Published on

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. Mines and minerals regulatory authority of India With the privatisation of mines in 2002, there is an urgency to create a Mines and Minerals Regulatory Authority of India, particularly for strategic minerals. Strategic minerals are monazite, ilmenite and rutile sands which contain thorium and titanium. Titanium is a space age mineral; thorium is the mainstay of the nation’s nuclear program with the potential to make the nation energy independent. Minerals policy is coming up for discussion in the Parliament in the current session (from August 2007). This issue of national security and sovereignty and the imperative of attaining a developed nation status will necessitate the conservation of the mineral wealth of the nation and NOT allow it to be looted for temporary gains. For example, instead of merely producing titanium oxide in the Tata plants at Sattankulam (Tamilnadu) or Chattarpur (Orissa) using the mineral placer deposit sands, there should be plants to produce thorium and titanium metals and reserve them for the nation’s strategic development imperatives. Some notes follow which will have an impact on development of SEZs ensuring sustainable development for an essentially agrarian nation living in over 6 lakh villages. Kalyanaraman 14 August 2007 Thorium has been extracted chiefly from monazite through a multi-stage process. In the first stage, the monazite sand is dissolved in an inorganic acid such as sulfuric acid (H2SO4). In the second, the Thorium is extracted into an organic phase containing an amine. Next it is separated or quot;strippedquot; using an anion such as nitrate, chloride, hydroxide, or carbonate, returning the thorium to an aqueous phase. Finally, the thorium is precipitated and collected. Source: Crouse, David; Brown, Keith (December 1959). quot;The Amex Process for Extracting Thorium Ores with Alkyl Aminesquot;.Industrial & Engineering Chemistry 51 (12): 1461. Retrieved on 2007-03-09 K.M.V. Jayaram. An Overview of World Thorium Resources, Incentives for Further Exploration and Forecast for Thorium Requirements in the Near Future Mirror: Under the prevailing estimate, Australia and India have particularly large reserves of thorium. Thorium reserves: Australia 300,000 India 290,000 Norway 170,000 United States 160,000 Canada 100,000 1 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  2. 2. South Africa 35,000 Brazil 16,000 Malaysia 4,500 Other Countries 95,000 World Total 1,200,000 Source: US Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries (1997-2006); ^ U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries - Thorium. Information and Issue Briefs - Thorium. World Nuclear Association. Retrieved on 2006-11-01. Vanishing thorium and nuke deal; are they interlinked? Of course, according to scientists, the accumulation of placer deposits is substantially contributed by Rama Setu acting as a sieve and the unique pattern of ocean currents in Hindumahaasaagar. Who will take care of the nation's wealth so essential to the nation's nuke programme? k Vaikundarajan directed to surrender in court Friday August 10 2007 09:18 IST MADURAI: Vaikundarajan, owner of V V Minerals and a shareholder of Jaya TV, was on Thursday, directed by the Madurai Bench of the High Court to surrender at Eraniel court. The bench also allowed the police to question him for two days. Vaikundarajan had filed 20 petitions seeking anticipatory bail. The petitions came up for hearing before Justice G Rajasuria. The judge observed that the police had doubts as to where the sand was sent as it contained nuclear deposits. Vaikundarajan has claimed that he was not aware of the fact that the sand he mined contained nuclear particles. The judge said that the case was significant because of the nuclear content in the sand. Thorium and Rama Setu: both must be protected as nation’s treasure Needed: An immediate notification banning the private leases of monazite and ilmenite coastal sands and declaring these as national treasure to be protected and used only indigenously to support the nation’s nuclear program. 2 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  3. 3. In his speech to the Parliament in March 2007, the President of India said that the current electricity generation capacity in India is 120000 MW and is expected to increase to 400000 MW by the year 2030. Baba Atomic Research Center (BARC) estimates that about 30 % of world's thorium deposits, or about 225000 tons of thorium, are found on the beaches of Kerala. This will support about 387 years of electricity generation at 2030 capacity levels! Importance of thorium for Bharatam From BARC website: Thorium deposits - ~ 3,60,000 tonnes The currently known Indian thorium reserves amount to 358,000 GWe-yr of electrical energy and can easily meet the energy requirements during the next century and beyond. India’s vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled breeder reactors. These U-233/Th-232 based breeder reactors are under development and would serve as the mainstay of the final thorium utilization stage of the Indian nuclear programme. This is underscored in a US report: where, Tellis, the point-man for Indo-US nuke deal notes that India reserves of 78,000 metric tons of uranium. The interests of US are best served by selling uranium and nuke reactors instead of allowing India to gain self-sufficiency using indigenous thorium reserves. The extraordinary monograph by Prof. Monu Nalapat, Prof. of Geopolitics in Manipal University, notes with forthrightness and clarity and unravels the shocking sell-out of the national interests, national integrity and national security of Bharatam, ignoring the sage advise of the nation's foremost nuclear scientists. [quote] The Indian position has been deliberately