ஆஸ்திரேலியாவில் இருந்து இறக்குமதி செய்யும் கொடுமை

இந்தியாவில் சுமார் 95 வகையான தாதுக்கள் கிடைக்கின்றன. உலக தாதுமணல் இருப்பில் மூன்றில் ஒரு பங்கு இந்தியாவில் உள்ளது. இவற்றை சரியாக பயன்படுத்தினால் இந்திய பொருளாதாரம் வளர்ச்சி அடைவதோடு வேலையில்லா திண்டாட்டமும் நீங்கும். ஆனால் அரசின் தவறான கொள்கை முடிவுகளினால் தற்போது இந்தியா தாது மணலில் உற்பத்தியாக்கும் ரேர் எர்த் மற்றும் மின்சார உற்பத்திக்கு தேவையான நிலக்கரி ஆகியவற்றை ஆஸ்திரேலியாவில் இருந்து இறக்குமதி செய்கிறது.
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Australia looks to export lithium, rare earth and coal to India

He said there is a strong market for lithium in India given the government’s ambitious plans for electric vehicles.

Coal

The new Australian government is looking to expand its trade ties with India in areas other than from thermal coal, where it is confident that the demand will remain robust.

The country is looking to export for electric vehicles, rare earth for high-tech renewable component, and high-quality coal, said Matthew Canavan, the Australian minister for natural resources.

“India and Australia have a strong relationship on the coal side. There could be more direct investments in other directions such as minerals and agri products,” Canavan said in a media roundtable during his visit to New Delhi.

He said there is a strong market for in India given the government’s ambitious plans for electric vehicles.

Australia is also hopeful that coal demand — especially for high-grade Australian coal — in Southeast Asia will remain steady.

Adani Enterprises’ Carmichael coal mining and rail project recently received all necessary approvals. The new Australian government is aggressively in support of the project, unlike the previous one. “It was a lengthy process for the project to get all approvals. It was a learning experience for the government as well. We are open for investment,” he said.

Canavan met Piyush Goyal, minister for commerce and railways, and Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of petroleum and natural gas and steel, during his visit.

Pradhan said India is already an importer of LNG from Australia. “Indian consumer is price sensitive, and therefore, affordability of LNG imports from Australia will be an important factor in enhancing cooperation in this area,” he said.

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/australia-looks-to-export-lithium-rare-earth-and-coal-to-india-119082901502_1.html

 

False news spread in International Media by vested interest reporters – Detailed reply with statutory documents to establish BSM Industries are running in accordance with law.

As a part of Sandhya’s false propaganda against Indian Beach Mineral Industry, one reporter from France by Name Cecile Schilis-Gallego asked some information about beach mineral Industry.

My name is Cécile Schilis-Gallego, I’m a journalist with Forbidden Stories. Forbidden Stories is an international consortium of journalists that collaborates with major news outlets including, among others, The Guardian, France Télévisions, WDR, Le Monde, Radio France, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit. We pursue investigations of journalists who have been threatened, jailed or killed”.

The above said words will establish that, she was misguided by Sandhya Ravishankar about beach mineral industry. Fortunately she also confirmed that,  the reply will be given due wait-age in the article. Accordingly, VV Mineral Manager Mr.Sakthi Ganapathi send detailed mail with strong evidences for the questions. Hope they will publish the same as it is in their article. Let us wait and see whether their acting fair and consciously or they are also under the control of Sandhya Ravishankar.

Copy of mail and the annexurs supporting the reply send the reporter Cecile is given below for our members as well as general public information.

Mail to Forbidden

Anx-2Anx 3

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Anx-11

 

Concrete reply for false allegations about beach mineral industry

Everyone knows that, some vested interest people are working against this beach mineral industry.  Some of the media reporters were misguided by vested interest media people like Sandhya Ravishankar. Accordingly one Mr.Ashish Malhotra from The Guardian approached our member VV Mineral for an interview.  Fortunately Mr. Jonathan Watts, Global Environment Editor, The Guardian as well as Ashish Malhotra confirmed that VV Mineral side also will be published equally.  Hence detailed reply send to them refuting all the false allegation along with documentary evidences. The following points are explained in detail with evidence from statutory authorities.

          1) There is no Coastal Erosion due to the beach mineral mining. Particularly there is no erosion in the private companies mining lease areas. Moreover sea erosion is a world wide problem. The main reason is Global warming. Even in India, more than 40% of the beaches are affected for various reasons.

 

         2) The mining lease area and processing plants minimum 500 meter away from habitation. No employees or the owners who are residing adjacent processing plants are not affected either chronic Kidney disease or by cancer or by any other disease. The Kidney disease is common all over the world. In Japan for one million people 20 dialysis centre are available. Whereas in India it is only five. All over India average 17% of the population affected by Chronic Kidney disease (reasons are given in detail). Worldwide out of one lakh people 78 people are affected by cancer. In Tamilnadu Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Coimbatore alone the first four places cancer affected districts, where there is no beach mineral mining.

