Thursday, 10 April 2014

How Heavy Mineral Mining began in India

India has a coastline of more than 6000 kilometers and is abundantly rich in various minerals. In 1909, a German chemist, Schomberg discovered heavy mineral deposits in Manavalakurichi in the then state of Travancore which is presently known as Tamil Nadu. These deposits proved to be economically more beneficial compared to other minerals. In the beginning the mining was carried out just for the mineral, Monazite. 

During the First World War the British realized that this was a good trade resource and seized the operations of the German chemist and deported him.  By then they recognized other minerals in the sands which were of economic benefit.  In the early 1920s minerals were transported across borders and by the 1940’s India began contributing to about 80% of world production of these minerals.

Hence, it can be state that India was leading the heavy mineral markets long before US, Canada, Australia and Africa.  However, today India faces a lot of challenges in the heavy mineral market share. 

Heavy mineral mining is done in various parts of India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The kinds of minerals found on the Indian shores include, zircon, rutile, ilmenite, garnet and other titanium dioxide products. Zircon is used in ceramics and is the most abundantly found mineral. Garnet is used in water jet cutting and sand blasting. Rutile and ilmenite is mostly used in the production of titanium. 

One of the most renowned mining companies of India includes V.V. Mineral, which is based in Tamil Nadu. V.V. Mineral engages in mining activity of minerals such as Zircon, Garnet, Ilmenite and Rutile. They are Indias largest mining manufacturer and exporters of Garnet. 

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