This is one pot of potential that the Government of India may need to look at closely — the Heavy Mineral Mining (HMM) industry. We owe this to one German chemist CW Schomberg, who in 1909, discovered heavy mineral deposits of Manavalakuruchi in the State of Travancore (now Tamil Nadu). The reserve he found was richer and economical, compared to rest of the world. While Schomberg explored a world of opportunity, after World War I, Britishers seized the German company, landed in India and put him in a jail in Madras. About 100 years since then, some argue, the growth of this high-potential industry remains arrested! A complex interplay of factors, including lack of appreciation of the critical role of this industry, its high potential in terms of revenue, as well as lack of enabling policy framework, are often cited as some of the key reasons that has stunted the growth of heavy minerals industry.
What’s heavy minerals? India is home to an impressive 6,000 km of coastline and parts of its beachs, deposits and dunes contain heavy minerals like ilmenite, rutile, garnet, monazite, zircon and sillimanite. These minerals are used in diverse industries — electronics, ceramics, aerospace, paint, pharmaceutical, defence, fertilisers and paper — as critical raw materials and, therefore, are vital for the economy. Read More…
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