 

           3) No land is acquired by any private mining company. Only government companies alone initiate land acquisition at rock bottom price.

 

         4) The stoppage of mining operation did not prevent export of mineral which has already suffered royalty. Only royalty suffered mineral alone exported during the mining stoppage period. Export does not comes under the purview of MMDR Act – confirmed by Govt., of India, Ministry of Mines.

 

          5) No personal attack or threat to any type of public or media people. Even against the paid news reporters Sandhya herself also only legal action is initiated through court of law. Various cases are pending in various courts. The case filed by Sandhya Ravi Shankar against VV Mineral was dismissed by the court.

 

Copy of mail send to The Guardian along with attachments are given below for the general public as well as our members information. Let as wait to see whether both sides will be published or  as usual some other new stories created by Sandhya is published.

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From: S Vaikundarajan <vaikundarajan@vvgroup.biz>
Date: Sat, Jun 15, 2019 at 11:19 AM
Subject: Re: Interview request
To: Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com>
Cc: Jonathan Watts <llamalad@gmail.com>, Jon Watts <jon.watts@theguardian.com>

 

Dear Mr. Ashish Malhotra,

Its funny to see how reputed magazines such as yours are easily deceived by someone like Mrs.Sandhya Ravishankar.  Your question pattern clearly reveals that you are being misguided and are working closely with our competitor Mr.Daya Devadas who has a nexus with Mrs.Sandhya Ravishankar and Mr.Kumaresan, who thrives purely by threatening people for money.  I also understand you are seen along with the competitors, Sons of my brother Mr.Kumaresan (Mr.Sudharson /Mr.Sundaresan) and few of their henchmen in Tuticorin.  So, I have little faith in the fairness of your story. 

For your kind information, the only one mining company that has been proven to do illegal mining is someone named Daya Devadas, from Indian Garnet sand company and Southern Enterprises whose operation was shut in 2011, for which he is retaliating against other mineral producers in this industry.  Persons like Sandhya Ravishankar are only aiding this process.  So, please do your homework on the persons who are helping your so-called investigative story.  Sandhya who claims herself a hero and revolutionary against mining industry, has not written a single word about Daya Devadas or this illegal mining activity.  That should tell you something. You can find out government order determine the mining leases of our competitor for illegal mining in https://www.beachminerals.org/large-scale-illegal-mining-major-violations-tamilnadu-govt-determine-mining-lease-granted-southern-enterprises-belongs-dayadevadas-claim-president-federation-o/  and in https://www.beachminerals.org/39-lakhs-m-ton-illegal-minor-southern-enterprises-special-leave-petition-dismissed-honourable-supreme-court-02-02-2015-vide-slp-cc-nos-740-7412015/

Nevertheless I strongly believe reputed magazine like Guardian will make sure the story goes unbiased with versions of all people and their views.   You have also confirmed the same in your previous email and so here are my replies :

  

Your Question:

1)  Villagers say the mine has caused coastal erosion? Do you accept this and what have you done to prevent this and compensate those affected. 

Our reply :  All over the world coastal erosion is a serious problem. The main reason is Global Warming etc., The coastal mining leases are granted in southern districts like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin Districts in selective pockets to private parties with proper CRZ Clearance, where there is no sea erosion or damage to the shore.  But even in non-mining lease area, sea erosion is a serious problem. For example Rameswaram and Nagapattinam Districts and Ennore near Chennai. Due to business motive, our competitor company owns to Dhaya devadas who have political influence in the previous Central Govt., engaged some Retd. officials to spread rumours against this industry. None of our mine lease area is affected by sea erosion.

For your information, India has more than 7500 Kms length of coastline, whereas 1350 kms coastline has been reported to be affected by sea erosion. This has been confirmed by Govt., of India, Coastal Erosion directorate. (copy attached).

“As much as 45% of India’s 8,414-km long coastline is facing erosion, according to a new study based on satellite data over 15 years, published in the Indian Academy of Science’s journal Current Science.

The study–the most detailed thus far–also reports that close to 19% of the coastline is stable and about 36% is showing accretion, or expansion. The Indian coast has lost a net area of about 73 sq km.

Scientists from Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad and Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources, compared satellite images from two time periods–1989-91 and 2004-06–to measure the changes to India’s coastline.

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/45-of-india-s-coastline-facing-erosion-115081200513_1.html

If you go through the above picture you can find out that, in Tamilnadu area under accretion is 42.6 km and area under erosion 17.2 km alone. Moreover all the states, were no beach mineral mining also severely affected by sea erosion.  The renowned scientist Stephen Hakkins recorded that by 2600, our Globe will become fire ball. This is because of increase of population and abnormal usage of powers etc.,

Source :  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/07/stephen-hawking-humans-will-turn-earth-into-a-giant-ball-of-fire-by-2600.html

One fisherman village Panchayat President herself has reported that there is no adverse effect consequent on beach sand mining. According to her voice, there is well planned false propaganda only with malicious intention.  The concerned video and audio recording are already in possession of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Govt. of India.  We are also in possession of the same and that we have put out the wordings in our website.   You are invited to visit this site  https://www.beachminerals.org/fisherman-community-people-supporting-beach-mineral-mining-manavalakurichi-town-panchayat-president-confirm/  to find out the veracity of this reply.