made murky, given the lack of an adequate official response to recent statements made by the US that have described the proposed quot;strategicquot; partnership for what it is—a non-proliferation mechanism intended to bring India into the now tattered NPT fold as a non-nuclear weapons state. Should Congress finally get their way and force this agreement on the nation, not only should the pact be torn up by the successor government, but both should be prosecuted for high treason. [unquote] 77page=2 Thorium blanket as fuel will be the nuclear fuel of the future for Bharatam, which has the largest reserves of thorium in the world. A team of scientists led by Dr. VJ Loveson of the CISR New Delhi, studying placer deposits in the area, says an estimated 40 million tonnes of Titanium alone has been deposited in the entire stretch of 500 km. coastline. There are four places on earth which are the target for exploitation of the richest mineral resources on earth: 3 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  4. 4. Manavalakurichi, Tamil Nadu Chavara, Kerala Chatrapur, Orissa Pulmoddai, Sri Lanka These four locations have coastal sands containing ilmenite and monazite among other minerals. Ilmenite and Monazite sands yield Titanium and Thorium. Thorium is vital for Bharatam’s Atomic Energy Program according to the BARC website. The estimated reserves of 3,60,000 tonnes in Bharatam (being exploited by India Rare Earths Limited) will meet the needs of electricity generation for over 350 years even assuming an annual rate of generation of 400,000 MW (that is, four times the present annual level of generation of electricity). The intents of those who do not want Bharatam to progress with the indigenous technological competence to create a nuclear reactor out of a thorium blanket (Kamini reactor operating for 10 years now and another reactor coming up in the next 3 years to produce 500 MW of electricity at Kalpakkam) make even developed nuclear powers jealous of the reserves the nation possesses. Shockingly, in 2002, the Mines Act was amended and exploitation of mines was privatized. Private operators have now set up coastal sand godowns and looting the nation’s richest mineral treasure. From Sri Lanka, Pulmoddai location, the entire production is meant for export to Japan, Australia, Germany etc. Now, the need for a 10 m. deep channel which will allow ships with less than 30,000 Dead Weight Tonnes can be used to transport these mineral sands both ways, one way to Germany and the other way to Japan and USA. Bharatam is the only country which has proved the use of thorium as a nuclear fuel. Naturally, the jealousy leads some hostile nations to ensure that the thorium reserves are knocked out and the nation made to buy uranium from the nuclear fueldsuppliers cartel. Now, the Indo-US nuclear deal may indeed be premised on the destruction of the thorium reserves of the nation by three means: 1) export of sands containing the nuclear fuel; 2) preventing accumulation of placer deposits as monazite sands by interfering with Rama Setu which acts as a sieve resulting in these placer accumulations; 3) expose the beach sands to be submerged in the deep waters of the Indian ocean in case the next tsunami devastates this mineral coastline through the proposed mid-ocean channel (as surmised by Tsunami experts that the next tsunami energy will be funneled through the channel as it happended in 1964 in Alberni canal and devastate the coastline of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Bharatam and of northern and northeastern Sri Lanka. Now some evidences will be presented on the source of the rare earths found on these four locations in such large quantities making Bharatam’s possession the richest reserve of thorium in the world. 4 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  5. 5. Kalyanaraman, 21 June 2007 SLN ship under siege off Pulmoddai coast [TamilNet, August 01, 2006 15:13 GMT] The Jetliner ship, which escaped Trincomalee attack Tuesday afternoon with 854 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on board, bound for north, has come under attack again in the Pulmoddai sea from 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, military sources in Colombo said. Pulmoddai is located 49 km northwest of Trincomalee and 41 km southwest of Mullaithivu. Kfir jets took off from Colombo towards Pulmoddai in support of the ship under siege. Villagers of Kokilai, Pulmoddai and other areas close to the Pulmoddai Sea are fleeing from their houses. Pulmoddai battle on but Sri Lankan ship `safe' B. Muralidhar Reddy COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka Navy has denied reports that the Jetliner ship, which escaped a Tiger attack in Trincomalee on Tuesday afternoon, came under attack again in the Pulmoddai sea. The ship had 854 Sri Lanka Army soldiers on board. However, a spokesperson of the SLA told The Hindu that a confrontation was on between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Navy in the Pulmoddai sea. quot;[The] Jetliner is safe and the passengers on board disembarked in the afternoon. The claim by the LTTE about a second attack on the Jetliner is false and is a sign of desperation after its cadres suffered heavily in the Trincomalee as well as Pulmoddai confrontation,quot; the spokesperson said. Earlier, TamilNet claimed that the Jetliner, bound for the north, came under a second attack from the Tigers at 6 p.m. Pulmoddai is located 49 km northwest of Trincomalee and 41 km southwest of Mullaithivu. quot;Villagers of Kokilai, Pulmoddai and other areas close to the Pulmoddai sea are fleeing their houses,quot; it said. Rajapakse calls up Manmohan Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse telephoned Prime Minist er Manmohan Singh on Tuesday and exchanged views on the latest developments. He also thanked Dr. Singh for help in the evacuation of stranded Sri Lankans from Lebanon. Pulmoddai mineral shipments to resume Shipments of mineral sands from the Pulmoddai beach deposit on the northeast coast, disrupted after Tamil Tiger rebels sank a bulk carrier, look set to resume now that the guerrillas and government forces are observing a truce and preparing for peace talks. Mineral sands at the Pulmoddai mine run by the Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd are known to be rich in ilmenite, monazite, rutile and zircon. Bulk shipments from Pulmoddai were suspended in September 1997 after Sea Tiger rebels blew up and sank a bulk carrier. Since then, small quantities of rutile and crude 5 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  6. 