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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.