“ A scientific study by the coastal erosion control directorate (CECD) nullifies the common         allegation that beach mineral sand mining is the major reason for sea erosion in southern          Tamil Nadu.

Disclosing this to DC, Dr A.G. Murugesan, scientist at Sri Paramakalyani Cen­ter of Environmental Sc­ie­nces, Manonmaniam Sun­da­ranar University, quoting the CECD report of the Union ministry of earth sciences, said waves and high tidal attacks, monsoonal vagaries, unpl­an­n­ed coastal protection projects like the breakwaters and fishing harbours were mentioned as the major reasons for sea erosion in the coastal regions of India.

The study ruled out beach sand mining, for industrial purpose, as a major threat to the shoreline, as beach mineral mining leases have been granted only for about 40 km in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andra Pradesh and Odisha.

The study, done in the entire 7,516-km-long coastline extending from Gujarat in the west coast to West Bengal in the east coast, has identified 1,350 km that are vulnerable to sea erosion.
Prof Murugesan said the CECD study has disclosed the truth that the mined areas in the coastline have been replenished due to constant tidal action.

Quoting the study, he pointed out that “Beach mineral mining has no connection with seawater intrusion that is primarily caused by overexploitation of groundwater.”

Concurring with Prof Murugesan, an official source at the Tamil Nadu water supply and drainage board said Thoothukudi city, around which no beach sand mining activity has been carried out for about 30 km on either side (north and south) of its coastline, has salty groundwater for about 10 km from the coast.

Referring to the case of Uvari in Tirunelveli district, where sea erosion was very severe, it has been said the region is located in the high erosion stretches, where erosion was not a recent phenomenon. Sea erosion was said to have been severe in Uvari even before mining leases were granted.

According to local fisherman Michael Adiyan, the original Kappal Matha church at Uvari was completely eroded in the early ‘50s, even before the advent of the beach sand mineral companies in the area.

Source : http://www.deccanchronicle.com/131211/news-current-affairs/article/mining-does-not-lead-sea-erosion%E2%80%88study

This being the fact, it is quite silly to point our heavy mineral mining which is done probably in total of 15 kms (out of 8500 KMs of Indian coastline), in some coats of TN, AP and Kerala is the reason for it.  In fact even in this 15 kms stretch, most of the mining is done atleast 500 metres away from shoreline in some case extending to 4 kms away from shoreline.  How can this be a reason? 

Also since 2013, no heavy mineral mining is happening in TN, has it stopped sea erosion?  Well learned journalist such as you can easily apply your mind on such silly accusations.  Out of total  85 mining leases in entire India, hardly 3-4 mining leases can access close to shoreline.  So, its quite obvious this is a false propaganda done by our competitors.  For your information non of our mining lease area is affected by sea erosion. In fact, our company is helping in reducing Global warming. Please visit : http://www.icontrolpollution.com/articles/role-of-vvmineral-in-reducing-global-warming-throughgreen-mining-technology-of-garnet.pdf

Your question :

2)  Villagers allege that the beach mining has led to an uptick in health problems in the nearby region, including kidney disease and cancer? They feel that water in the area has been contaminated by your activities, and that the dust they have inhaled from the mining has also affected their health. How do you respond?

Our reply :

Our own houses are close to the beach mineral factory. In our mines and factory, more than 4600 employees were working. None of the employee affected either by Kidney disease or cancer. This has been proven by the yearly medical check up taken among the employees.  Moreover our mining area and processing plants are minimum 500 meters away from the habitation. According to the Director General of Mines Safety norms, 200 meter distance enough. Whereas, we have kept 500 meters distance from the habitation. Then how it is possible?

All the mining companies in TN and AP employ dry mining methods, which can’t mine below water table.  The dry mining is simple excavation mining where there is no drilling, blasting, bore holing, tunnelling, chemical process, etc. none of which is used.  This being the case, where is the process of water contamination?  In fact, since all the private companies have stopped mining in TN since 2013 and mining in AP has been stopped since 2018, the only ones operating are the Indian Government company named IREL who is operating their mine in TN, Kerala and Orissa.  Perhaps it would be an eye opener of you to visit their mining areas and interview the locals around their operation.  In fact people are celebrating their operation for the employment they provide. 