6. zircon brought by road have been exported in 40-kg bags through Colombo port mostly to China, India and the United Kingdom. quot;Now, there is a lot of demand for our mineral sands,quot; said Muhammad Nassar, chairman of Lanka Mineral Sands. quot;We hope to resume production shortly. The factory has been out of production for five years so a fair amount of maintenance is needed.quot; For bulk shipments to resume, the wreck of the bulk carrier lying in 75 feet of water needs to be removed, the pier repaired and a conveyor installed. The Tigers had taken care not to damage the plant, which is in the region they claim as their homeland, but cut off the water supply required to process the mineral sands and disrupted bulk shipments. Big stocks of minerals have accumulated over the years, including 180,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 200,000 tonnes of crude zircon. The company processed about 300,000 tonnes of mineral sands a year. The Pulmoddai beach mine is known to have high concentrations of minerals and is a renewable deposit with sand being washed up by the sea. Shipments are not possible during the northeast monsoon from October to February because there is no sheltered anchorage at the site. (Sunday Times, Colombo,19 May, 2002) Mineral processing was set to resume at Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd.’s Pulmoddai Beach Mine in northern Sri Lanka. The company planned to restart large-scale processing of 200,000 metric tons (t) of crude zircon, 180,000 t of ilmenite, and deposits of rutile and monazite that are present in the sand. Small-scale operations continued, with small quantities of crude zircon and rutile being exported through the port of Colombo to China, India, and the United Kingdom. The company processed 300,000 metric tons per year of mined sands (Industrial Minerals, 2002). The Mineral Industry of Sri Lanka in 2002 Historically, the Ceylon Mineral Sands Corporation was established in 1957 under the State Industrial Corporations Act of 1957. The Corporation located its plant for processing Ilmenite at Pulmoddai and the first export of Ilmenite to Japan took place in 1962. A new plant was commissioned in 1967 at China Bay, to process the more valuable minerals – Rutile, Zircon and monazite using the tailings of the Pulmoddai Ilmenite plant. In 1976, the Corporation established an integrated Ilmenite, Zircon and Rutile processing plant at Pulmoddai. In 1992, the Corporation was converted into a Government Owned Company under Act No. 23 of 1987 and re-named Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd., the company also established a facility for bulk loading into ships Pulmoddai. Cod Bay, in the Trincomalee Harbour is the station for its floating craft of tugs and barges. The sales and marketing office is in Colombo… Reserves In 1971 the company with the assistance of the Geological Survey Department carried out a survey of the present beach which revealed a heavy mineral content of 3.7 million tons with a cut off grade of 30%. Preussag AG of West Germany carried out a vibro coring programme in 1979 in the near shore area off Pulmoddai directly adjacent to the actual beach deposit covering an area of 6 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  7. 7. 12 km x 1.7 km. the data collected revealed the deposit extends for a distance of approximately 0.8km parallel to the beach line; in thickness varying from several centimeters to 100 cm in certain places. In 1987 Simec Ltd. a joint venture company of State Mining Mineral Development Company of Sri Lanka and Intersit BV of Netherland surveyed an area of 45 miles between Mullativu and Nilaveli including the Pulmoddai beach. Table 4 – Mineral Sands Deposits in Pulmoddai Name of Deposit Surface Area Volume of Raw Sand Value Pudaviakaddu South of Pulmoddai 1500 acres 30.9 million cubic meters US $ 5.65 – 7.55 Per cub meter Thavikallu South of Pulmoddai 1500 acres 8.9 million cubic meters US $ 3.6 – 5.20 Per cub meter Kokilai North of Pulmoddai 1500 acres 16.4 million cubic meters US $ 4.33 – 5.49 Per cub. meter Nayaru North of Pulmoddai 900 acres 7.9 million cubic meters US $ 8.65 – 10.54 Per cub. meter LMSL is 100% export-oriented with its products reaching counties such as Japan, China, Australia etc. (Page 38) The company has to-date only mined the Pulmoddai area and other untouched deposits in Kokilai, Nayaru etc., are in excess of 400% of the Pulmoddai deposit, ensuring a supply of raw material for several decades to come. Prior to the stoppage of production in 2004, the production figures of LMSL are in 7 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  8. 