Mining of Rare Earth Elements in India

0
1442
Refined rare-earth oxides are heavy, gritty powders usually brown or black, but can be lighter colors as shown here.Legend: gadolinium · praseodymium · cerium samarium · lanthanum neodymium by Wikipedia
Refined rare-earth oxides are heavy, gritty powders usually brown or black, but can be lighter colors as shown here.Legend: gadolinium · praseodymium · cerium samarium · lanthanum neodymium by Wikipedia
0 0
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahoutsav

InterServer Web Hosting and VPS
Read Time:2 Minute, 27 Second

Mining of Rare Earth Elements

By PIB Delhi

The Rare Earth (RE) resources in India are reported to be the fifth largest in the world. Indian resource is significantly lean w.r.t. grade and it is tied with radioactivity making the extraction long, complex, and expensive. Further, Indian resources contain Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE) while Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) are not available in extractable quantities.

In the case of rare earth, a long-drawn eco-system in the value chain is required to move from reserves to a finished product consisting of a large number of processes/plants. This includes obtaining statutory clearances, mining, mineral beneficiation, RE extraction, separation, refining in oxides, metal extraction, and alloy making. Specific to RE magnet, one needs to convert alloy to the magnet and thereafter the application of the finished product as the motor in energy-saving appliances. As such in a finished product, the usage of rare earth is in minuscule quantity.

While India has existing facilities from mining to separation and refining in oxide form and also developed capability of metal extraction, but further industrial-scale facilities (intermediate) from alloy, magnet, etc. are non-existent. In these alloys, RE is a minor component and other than Rare Earth Elements (REE) many other materials are required. Though from the stages of metal extraction onwards, the sector is under the free category, the industry in the intermediate segment has not been established due to the non-availability of technology.

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.  More than 80 % of the usage of rare earth in value terms is in RE permanent magnets which require Magnetic REE, i.e. Neodymium, Praseodymium, Dysprosium, and Terbium. These are precious REEs since they find use in energy transition initiatives.  High-value REEs are Dysprosium and Terbium which are not available in extractable quantities in Indian reserves already under exploitation. In Indian deposits, only Neodymium and Praseodymium are available and are extracted up to 99.9 % purity level.  Neodymium and Praseodymium occur in the BSM ore of Indian deposits to the extent of 0.0011 to 0.012%. The minability of REE is further constrained due to CRZ regulations, Mangroves, Forests, and inhabitation.

In India, the capability for exploiting its rare earth resources (Light rare earth) up to metal extraction exists. With regard to foreign collaboration, Toyotsu Rare Earths India Limited, Visakhapatnam, a subsidiary of Toyoto Tsusho Corporation, Japan is engaged in refining rare earth by sourcing rare earth concentrate from IREL.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, and Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %
Advertisements

USD





LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here