Unless you crush any mineral or drill for any mineral, there is no question of dust as well.  For your information,  out of all the 7-8 beach sand producers in India only we have valid environmental clearance and valid pollution Control board consent under Air Act and Water Act. Even Central Govt., company also does not have the same clearances. Since your partner Sandhya Ravishankar’s target is Vaikundarajan and V.V.Mineral, you are not speaking about the government company which is running without valid clearance. Perhaps you should dig more on the clearances obtained by IREL (Central Government company) and bring the truth to the open forum.  Such a pity, Sandhya’s target is not them, but us. 

Cancer and Kidney diseases are common all over the world and are not limited to any specific areas. In fact, especially near Kerala, where IREL’s operation exists, naturally occurring beach sands contain the radioactive mineral named monazite in high percentage. Even there, Epidemiological studies on the cancer incidence rate carried out in these areas indicate no cases of health problems, cancer or kidney failure in these areas which can be attributed to the background radiation levels. In fact Government has regulations to maintain the back ground radiation levels in all the coastline areas.  This is the study report by Government of India available in https://aerb.gov.in/images/PDF/f1.pdf  (Page 54)

Given below are a few devastating statistics about chronic kidney failure in India.

  1. 17%of Indians have some form of chronic kidney disease. This figure was reached that in a study conducted by Harvard Medical School in partnership with 13 medical centres  all over India. One third of the above people have advanced stages of the disease.
  2. There are 60 million people with diabetes in India, more than any other nation on the planet. Sadly, the majority of them are either  not diagnosed or poorly treated.
  3. At least30% of diabetics will develop chronic kidney disease because of diabetes.
  4. People with the last stage of kidney failure (technically called Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5 or CKD-5) require dialysis and/or kidney transplantation as a life sustaining treatment. 40 % of such patients would have developed kidney failure because of diabetes.
  5. 2,00,000 new patients need dialysis treatment every year in India.  but the unfortunate reality is that only 10 to 20% of them get proper treatment.  The remaining are either not diagnosed or unable to continue proper treatment.
  6. Statistics suggest that there should be almost 20,00,000people on dialysis in India a sof today. The reality is that there are only about 1,00,000. The rest have been lost due to non-diagnosis and non-treatment.
  7. The majority of chronic kidney failure patients are diagnosed in the last stage. Though proper statistics are not available, it is accepted that almost 50%first see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) only in the last stage.
  8. There are0.4 dialysis centers per million population in India. By contrast, Japan has 20 dialysis  centres  per million  population.
  9. Only4,000 kidney transplants are  performed every year in India. The United States  with one fourth the population of India performs 16,000 such operations per year.
  10. Kidney failure can affect people of any age group. While in the west, the majority of patients are elderly, in India kidney failure patients are much younger and affects predominantly the working population.
  11. High salt consumption (dry fish) or any foods with high salt consumption can also be a pointed as a contributor to Kidney problems

Source : https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/some-devastating-statistics-about-chronic-kidney-failure-in-india-10945/post

Cancer in Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu State Cancer Prevention and Control policy is being developed with specific focus on prevention, early detection, screening, treatment including high end facilities, follow up and palliative care. Proposed for implementation over ten years period, it is envisaged that Tamil Nadu will have a functional system of cancer control with a network of equitably accessible ‘State of Art’ cancer treatment facilities which would reduce the cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality rates in relation to other States by 2030. Around 55,000 new cancer cases are identified every year in Tamil Nadu. It is higher among women (84 per one lakh) than men (65 per one lakh) in the age group of (35–64) years amounting to 1 in 13 people running a life time risk of developing cancer. As per Cancer Registry, high incidence of cancers is observed in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, Coimbatore and Kanyakumari districts.”

Source : http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/documents/hfw_e_pn_2017_18_0.pdf  (Page 231 and 232)

The said Tamilnadu Government report is available in government portal. You can find out that, districts like Tirunelveli, Tuticorin were private beach mineral mining leases are granted are not in the first three places. All over the India out of one lakh, average 78 people are affected by Cancer. You can find out the same from the reply to parliament question no. 647.  The following picture will establish the various reasons for cancer.

Source : https://www.thebetterindia.com/74188/cancer-awareness-india/

So please get your facts right before you are being deceived or misguided by someone like Sandhya Ravishankar or Mr.Kumaresan or Mr.Daya Devadas.

So, stopping the mining in 2013 in TN must be a boon for the coastal regions since they are relieved from the kidney and cancer problems?  According to Sandhya atleast this must be true. 

Your Question:

3) Villagers allege that land for the mining was acquired illegally/without their consent? How do you respond?

Our Reply

More than 90% of the mining leases are in our own land. We are not approaching for land acquisition either government or through other sources. Only Govt., companies alone acquire land for mining. Whereas in our cases, we purchase the land who are ready to sell their land and based on the sale document we purchase the land and transfer the name and get the mining lease.  Though this method is slow and inefficient, we win over the support of the land owners who gets paid in market price.  But this method has its own de-merits as well.  Ill minded fraudsters will threaten the company to acquire their land at an exaggerated price (atleast 20 times the market price) or else they will spread negative publicity against the companies.  We have faced such personalities too, who is still threatening us to buy their land a high price.  Unfortunately they also have friends like Sandhya Ravishankar who can help them extort money from beach mineral producers. 