8. Annexure 6. (Page 40) Fuel can be supplied by road or transport via Trincomalee by sea. (Page 41). • Market Access LMSL is a 100% export oriented venture. Market access is therefore a prime consideration and any scheme of divestiture has to recognize this fact. Such a scheme would therefore have to ensure that marketability of mineral products is assured. • Security Since this enterprise is located close to the conflict zone and attempts have been made to disrupt production e.g., by damaging the water supply installation, the strategy should ensure attempts to disrupt production for political reasons is prevented. (Page 42). ANNEXURE - 3 UTILIZING THE FOUR MAIN MINERALS Ilmenite It is used to manufacture Titanium Dixoide white Pigment which has its own peculiar characteristics such as pure whiteness and brightness than any other pigments can achieve, non-toxic in contrast to lead pigments, non corrosive, stand high temperature, does not change its colour when continuously exposed to sunlight and high hiding power. Therefore the ultimate use of this mineral is in paper, paint, plastic, rubber, textile industries and to make printing ink. Zircon Main properties of Zircon sand are resistant to corrosion and withstand high temperatures. Therefore, it is extensively used in furnaces as retractive liners and in foundry casings. Another major use is as an opacifier in glazing material in ceramic industry which is widely expanding today. Zirconium compounds extracted from Zircon are commonly used in television sets, leather, water proofing of fabrics, lacquers, drugs as catalysts in chemical processes and also in high temperature work. Monazite Monazite even though is a radio-active mineral due to the presence of thorium its main use is as a good source of rare-earth compounds. Monazite is therefore important for the electronic and computer industry. It is also used in glass manufacture and polishing lighter flints, high strength permanent magnets and in television sets as red phosphors. Rutile This mineral is the raw material for the manufacture of world’s “present and future” metal Titanium. Titanium metal is very light (as light as aluminum) very strong (as strong as steel), highly resistant to corrosion, withstand very high temperatures. Rutile is exclusively used in the mineral sand form itself as a flux in welding rod industry. (Page 48) Annex 6 : 8 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  9. 9. Year 1986 Production in Mt Ilmenite 129907 Rutile 8443 Zircon 910 Hi.Ti.Ilmenite 3996 Monazite 17 Crude Zircon – Total 143273 (1986) 47892 (1998) Monazite in 2004: 29 Mt (page 51) Industrial Minerals Richard H. Olson, Edwin H. Bentzen, III, and Gordon C. Presley, Editors 2.10.25. TitaniumFootnote 01 Elemental titanium has become famous as a space age metal, because of its high strength/weight ratio and resistance to corrosion. However, the major use is in the form of titanium dioxide pigment, which because of its whiteness, high refractive index, and resulting light-scattering ability, is unequaled for whitening paints, paper, rubber, plastics, and other materials. A relatively minor use is in welding rod coatings, in the form of the mineral rutile. The only commercially important titanium ore minerals at the present time are ilmenite and its alteration products, and rutile. Titanium was discovered by Gregor in 1790, as a white oxide which he discovered from menaccanite, a variety of ilmenite occurring as a black sand near Falmouth, Cornwall. Barksdale (1966) stated that the fundamental chemical reactions on which the present- day titanium industry is based were known before 1800, although it was not until 1918 that these pigments were available commercially on the American market. .. The beginning of the modern titanium metal industry was in 1948, when Du Pont produced the first metal. U.S. Bureau of Mines reports, which gave details of the Kroll process, together with the attractive properties of the metal for military aircraft, led to a concerted effort by industry and government to develop a large-scale titanium metal industry, which reached a peak capacity of over 36,000 stpy from six producers by 1958 (Pings, 1972a)… Although titanium is the ninth most abundant element of the lithosphere, comprising an estimated 0.62% of the earth’s crust, there are only a few minerals in which it occurs in major amounts: rutile, anatase, and brookite (which are polymorphs of TiO2), ilmenite and its alteration products, including leucoxene, perovskite (CaTiO3), and sphene (CaTiSiO5). Anatase may be emerging as a significant ore mineral of the future, but ilmenite, altered ilmenite, leucoxene, and rutile have been the only large volume ore minerals through 1980. Sand deposits in which rutile is the only economically important titanium mineral occur along the eastern shore of Australia. Ilmenite, altered ilmenite, and rutile form inland elevated strand-line deposits in Western Australia and in older sands of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States. Ilmenite and altered ilmenite are the principal titanium ore minerals in other Western Australian districts; in Kerala, India; in deposits north of 9 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  10. 10. the Black Sea in the USSR; and in Florida and Georgia. Relatively unaltered ilmenite is found in large beach and dune occurrences along the northeastern coast of South Africa, in the Nile Delta of Egypt, and in still other Western Australian deposits, those closest to the present coast. Sand deposits of titaniferous iron ores occur as dune and beach deposits in many volcanic areas, of which those in New Zealand are the outstanding examples… Sand Deposits: Titanium-bearing black sands are found mainly in ancient or modern ocean and sea beaches around and occasionally within continental land masses. They frequently form highly visible surficial layers between the high and low water marks which may extend intermittently along coasts for miles, but such concentrations, containing perhaps 80% heavy minerals, are not mined on a large scale because they are usually too shallow and narrow to represent major reserves. Minable bodies are multilayered occurrences