The production of Monazite the primary source of rare earth minerals in India is around 4000 MT per annum: Dr Jitendra Singh
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India is not reliant on China for accessing rare earth minerals.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh said, in India, capacity and capabilities in terms of mining, processing, extraction, refining and production of high pure RE oxides are adequately available.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the production of Monazite the primary source of rare earth minerals in India is around 4000 MT per annum. Though IREL(India) Limited, formerly India Rare Earths Limited has installed capacity to process about 10,000 MT of rare earth-bearing minerals, the production is capped on account of non-grant of mining leases, environment clearance, CRZ clearance from MoEF & CC, Consent to Operate, restrictions on account of Forest and uncontrolled inhabitation etc.
As on September 2022, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has established
- 13.07 million tonnes in-situ monazite (containing ~55-60% total Rare Earth Elements oxide) resource occurring in the coastal beach placer sands in parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and in the inland placers in parts of Jharkhand, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
- 7,37,283 tonne Rare Earth Elements Oxide (REO) in Ambadungar area, Chhota Udepur district, Gujarat
- 36,945 tonnes REO in Bhatikhera area, Barmer district, Rajasthan
- 2,000 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate containing ~2% xenotime (a phosphate mineral of yttrium and rare earth elements) in the riverine placer deposits of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Presently, AMD is carrying out a collection of xenotime-bearing heavy mineral concentrate in the unit established in Chhattisgarh and has a stockpile of 97.688 tonnes of xenotime-bearing heavy mineral concentrate.
Further, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) carries out mapping and exploration activities for various mineral commodities including Rare Earth Element (REE) and Rare Metal (RM) in different parts of the country with an aim to find out potentially mineralized locales as well as to augment mineral resource.
As regards production, capacity and capabilities in terms of mining, processing, extraction, refining and production of high pure RE oxides are adequately available in India.
RE in the form of oxides/ compounds, duly liberated from radioactivity is available for all including the private sector since 1950. As regards developing a rare earth value chain, a Rare Earth Theme Park is being set up which will upscale the scientific principles proven at the laboratory to pilot scale and demonstrate the same to aspiring Industries willing to set up commercial operations. Besides, the Theme Park will also undertake skill development activities to develop the workforce of the future.
Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of DAE is carrying out exploration to augment resources of Rare Earth Elements (REE) along the coastal/inland/riverine placer sands of the country for augmentation of Heavy Minerals resources, which includes monazite (a mineral of REE and thorium) and xenotime (a mineral of REE and yttrium) as well as in several potential geological domains (hard rocks) of the country. well as in several potential geological domains (hard rocks) of the country.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by PIB.