Someone by the name Mr.Saravanakumar who tried to get money from us on this method and he give a complaint and file a case and give media exposure for that to get money. His attempt was failed and my legal battle finally give victory after 7 years. When our Manager came to Tuticorin along with my brother Kumaresan’s son, this gentlemen also seen with you. So, this question specifically wants to favour him.  Please remember he has already filed complaint in the police land grabbing cell and approach judicial magistrate and District Judge and finally approach the High Court. All courts dismissed his claim.  So, he is trying his best to do a smear campaign on us.  Other than that, we have always won support of public. 

Your question :

4)  An expert report filed in court says you continued the international export of minerals after a ban on mining and new transport permits was issued in 2013. How do you respond?

Our reply :   Please note that is not expert report. The Tamilnadu Government stopped the mining operation and stoppage of transport permit during 2013 without any jurisdiction and without following the statutory requirement for political reasons to fix up us.  Without any alternate remedy, I approached the Honourable High Court and the Honourable High Court set-aside the order of the State Government.  Now the State Govt., filed appeal and the appeal is still pending.  The Tamilnadu Government stopped the mining operation alone. There is no ban for export of existing royalty paid minerals, as, already the Honourable Supreme Court in Cavery Chetty case clearly decided that, once royalty is paid, the State has no control over the mineral. Moreover export of mineral does not comes under the purview of Mines Act. Government of India Ministry of Mines itself clarified the same vide its letter No.16/01/2016-M-VI dated 10.10.2016 (copy attached). Once in every three months after 2013, the State Govt., itself get the export figure from the Port to verify whether these all are royalty paid minerals or not. We have paid royalty for 98 lakhs M.Tons from 2001 to 2013. After export until 2016, we have approximately 36 lakhs M.Ton of royalty paid minerals in various stages. The High Court appointed Sahoo Committee also confirmed the correctness of our stock.

If you inform the name of the expert and the nature of the report, I can able to furnish full and correct reply with documentary evidence to establish that, the report you have mentioned is not correct.

Your question :

5) Villagers say they have faced attack, threat and intimidation as a result of speaking out against mining. The journalist Sandhya Ravishankar also says she has faced threats and intimidation because of her reporting. How do you respond? Specifically, she says CCTV footage of her meeting with a source was leaked. Was your company involved in this leak?

Our reply :  Please be informed Sandhya Ravishankar has personal enemity against our company.  Our business group also owns a reputed local TV News Media since 2014.  During its initial phase, Mr.Prem shankar (none other than Ms.Sandhya ravishankar’s husband) approached us to manage the media operation.  But we denied the opportunity.  There started the enmity.  She started her partnership with Daya Devadas only after that. 

Please note no village people is against the mining operation. Only the vested interest people who are working under Sandhya Gang alone speaking against mining.  For your information, you can find out the video in www.beachminerals.org/videos  Where in the video, you can find out even an Retd. IAS officer are working under the instruction of our competitors and they gave interview against us as per the advice of our competitor. Also a person Anton from one Fisherman village to whom our competitor is educating how to show emotions to spread false message against us, when talking to media can also be seen.  It is similar set of people who are misguiding you. 

Like I told you before, Sandhya represents our competitor Daya devadas who was found doing illegal mining and their operation was shut in 2011.  He couldn’t bear the thought of other producers continuing to capture the market share, he took it upon himself and determined to bring down the entire industry.  Slowly he launched smear campaign against us in 2013, instigated the then Government to bring mining ban.  Since then he has been continuing the attack this industry and all the producers with baseless and false accusations.  Sandhya is one of his close aid.  We initially thought she was fair and unbiased, met her few times, provided with all the counter facts on accusations made by our competitors.  But she chose to ignore it and carry only the competitors false versions.  So, we have in fact filed two defamation suit against her.  This has only made her furious to continue with her personal attack on us.

We strictly believe in taking only legal action through court of law.  Already two criminal cases pending against her in Judicial Magistrate court and one case is pending in the High Court, and she herself filed a case against me in the City Civil Court, Chennai when we filed detailed counter to scrap the plaint, the Honourable City civil court, Chennai accept our plea and scrap her plaint and dismissed the case filed by her in O.S.No. 1649 of 2017. 

We are a reputed organisation and always taken a legal recourse for any of the issues we face.  Threatening the journalist is the last thing we will do.  Can she provide one evidence to prove this?   She can’t. 

I pity her situation because she has been jumping media organisations for every 3-4 months and she tries to use that media to support Mr.Daya devadas by writing false information about other producers.  We explain the facts to the media group or editors and they warn Sandhya.  She jumps to the next one and tries the same.  This is a cycle. 