of a similar nature left behind by retreating seas, or coastal dunes formed when heavy minerals from black sand beaches were being transported inland by wind action. Heavy minerals tend to be disseminated within such dunes rather than layered as in beach-type deposits. The history of a black sand ore body may be simple or complex. The essential elements are: (1) a “hinterland” of crystalline rocks in which the heavy minerals were accessory constituents, (2) a period of deep weathering, (3) uplift with rapid erosion and quick dumping into the sea of the products of stream erosion, and (4) emergence of the coastline with longshore drift and high-energy waves acting during the process of shoreline straightening. There may be intermediate stages such as partial concentration of the heavy minerals in a coastal plain sediment and subsequent elevation, erosion, and reconcentration. The sand brought to the sea by rivers is picked up and carried away from their mouths by longshore currents, forming offshore bars and filling in bays between headlands, particularly during storms. Where bars are formed, the sand-carrying waves drag bottom and lose their energy so that the heavy minerals fall on the seaward side while the light minerals are cast over the bar and into the quieter water beyond. Layer upon layer of varying concentrations of heavy minerals accumulates on the growing bar in this way. Where bays are being filled with sand, both heavy and light minerals are churned from the bottom by landward-rushing waves and are hurled up the beach slope. The smoother, slower retreat of each wave mobilizes the uppermost layer of sand deposited there, and draws away the light minerals, to be picked up again and again by waves as currents move them along the coast, while leaving the heavy minerals behind. Alternating periods of stormy and calm weather leave alternating layers of high and low concentrations of heavy minerals in the beach sand as it advances toward the sea..… India: At one time India was a leading producer of ilmenite from the state of Kerala (formerly Travancore-Cochin). The beach sands were mined in the Manavalakurichi (M.K.) area and later the Quilon deposit of ilmenite near Chavra was put into production. These deposits supplied the bulk of the titanium ore used by the U.S. prior to World War II. The two deposits have more differences than similarities. The ilmenite in the M.K. deposit analyzed only 54% TiO2 and the sand was rich in garnet and monazite. The ilmenite in the Quilon deposit analyzes about 60% TiO2. The sand carried almost no garnet and is high in monazite in only two places. .. Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka contains extensive beach deposits of titanium-bearing sands at Pulmoddai, Tirukkovil, Kelani River, Kalu River, Modoragam River, Kudremalai Point, 10 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  11. 11. Negombo, and Induruwa. The Pulmoddai area contains 5.6 million st of titaniferous material with 2.451 million st of contained TiO2. The deposit extends for a distance of 7 km (42 miles), has a maximum width of about 91 m (300 ft), and a thickness of about 2.4 m (8 ft) There is no overburden. The deposit contains about 80% ilmenite and rutile The separation of rutile has been adversely affected by the presence of excessive amounts of residual ilmenite and quartz in the tailings. The separation of zircon has been hampered by inadequate water and insufficient wet tabling equipment to handle the extremely fine-grained Pulmoddai ore… Sand Deposits Exploration: There are only a few large areas of the world where the granite-clan rocks and high-grade metamorphic gneisses which are likely to contain ilmenite (not titaniferous-magnetite) and rutile are close enough to continental margins to have contributed their erosion products to the sediments of coastal plains. Well-sorted sands are much more likely hosts than unsorted sands. These are the areas on which exploration efforts should be focused. Since the alteration of ilmenite to remove iron is aided by humic acid developed by the decomposition of organic material near the water table in hot and humid climates, it follows that the highest TiO2 ilmenites are more likely to be found in the tropical and temperate regions of the world. Titanium minerals are dark-colored and their concentration, as in black beach sands, tends to be fairly readily noticeable against the light brown or white quartz. Many sand ore bodies, therefore, have been discovered through surface observation of high-grade placer zones formed on beaches and along the courses of streams, and by following their traces into the larger, lower grade concentrations which constitute economic ore bodies. There are areas in which potential heavy mineral concentrations in ancient beach sands may be masked by younger sand, gravel, or soil. Exploration under these circumstances then involves interpretation of geomorphic and subsurface geologic data to define areas which could have been beaches or dunes in the past, and then drilling to obtain samples. .. Evaluation of Deposits: An economic titanium mineral deposit must have reserves large enough to support depreciation over a period of at least 10 to 20 or more years. The capital investment in 1980 was in the range of $75 to $80 million in the U.S. for a mine and mill plant with an output of 100 to 200 thousand stpy of ilmenite (or equivalent rutile) with given “normal” geologic parameters. Significant contributions can be made by zircon and other byproducts. Another general rule is that a new and separate ore body, if its production is to be all ilmenite which cannot be treated in an existing mill, should have a minimum reserve of about 1 million tons of recoverable TiO2 in the titanium minerals. Small, high-grade concentrations are uneconomic under the present conditions. The definition of economic reserves depends, of course, upon many factors, among them: Cost of mining and milling, as influenced by depth of overburden (if any); cost of surface and mineral rights; and availability of water, power, labor, and transportation facilities for bulk shipments. Recoverability in mining and milling. Cost of treatment and disposal of waste slimes. Cost of waste water treatment and land reclamation. Distance to markets and cost of transport. 