Zircon is a heavy mineral found on the surface of the sea shores in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is found in the form of placer deposits in the Gulf of Mannar. These heavy minerals are found in granular sand like structure. Mainly used in the manufacture of industrial products like ceramics and
Zircon is used as a glass component in television and computer monitor faceplates due to its radiation absorbing characteristics.
Cathode ray tubes (CRT’s) generate x-rays which must be attenuated to reduce the risk of radiation related health effects, principally cancer. Zircon in CRT glass acts an effective x-ray absorber and has the added benefits of increasing the strength and hardness of the glass. Zircon is used in plasma screens to enable the manufacture of faceplate glass which is much thinner and of greater dimension. However, the use in the TV glass sector has reduced due to increasing preference for new display methods such as liquid crystal displays/thin film transistors as against CRT.
One of India’s chief manufacturers and exporter of Zircon is VV Mineral. They have an annual output of 12,000 Metric Tons of Zircon. It is family grown business started by Mr. S Vaikundarajan, Chairman of VV Group of companies. VV Minerals India deals with Garnet mining, Rutile Mining, Ilmenite mining and Zircon Mining.