Suddenly one day she started accusing us of threatening (without any proof of course) and we wanted to learn why.  On asking around, we found that, she doesn’t have a good reputation in the press club for she was taking sides in their election process and many senior journalist didn’t like that.   When entire TN was supporting Jallikattu festival, she was openly commenting against it when staunch TN social media users troller her.  She conveniently played the victim card accusing that against us.  Jallikattu or her press club issue has nothing for us and we have no affair to intervene or comment her role.  Some random comments made in social media by random guy has to do with us?  She hasn’t done any legal stories to support her, so she has to thrive by playing victim card against beach mineral industry. 

Even the videos of her meeting the so-called source was widely spread in social media (even a reputed whistle blower Savukku published it in his timeline).  He claimed Sandya was visiting Ex-DGP to misguide DMK using his closeness to DMK.  So that also was blamed on us.  In fact someone in social media picked up the video from social media and sent to us saying Sandhya was meeting to conspire against us.  We can only ignore such things. 

Please apply some logic my friend and provide us a concrete proof so that we have something to answer to. 

But I must tell you, it is a big nexus in which Sandya is involved in and they have the habit of publishing a story every time a court hearing for this beach mineral case comes to court.  Their intention is only to cause pre-judice against us in the minds of the judges, so that justice can be delayed. 

One of my employee who manage one personal blog http://vetri3337.blogspot.in/.    You can find lot of information about Sandhya Ravishankar.  Also please ask your so-called sources, friends of Sandya or even Sandya why they conveniently forgot to talk to Daya devadas or their illegal mining in 2011.  I am sure she never disclosed the fact that her husband was denied an opportunity in our group.  With personal enmity and history in the past, do you think she will give a fair opinion on us?  You are being used to fulfil her vengeance.  Please take a clear call.

I hope your story will be based on the above said five points. As promised, please publish my side reply also.  I still count you will do fairness to your journalism which is the fourth pillar of democracy.  Any deviation from my reply or misrepresentation will only push us to take legal recourse. 

Coastal erosion dierctorate lr

Export of Mineral does not comes under MMDR Act – MOM RTI lr – 10.10.16

With kind regards

S. Vaikundarajan 

———–

On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 11:35 PM Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Mr Vaikundarajan,

Thanks for your email. I do not know Mr Kumaresaran’s sons or employees, and we would have conducted the interview on that day had we heard from you directly.

In any case, we are glad to hear you’re interested in the interview. However, as we have told you before, our deadlines are quite tight, which is why we have been trying to schedule this interview with you for more than one week. We have really tried our best throughout this time to meet you and get answers from you. But now our deadline is fast approaching. It is in fact, this coming Monday morning. I tried to call you quite a few times this afternoon/evening to try and ask you the questions in the most timely manner possible, but I was not able to get through. I am sending you them now here in an email, but as I said, please keep in mind that we need answers as soon as possible because our deadline is Monday morning. We cannot wait until the dates you have suggested, and hope to get an email response from you with the answers before Monday.

Below are some questions for my article for The Guardian. But as I have mentioned before, we are working in collaboration with many other journalists, and I do believe that some of them have reached out to you with separate questions. Please keep in mind that we would possibly use some of your answers to those in our story for The Guardian as well.

1) Villagers say the mine has caused coastal erosion? Do you accept this and what have you done to prevent this and compensate those affected. 

2) Villagers allege that the beach mining has led to an uptick in health problems in the nearby region, including kidney disease and cancer? They feel that water in the area has been contaminated by your activities, and that the dust they have inhaled from the mining has also affected their health. How do you respond?

3) Villagers allege that land for the mining was acquired illegally/without their consent? How do you respond?

4)  An expert report filed in court says you continued the international export of minerals after a ban on mining and new transport permits was issued in 2013. How do you respond?

5) Villagers say they have faced attack, threat and intimidation as a result of speaking out against mining. The journalist Sandhya Ravishankar also says she has faced threats and intimidation because of her reporting. How do you respond? Specifically, she says CCTV footage of her meeting with a source was leaked. Was your company involved in this leak?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best,

Ashish

———————-

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Jon Watts <jon.watts@theguardian.com>
Date: Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: Interview request
To: S Vaikundarajan <vaikundarajan@vvgroup.biz>
Cc: Ashish Malhotra <ashish.z.malhotra@gmail.com>

Mr Vaikundarajan,

Thanks for your prompt reply.
Our main mission and duty as journalists is to report stories in a fair and balanced way. As you have discussed with our team on the ground, we want to spend as much time as possible with you to make sure you can answer all questions/criticisms people may ask or make about you and your companies. We can assure you that your positions and views will be reflected in our story and that your quotes will be used accurately and verbatim. We are seeking your input because we know the importance of the minerals you work with to the modern economy and want to have your input as an entrepreneur, not just in response to allegations others may have made about you. We appreciate your concerns and understand that your request comes after a long and complex legal battle including with competitors.
Please let me know directly if there are any other concerns you have. Our team has travelled a long way to meet you today and it would be a shame if there would be no interview after all the email and phone exchanges you have had with them.