11 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  12. 12. Ability of markets to absorb the type of titanium minerals to be produced, and prevailing prices for titanium minerals and byproducts. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES Anon., 1972, “Brazilian Titanium,” Mining Journal, Vol. 278, No. 7121, Feb. 11, pp. 118–119. Anon., 1974, “Pulmoddai’s Mineral Sands,” Industrial Minerals, No. 77, Feb., p. 27. Anon., 1974a, “U.S. TiO2 Mine on Stream,” Mining Magazine, Vol. 130, No. 1, Jan., p. 7. Anon., 1977, “RBM Progress Report,” Sep., Richards Bay Minerals, 4 pp. Anon., 1978a, “Titania: The Largest Producer of Titanium Minerals in Europe,” Mining Magazine, Vol. 139, No. 4, Oct., pp. 365–371. Anon., 1978b, “Rautaurunklci—A Major Force in World Vanadium Supplies Is Still Expanding,” World Mining, Mar., pp. 44–46. Anon., 1980a, “Titanio, Anuário Mineral Brasileiro,” Brasilia, Vol. IX, p. 358. Anon., 1980b, “Australia’s Mineral Resources: Mineral Sands,” Australian Department of Trade and Resources, 10 pp. Anon., 1980c, “Australian Mineral Sands Processing Industry—Potential for Expansion,” Commonwealth/State Joint Study Group on Raw Materials Processing, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, pp. 17–18. Anon., 1980d, “South Africa—Mining at Richards Bay,” Mining Journal, Vol. 295, No. 7579, Nov. 21, pp. 411–413. Anon., 1981, “Sierra Rutile,” Mining Magazine, Vol. 144, No. 6, June, pp. 458–465. Bachman, F.E., 1914, “The Use of Titaniferous Ores in the Blast Furnace,” Iron and Steel Industry Yearbook, pp. 370–419. Balsley, J.R., Jr., 1943, “Vanadium-Bearing Magnetite-Ilmenite Deposits Near Lake Sanford, Essex County, New York,” Bulletin 940-D, U.S. Geological Survey, pp. 99– 123. Barksdale, J., 1966, Titanium, Its Occurrence, Chemistry, and Technology, 2nd ed., Ronald Press, New York, 691 pp. Bateman, A.M., et al., 1951, “Formation of Late Magmatic Oxide Ores,” Economic Geology, Vol. 46, No. 4, June-July, pp. 404–426. Beals, M.D., and Merker, L., 1960, “Three New Single Crystal Materials,” Materials in Design Engineering, Jan., pp. 12–13. Bishop, E.W., 1956, “Geology and Ground-Water Resources of Highlands County, Florida,” Report of Investigation 15, Florida Geological Survey, 115 pp. Brady, E.S., 1981, “China’s Strategic Minerals and Metals—Titanium,” The China Business Review, Vol. 8, No. 5, Sep.-Oct., pp. 62–65. Broadhurst, S.D., 1955, “The Mining Industry in North Carolina from 1946 through 1953,” Economic Paper No. 66, North Carolina Dept. of Conservation and Development, Div. of Min. Resources, pp. 26–27. Broderick, T.M., 1917, “The Relation of the Titaniferous Magnetites of Northeastern Minnesota to the Duluth Gabbro,” Economic Geology, Vol. 12, No. 8, Dec., pp. 663– 696. Brooks, H.K., 1966, “Geological History of the Suwanee River,” Geology of the Miocene and Pliocene Series in the North Florida-South Georgia Area, N.K. Olson, ed., Guidebook for Atlantic Coastal Plain Geological Assn., 7th Field Trip and Southeastern 12 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  13. 13. Geological Society, 12th Field Trip, pp. 37–45. Brun, R.M., 1957, “The Tellnes Story,” Ilmeniten, TITANIA, A/S. Norway, Summer issue. Buddington, A.F., 1939, “Adirondack Igneous Rocks and Their Metamorphism,” Geological Society of America Memoir 7, pp. 19–48. Carstens, H., 1957, “Investigations of Titaniferous Iron Ore Deposits, Part I Gabbros and Associated Titaniferous Iron Ore in West-Norwegian Gneisses,” K Norske Vidensk Selsk Skr., No. 3, 67 pp. Cooke, C.W., 1941, “Two Shore Lines or Seven?” American Journal of Science, Vol. 239, No. 6, pp. 457–458. Cooke, C.W., 1945, “Geology of Florida,” Bulletin 29, Florida Geological Survey, 339 pp. Davidson, D.M., et al., 1946, “Notes on the Ilmenite Deposit at Piney River, Virginia,” Economic Geology, Vol. 41, No. 7, Nov., pp. 738–748. Diemer, R.A., 1941, “Titaniferous Magnetite Deposits of the Laramie Range, Wyoming,” Bulletin No. 31, Geological Survey of Wyoming, 23 pp. Evrard, P., 1949, “Differentiation of Titaniferous Magmas,” Economic Geology, Vol. 44, No. 3, May, pp. 210–232. Fine, M.M., and Frommer, D.W., 1952, “Mineral Dressing Investigation of Titanium Ore from the Christy Property, Hot Spring County, Arkansas,” Report of Investigations 4851, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 7 pp. Fine, M.M., et al., 1949, “Titanium Investigations … The Laboratory Development of Mineral Dressing Methods for Arkansas Rutile,” Mining Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 12, pp. 447–452. Fish, G.E., Jr., 1962, “Titanium Resources of Nelson and Amherst Counties, Virginia (In Two Parts) 1. Saprolite Ores,” Report of Investigations 6094, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 44 pp. Fish, G.E., Jr., and Swanson, V.F., 1964, “Titanium Resources of Nelson and Amherst Counties, Virginia (In Two Parts) 2. Nelsonite,” Report of Investigations 6429, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 25 pp. Flint, R.F., 1940, “Pleistocene Features of the Atlantic Coastal Plain,” American Journal of Science, Vol. 238, No. 11, pp. 757–787. Flint, R.F., 1942, “Atlantic Coastal ‘Terraces’,” Washington Academy of Sciences Journal, Vol. 32, No. 8, pp. 235–237. Flint, R.F., 1947, Glacial Geology and the Pleistocene Epoch, John Wiley, New York, 589 pp. Force, E.R., 1980, “Is the United States Geologically Dependent on Imported Rutile?” Presented at 4th Industrial Minerals International Congress, Atlanta, GA, 4 pp. Force, E.R., et al., 1976, “Geology and Resources of Titanium,” Professional Paper 959- A through F, U.S. Geological Survey. Frey, E., 1946, “Exploration of Iron Mountain Titaniferous Magnetite Deposits, Albany County, Wyoming,” Report of Investigations 3968, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 37 pp. Fryklund, V.C., Jr., and Holbrook, D.F., 1950, “Titanium Ore Deposits of Hot Spring County, Arkansas,” Bulletin No. 16, Arkansas Research and Development Comm., Arkansas Div. Geology, 173 pp. Fryklund, V.C., Jr., et al., 1954, “Niobium and Titanium at Magnet Cove and Potash 13 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  14. 