Thursday, 2 April 2015

Illegal Sand Beach Mining (SBM) A Result Of Misguided Government Decisions Says Vaikundarajan
The enquiry committee investigating the alleged illegal beach sand mining on the coasts of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts has discovered that certain Titanium Bearing Minerals (TBM) were delisted from the list of prescribed substances under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) and moved to the Open General License (OGL), shares Vaikundarajan.

In addition to the coasts of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari; Monazite is also found on the shores of Chhatrapur in Odisha, Manavalakurichi in Tamil Nadu and Aluwa-Chawara in Kerala and only Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL) is allowed to process the precious minerals.

However, Vaikundarajan, Chairman, VV Minerals India observes that some of the minerals that the company makes are not under the prescribed substances of the Atomic Energy Act and thus no private company can be accused of illegal beach sand mining.

Titanium Bearing Minerals such as Ilmenite, Rutile, Leucoxene and Zircon were delisted from the list of prescribed substances under the Atomic Energy Act and are now under Open General License (OGL).

Since these substances are under the Open General License every private producer has the right to obtain appropriate licenses to mine these substances legally.

However, some officials now claim that the delisting was brought in to effect without the knowledge of the parliament.

India`s total monazite reserves are estimated at about 10 million tonnes of which about 30 percent is mineable.

According to the 2011-12 annual report of Chemical and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL) the total export of BSM during 2010-11, excluding five tonnes of monazite exported by IREL is estimated at Rs.1,034.45 crore.

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