Best regards

jon

 

Jonathan Watts

Global Environment Editor
Jonathan Watts

Global Environment Editor

The Guardian
Office +44-203-3533773
Mobile +44-7384241100

FIMI urges govt to lift beach sand mining ban on private firms

FIMI urges govt to lift beach sand mining ban on private firms

In its latest report “Mining Matters for India”, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries said the ban has put a large number of jobs at stake.

Beach sand mining ban on private players has resulted in loss of exports worth Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 5,000 crore in revenue, mining body FIMI has said, demanding rescinding the order.

In its latest report “Mining Matters for India”, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said the ban has put a large number of jobs at stake.

“In the case of beach sand minerals (BSM), private sector has been debarred for mining, putting numerous jobs at stake and depriving the country of revenue to the extent of Rs 5,000 crore and exports of about Rs 4,000 crore annually,” FIMI said in its latest report.

At present, only government companies are allowed to engage in beach sand mining after the Ministry of Mines vide a notification in February this year banned the private players.

“The Government should improve the regulatory mechanism and private sector should be continued to be allowed for mining of beach sand minerals and the Ministry of Mines notification…barring private sector should be rescinded,” it said.

The report also highlights FIMI’s demand for considering mining as an ‘Independent Activity’, and not as captive to any downstream metal industry such as steel, aluminium, etc.

“While mining is a business of volumes, captive mining limits the scale of mining, neglects mineral exploration limited to plant requirement, leads to selective mining and wastage of resources,” the report said.

The private sector in future should be the main source of investment in reconnaissance, exploration and mining with right to seamless transition, transferability with security of tenure, it said adding, the government agencies such as GSI, MECL etc may continue to perform the exploration and surveys on regional basis and in areas where private investment is not forthcoming.

“The Government of India should create a level playing field for both private (captive and non-captive) and Government sector companies in terms of tenure of leases, area selection, etc,” it added.

Much of the contribution made by the mining industry to ensure raw material security for India’s sustainable growth has not received the due attention of the stake-holders and society at large, it said.

FIMI also demanded that the contribution of mining should be viewed in light of the multiplier effect it has across the entire economy and not just its monetary contribution to GDP.

The industry body is committed to contribute to the sustained growth of the mineral sector in a sustainable manner for economic growth, raw material security of the country and socio-economic development particularly in remote and tribal areas, it said, and urged the government to initiate steps to ensure its rightful position as a growth engine in the economy and unlock the full potential of the Indian mineral sector.

Will our government implement make in India Scheme in Rare Earth field to convert the 90% world reserve as dollar?

‘Advanced research in rare earths need of the hour’

They are classified as strategic and critical materials

Chairman of the Indian Rare Earths Limited D. Singh on Sunday said due to fierce competition among global consumer electronics giants to have qualitative superiority, it had led to a situation of supply scarcity and precipitation ever since the Chinese domination in the field of research and development.

In his inaugural address at the International Conference on Science, technology and applications of rare earths (ICSTAR 2018) organised by the Rare Earths Association of India in Tirupati, Dr. Singh said the piquant situation had led to a rat race among stakeholders in rare earths for commissioning various projects. However, only a few greenfield projects had fructified. “Rare earths have been classified as strategic and critical materials by countries like America, China, Japan and South Korea. The worldwide production during 2017 is estimated at 1.6 lakh tonnes, as against the crude steel production of 1691.2 million tonnes, making the former miniscule.”

Dr. Singh said in view of the importance and inevitability of rare earths in day to day life, but with low levels of exploration, the need of the hour was to ground advanced research, development projects and production plants across the globe. It would create an environment where tendency of guarding the technology developed and acquisition of commercial scale technology would become difficult. “All stakeholders need to put in their efforts to bolster research and development, particularly the scientific community and the government to explore possibility of extending incentives akin to renewable energy,” Dr. Singh said.

Secretary of REAI Dr MLP Reddy, ICSTAR 2018 Chairperson Prof CK Jayasankar, senior scientists from all over India were present. The technological and scientific sessions would be held till September 25.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/advanced-research-in-rare-earths-need-of-the-hour/article25023238.ece