14. Sulphur Springs, Arkansas,” Bulletin 1015-B, U.S. Geological Survey, pp. 23–57. Garnar, T.E., Jr., 1980, “Heavy Minerals Industry of North America,” Presented at 4th Industrial Minerals International Congress, Atlanta, GA, 13 pp. Geis, H.P., 1971, “A Short Description of the Iron-Titanium Provinces of Norway, with Special Reference to Those in Production,” Minerals Science Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 13–24. Gillson, J.L., 1959, “Sand Deposits of Titanium Minerals,” Trans. SME-AIME, Vol. 214, pp. 421–429; Mining Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 4. Grogan, R.M., et al., 1964, “Milling at Du Pont’s Heavy Mineral Mines in Florida,” Milling Methods in the Americas, N. Arbiter, ed., Gordon and Breach, New York, pp. 205–229. Gross, S.O., 1968, “Titaniferous Ores of the Sanford Lake District, New York,” Ore Deposits in the United States, 1963/1967, John D. Ridge, ed., AIME, New York, Vol. 1, pp. 140–153. Guimond, R., 1964, “Quebec Iron and Titanium Corporation, A Study in Growth,” Canadian Mining Journal, Vol. 85, No. 11, pp. 47–53. Guise, F.P., et al., 1964, “Titanium in the Southeastern United States,” Information Circular 8223, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 30 pp. Hammond, P., 1949, “Allard Lake Ilmenite Deposits,” Canadian Mining Metallurgical Bulletin, Vol. 42, pp. 117–121. Hammond, P., 1952, “Allard Lake Ilmenite Deposits,” Economic Geology, Vol. 47, No. 6, Sep.-Oct., pp. 634–649. Hargraves, R.B., 1959, “Petrology of the Allard Lake Anorthosite Suite and Paleomagnetism of the Ilmenite Deposits (Quebec),” Ph.D. Thesis, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, May, 193 pp. Harki, I., et al., 1956, “Discovery and Mining Methods at Finland’s Largest Fe-Ti-V Mine,” Mining World, Vol. 18, Aug., p. 62. Heyburn, M.M., 1960, “Geological and Geophysical Investigation of the Sanford Hill Ore Body Extension, Tahawus, New York,” Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 48 pp Hillhouse, D.M., 1960, “Geology of the Piney River-Roseland Titanium Area, Nelson and Amherst Counties, Virginia,” Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, VA, 169 pp. Hoyt, J.H., 1967, “Pleistocene Shore Lines: Guide to Tectonic Movements, Northern Florida and Southern Georgia,” Abstracts, 1967 Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America, New Orleans, LA, p. 104. Hubaux, A., 1956, “Various Types of Black Ores of the Egersund Norway Region,” Bulletin 79, Ann. Soc. Geol. Belg., pp. 203–215. Jennings, E.P., 1913, “A Titaniferous Iron Ore Deposit in Boulder County, Colorado,” AIME Trans, Vol. 44, pp. 14–25. Kays, M.A., 1965, “Petrographic and Modal Relations, Sanford Hill Titaniferous Magnetite Deposit,” Economic Geology, Vol. 60, No. 6, Sep.-Oct., pp. 1261–1297. Kish, L., 1972, “Vanadium in the Titaniferous Deposits of Quebec,” CIM Bulletin, Mar., pp. 117–123. Li, T.M., 1973, “Startup of Manchester Mine and Mill Boosts U.S. Production of Primary Ilmenite,” Engineering Mining Journal, Dec., pp. 71–75. 14 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  15. 15. Lissiman, J.C., and Oxenford, R.J., 1973, “The Allied Mineral N.L. Heavy Mineral Deposit in Eneabba, W.A.,” Conference Volume, Australasian Institute of Mining Metallurgy, pp. 153–161. Lister, F.G., 1966, “The Composition and Origin of Selected Iron-Titanium Deposits,” Economic Geology, Vol. 61, No. 2, Mar.-Apr., pp. 275–310. Llewellyn T.O., and Sullivan, G.V., 1980, “Recovery of Rutile from a Porphyry Copper Tailings Sample,” Report of Investigations 8462, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 18 pp. Lynd, L.E., 1983, “Titanium,” Mineral Commodity Profile, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 17 pp. MacNeil, F.S., 1949, “Pleistocene Shore Lines in Florida and Georgia,” Shorter Contributions to General Geology, Professional Paper 221-F, U.S. Geological Survey, pp. 93–106. Markewicz, F.J., 1969, “Ilmenite Deposits of the New Jersey Coastal Plain,” Geology of Selected Areas of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania and Guidebook of Excursions, S. Subitzky, ed., Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 363–382. Martens, J.C.H., 1928, “Beach Deposits of Ilmenite, Zircon, and Rutile in Florida,” 19th Annual Report, Florida Geological Survey, pp. 124–154. Masten, A.H., 1923, The Story of Adirondac, Princeton Press, Princeton, NJ, 199 pp. McMurray, L.L., 1944, “Froth Flotation of North Carolina Ilmenite,” Trans. AIME, Vol. 173, 1947; Mining Technology, Jan. 1944. Merritt, C.A., 1939, “Iron Ores of the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma,” Economic Geology, Vol. 34, No. 3, May, pp. 268–286. Michot, P., 1956, “The Deposits of Black Ores of the Egersund Region,” Bulletin 79, Ann. Soc. Geol. Belg., pp. 183–201. Moore, C.H., Jr., 1940, “Origin of the Nelsonite Dikes of Amherst County, Virginia,” Economic Geology, Vol. 35, No. 5, Aug., pp. 629–645. Nicholls, G.D., 1955, “The Mineralogy of Rock Magnetism,” Advances in Physics (Supplement to