The potential of Rare Earth Minerals

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There are 17 chemical elements that comprise of rare earth minerals. These rare earth minerals are extracted from beaches, river beds, etc. Rare earth minerals which are found in India are ilmenite, sillimanite, garnet, zircon, monazite and rutile. The largest manufacturer and exporter of ilmenite and granet in India is V. V. Mineral. These rare earth minerals are used widely across different industrial sector like computer and IT, clean energy systems, healthcare, defence production, advanced transportation services and many others.

According to industry representatives, the Indian rare earth minerals industry worth Rs 90,000crore in annual turnover, lies wasted and underused. Globally speaking, India has approximately 35% of total beach sand mineral deposits. Rare earth minerals importance lies in their unique electronic, optical and magnetic characteristics. These characteristics cannot be matched by any other metal or synthetic substitute. Experts of Beach Minerals Producers Association estimated that the industry can net a capital employment of about Rs 121,000crore, including Rs 50,000crore worth of foreign exchange.

Chief Advisor for V. V. Mineral, C Swamydas, explains that how they have presented proposals where they are willing to take on all the cost of setting up the plant, and are even ready pay to let the atomic energy department put its own people process monazite. “We shall give the thorium (produced) to the government for free. They can store it for future use.”

The constituents of monazite are thorium and uranium, although they are in very small quantities, these are radioactive elements making monazite a restricted ‘atomic’ mineral.

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VV Mineral creating a beautiful working environment for its employees

We recently got in touch with few employees of the beach mineral mining company VV Mineral. While the company is known for engaging in various Corporate Social Responsibilities, they’re also ensuring that their employees are happy and never do they face boredom, anxiety at their work place. Here’s what some employees have to say about the organization and their work culture:

V.V. Mineral has given me the opportunity to leverage what I learned in my studies, past experience and apply it to real business challenges. I have understood a lot about the International business world through my experiences in Garnet sales & marketing apart from my previous experiences and the opportunities that have been provided to me. V.V. Mineral is a place to inspire and be inspired.

Mr. Stephen Dhas – Manager – Sales & Marketing

V.V. Mineral Technology has been an amazing company which has given me a lot of growth opportunities in production of heavy minerals such as Garnet, Ilmenite, Rutile and Zircon etc. in my career last 20 years more. During my tenure with V.V.Mineral Technology, I have got many chances to learn and excel in production of heavy minerals and R&D.

— Mr. Robert – Production Manager

When I completed my masters and started looking for a job, I knew I wanted a challenge, something that would keep my attention, provide ample opportunities to grow and endless possibilities to learn as much as I can. I have been part of the ‘V.V. Mineral Family’ for over 6 years now, and had the opportunity to play diverse roles across the Human Resource Function. Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Mrs. Selvi – Admin, Marketing & HR  – Sr.Executive

How do you feel about V.V. Mineral? What sustained you for so long? What do you like in V.V. Mineral? It is wonderful working at V.V. Mineral. Opportunities provided to learn new things are enormous. The work environment is very good; it enables us to work on multiple processes and provides us with new transitions to work up and stabilize the same. My superiors kept track of my performance, which helped me to improve and put in a consistent performance. We are motivated by the rewards and recognition programs provided for good performers.  Our superiors are very co-operative and helpful in maintaining our consistency.  I have obtained good knowledge about accounting procedures and related laws of India with latest update to comply all statutory compliances.  I worked on new transitions and was able to achieve the goals successfully. I gained knowledge of various reports.

—Mr.Arunachalam, Accounts Manager

So there you go, looks like we have another company making it to the “Best places to work” category soon.

Make In India With Beach Minerals

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Private players of the world are vying on India for the sourcing of rare earth minerals. India’s potential in producing such minerals had been undermined due to the conservative policies of the government. These rare earth minerals were completely controlled by the government until 1998, when the private companies were allowed to enter the market of beach and sand mining. Except monazite, all the other six elements, namely – garnet, ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, sillimanite, and zircon, now have major contributors from the private sector. Monazite is under the purview of the Department of Atomic Energy due to its high uranium and thorium content.
“Though India is home to 35% of global rare earth minerals and 71% of world’s monazite reserve, China dominates the rare earth supply of the world. With a slight change in the policies, India can be the world top player of rare earth minerals.” said S. Vaikundarajan, Managing Director and CEO of V. V. Minerals, the largest producer and exporter of ilmenite in India. “Keeping in mind the current demand of beach minerals owing to rapid innovation, the Make in India objective of the government won’t be so difficult to achieve.”
Other industry experts have reiterated the Vaikundarajan’s thoughts on this matter.

Mining Opportunities – CII’s industry report

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CII, an industry body released a comprehensive report “Mining Opportunities – Realising Potential” about the mining industry in India. The report predicts a tremendous potential of the industry and also highlights the hindrances that are being faced by the companies.
As mentioned in the report, a vibrant mining sector has the capacity to spur growth and add up to $70 billion to the country’s economy as well as generate 60-70 lakh jobs. The mining sector has the potential to propel economic growth not just through its contribution to GDP but also through its forward and backward linkages, stated the report.
The report stressed that the current clearance procedures aren’t up to the mark and that they “still remain an impediment for a smooth transition from auction stage to implementation stage”.

“The report has just re-emphasized what the industry players have been complaining about for the past few years. All the clearance processes of the trade can be improvised for faster and efficient turnaround,” said a staff at V. V. Minerals India, largest beach and sand mining company in the country. Vaikundarajan, MD and CEO of VV Minerals said, “This is positive news as this report can be a strong base to support the industry’s arguments. The rest of the mining industry seems to echo the same.”

Poland Offers New Mining Technology To Coal India, Vaikundarajan Explains Why.

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Poland could soon strike a deal with Coal India by offering a technology for deeper underground mining. “State-run Coal India Ltd has been losing out on extracting coal due to its inability to dig deeper than 300 meters. Poland is willing to offer a technology that will allow Coal India to carry its underground mining operations up to 1000 meters,” explains Vaikundarajan, founder of VV Minerals India, one of the leading sand beach mining companies in the country.

Janusz Urbaniec, representing the Polish delegation team, has opened the talks with Coal India. An agreement could soon be reached on importing technology and equipment from Poland. Given the current circumstances, Coal India has shown a keen interest in the technology.

Furthermore, 11 companies from Cracow Chamber of Commerce and Industry will tour the eastern region engaged in mining equipment, plastic raw materials, sanitary items and tourism sector.

Vaikundarajan believes that technology for mining may restrict the industry’s potential to reach new milestones. “New technology and equipment is the need of the hour to explore deeper and put India’s mining industry on the world map. With Poland’s technology, Coal India can set a new benchmark.”