Treasure washed away to Sri Lanka

The ban on beach sand mining, apart from creating pains to many sectors, has not helped the country gain anything. In fact, somebody else is enjoying the benefits. The immediate beneficiary is Sri Lanka, our tactful island neighbor.
It seems Sri Lanka gains from every Indian move… deliberate or otherwise. Modi who may stand tall alongside his western counterparts has to bend himself before the Buddhist monks of Srilanka being fully aware of the power they wield with the Island’s government. He may directly offer the Sri Lankans many goodies to lure them away from the Chinese advances. He would not have guessed the benefits Srilanka is reaping from the ban on Beach mining along the Tamilnadu coast. It is not just Sri Lanka, but the mining giant Iluka Resources from Australia who is another major beneficiary.
The ban of Placer sands along the TN coasts was imposed in September 2013 around the same time (August 2013) when Iluka Resources, Australia acquired the ‘Tenement and Heavy-mineral resource Base’  owned by  PKD Resources (Pvt) Ltd of Srilanka in Puttalam district. It was reported in the press that some 4.6 Million USD was spent on the purchase of the deposits.
Iluka Resources is not new to Sri Lanka. They were mining Beach Sands in the Island long since but left the country in 2003 citing two reasons. The company (when leaving in 2003) said that it is relinquishing its exploration leases because the quality of resources was poor and because of ‘accessibility’ issues.
What made Iluka return to Sri Lanka in 2013? The “accessibility issues” has been obviously solved with the end of the war. But how did the quality of the resource improve automatically? It is the new place Puttalam that has attracted the Mining Giant. Puttalam Quarry Deposits are located in the Northwestern Province of SriLanka, 170 Kilometers north of the Capital Colombo. The resource base is located diagonally opposite to the coasts of TN where most of the Placer mining was earlier taking place. By imposing the ban,  it seems India has knowingly or unknowingly have helped Sri Lanka et al.
Although Iluka Resources has acquired the resource tenements at Puttalam, way back in 2013, it did not start the mining operations probably, again for two new reasons.
One… To wait and watch whether the ban along the TN coast will continue.
Two… The expected elections and change of guard in Sri Lanka.
Both of the above concerns are now in favor of the mining company and now they are ready to start mining placer sands from Puttalam mines. The exploration/ mining operations are to start at the  Puttalam Quarry Deposits mentioned earlier. Again looking back at Iluka’s two main concerns the second concern is straightforward and understandable. It is political in nature. The Company came back in 2015 and negotiated with the new Government in Sri Lanka. It seems they have come to an understanding with the Government, as reported in many sections of the Sri Lankan Press.
Their first concern is more intriguing and requires some understanding of mineral geology.
Garnet, Ilmenite, and Rutile like minerals are found in hard rocks and are formed due to various geological processes over long times. Apart from the natural processes of the sun, wind, and rains, the rivers that flow through the rocks erode them to form sand sediments. The sediments are carried by the flowing river into the ocean. The mineral enriched sand gets dumped at the seashore known as the trap site.
The sand thus accumulated at the shore drifts along the beach to new coastal areas due to a process known as Longshore Drift (See image above). Longshore Drift happens mainly due to (oblique) wave action on the shores. When the volume of removal from the trap site is not huge, the mineral accumulates at the shores to form sustainable concentrations. It is this sand, mankind mines in the name of placer sand or beach mineral sand.
The sand thus accumulated at the shore drifts along the beach to new coastal areas due to a process is known as Longshore Drift (See image above). Longshore Drift happens mainly due to (oblique) wave action on the shores. When the volume of removal from the trap site is not huge, the mineral accumulates at the shores to form sustainable concentrations. It is this sand, mankind mines in the name of placer sand or beach mineral sand.
The picture becomes even more interesting with the presence of Adam’s bridge or Rama Sethu the submerged land bridge between India and Sri Lanka. The Longshore drift happens along Adam’s bridge and the mineral sands reach Sri Lankan Shores. This is particularly the case with Puttalam coasts of Sri Lanka. The Tamilnadu coast, the Adams bridge and the North-West coast of Sri Lanka forms a bay where sands drift with utmost speed. When you do not mine the sands here in India the sands will eventually reach Sri Lankan coasts where they are going to mined (See Figure above).  This is how the ban here has helped Sri Lanka to reopen the mining operations.
Placer sands are totally replenishable and bring in huge benefits to the country in terms of direct revenues and employment. The Beach sand, according to the available composition is segregated into minerals like Ilmenite, Zircon, Garnet, Rutile, Leucoxene that are useful in making Paints, Ceramics, and abrasives apart from feeding many other industries.
If the ban was to prevent some private players becoming rich, what is preventing the governments to do the mining? But a natural question will spring up. When the government is privatizing critical sectors like Railways and even Military production why they should shy away from privatizing Beach mining? The governments have to be careful in monitoring the private parties in terms of royalty collection, handling of radioactive minerals, and damage to the environment. Instead of bowing to pressure from vested interests and squarely imposing a ban we must have a pragmatic look at the global picture and decide.
Iluka has pointed to huge employment, Economic growth and indirect growth of other industries in Sri Lanka that will come with the beach sand mining. So it goes without saying India loses employment, revenues, and allied Industrial growth. Sri Lanka knows India is always ready to shoot itself in the foot to charm its neighbor but India has also got to see what it loses in the task.
Source : https://responsiblemining.in/2018/05/30/treasure-washed-away-to-sri-lanka/