India’s AMCR rules seek clarity over monazite

Beach Minerals

Sep 22 2016

India’s AMCR rules seek clarity over monazite

Published: Tuesday, 20 September 2016

While the Indian beach sand mineral industry is yet adapting to the newly introduced provisions Under the Atomic Mineral Concession Rules 2016, clarity over monazite remains opaque as the government has sought help from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in demarcating this area.

India’s Atomic Mineral Concession Rules 2016 ( AMCR) aimed at enhancing the country’s presence in the heavy minerals market still remain ambiguous over the potential mining of deposits exceeding minimum monazite threshold limits.

Miners have also expressed fear that the suggested auctioning routes will delay productivity.

While the debate over the minimum threshold of 0.75% of monazite content in the total heavy minerals deposits continues, the government has advised private miners to seek fresh clearances from the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in order to continue operations should the monazite content exceed minimum threshold levels.

This remains a matter of concern among several private miners as the current regulatory changes and longer window clearance timeframes are likely to prove detrimental to the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Speaking to IM, Vaikundarajan Subramanian, vice president of the  Beach Minerals Producers Association (BMPA) and managing director of VV Minerals, said that the government is still working on possible measures with the DAE to enhance regulations and fast-track window clearance processes, otherwise the country is likely to rely upon increased imports.

He further added that the government’s plan of auctioning the mines with high monazite content will prove futile should the clearance windows take 3-4 years of waiting time before the mines actually come into operation.

Despite accounting for 30% of global heavy mineral reserves, India accounts for just 4% of the world’s total production.

Further, the country’s ilmenite exports decreased by 36% year-over-year on a national level in 2015, according to a report by the Beach Minerals Association of India.

India holds a significant share of global beach sand mineral supply, including 35% of the world’s ilmenite, 40% garnet, 71% monazite, 14% zircon and 10% of worldwide rutile.

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