Philosophical Magazine), Vol. 4, p. 113. Nilsen, A.E., 1972, “Extraction of Iron from Titaniferous Ores,” U.S. Patent 3,647,414, Mar. 7. Osborne, F.F., 1928, “Certain Magmatic Titaniferous Ores and Their Origin,” Economic Geology, Pt. 1, Vol. 23, No. 7, Nov., pp. 724–761; Pt. 2, Vol. 23, No. 8, Dec., pp. 895– 922. Parker, G.G., and Cooke, C.W., 1944, “Late Cenozoic Geology of Southern Florida,” Bulletin 27, Florida Geological Survey, 119 pp. Paulson, E.G., 1964, “Mineralogy and Origin of the Titaniferous Deposit at Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Mexico,” Economic Geology, Vol. 59, No. 5, Aug., pp. 753–767. Pings, W.B., 1972, “Titanium, Pt. 1,” Colorado School of Mines Industries Bulletin, Vol. 15, No. 4, July, 13 p. Pings, W.B., 1972a, “Titanium, Pt. 2,” Colorado School of Mines Industries Bulletin, Vol. 15, No. 5, Sep., 17 pp. Pinnell, D.B., and Marsh, J.A., 1954, “Summary Geological Report on the Titaniferous Iron Ore Deposits of the Laramie Range, Albany County, Wyoming,” Mines Magazine, Vol. 44, No. 5, p. 30. Pirkle, E.C., and Yoho, W.H., 1970, “The Heavy Mineral Ore Body of Trail Ridge, Florida,” Economic Geology, Vol. 65, No. 1, Jan.-Feb., pp. 17–30. Pirkle, E.C., et al., 1974, “The Green Cove Springs and Boulougne Heavy Mineral Sand 15 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  16. 16. Deposits of Florida,” Economic Geology, Vol. 69, No. 7, Nov., pp. 1129–1137. Pirkle, F.L., 1975, “Evaluation of Possible Source Regions of Trail Ridge Sands,” Southeastern Geology, Vol. 17, No. 2, Dec., pp. 93–114. Ramdohr, P., 1956, “Die Beziehungen von Fe-Ti Erzen und Magmatischen Gesteinen,” Bulletin No. 173, Comm. Geol. Finlande, pp. 1–18. Reed, D.F., 1949, “Investigation of Christy Titanium Deposits, Hot Spring County, Arkansas,” Report of Investigations 4592, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 10 pp. Reed, D.F., 1949a, “Investigation of Magnet Cove Rutile Deposits, Hot Spring County, Arkansas,” Report of Investigations 4593, U.S. Bureau of Mines, 9 pp. Retty, J.A., 1944, “Lower Romaine River Area, Saguenay County, Quebec,” Report 19, Quebec Dept. of Mines Geology, pp. 3–29. Rose, E.R., 1969, “Geology of Titanium and Titaniferous Deposits of Canada,” Economic Geology Report No. 25, Geological Survey of Canada, Nuke deal and thorium as Bharatam's vanishing strategic mineral Let us look at the deal from Uncle Sam's perspective: Aim: desiccate Bharatam energy independence programme using thorium. Steps taken: 1. privatize mining operations including mining of monazite, ilmenite placer sands which yield thorium (the private greed will take over and allow the loot of the strategic mineral). 2. declare the sea-lane close to the placer deposits (Manavalakurichi - Tamilnadu, Aluva, Chavara -- Kerala, Pulmoddai -- Srilanka area, 30 kms. from Trincomalee under LTTE control) as international waters (disregarding historic waters status under the UN Law of the Sea 1958; follow-up with operational assertions by sending US naval vessels into the Gulf of Mannarto assert the international waters claim. 3. effectively create an international waters boundary between India and Srilanka by the alignmen chosen – a mid-ocean channel passage disregarding Sir A Ramaswamy Mudaliar Committee report of 1958 which said that such an idea should be abandoned for specific reasons. 4. by creating a channel, allow the next tsunami and cyclones to devastate the coastline south and west of Rama Setu so that the thorium reserves will get lost into the mid-ocean making it difficult and expensive to retrieve the strategic mineral. This is geopolitics in action with the world's supercop calling the shots. Deal? What deal? Read Dr. Prasad's views on how the much-publicised thorium as the sheet anchor of Bharatam's nuclear strategy has been given the short shrift. Is there someone out there caring about preserving nation's wealth and not allow it to be looted or desiccated? Will the nation's energy independence goal by fast-tracking thorium-based reactors which have been highlighted by the brilliant work of scientist Jagannathan, by Dr. Baldev Raj of DAE and by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam be facilitated by the nuke deal? Govt. of India has to answer the question. Of course, the policy makers and legislators have to raise the question, in the first place and enforce an answer. Who will bell the cat? I don't think the Communit legislators will do it because they will find a Hegelian dialectic to support the deal. I suppose it has to be done by the likes of Dr. Prasad who have contributed so much to the nation's nuke power status. kalyan Nuclear deal: India has no leverage *A N Prasad | *August 06, 2007 | 18:53 IST Ever since it was released on August 3, the much-awaited text of the India-United States nuclear deal has been profusely commented upon and covered in the media. It is obvious the text has tried to accommodate diverging interests and constraints of both the parties by clever use of language -- to give an illusory impression that the concerns are duly reflected. For the sake of public comfort, both parties are saying loudly that they are free to hold on to their respective rights and legal positions. It means hardly anything as far as India is concerned. Up against the Hyde Act standing like a Rock of Gibraltar, India has no leverage to force any of the issues during the innumerable consultations suggested in the text. In fact, our case was compromised to a large extent when this American act was passed, our prime minister's assurances to the contrary notwithstanding. We are now in effect reduced to a mere recipient State mandated by the Hyde Act to carry out a set of dos and don'ts and to strive to earn a good behaviour report card to become eligible to continue receiving what the Americans can offer. In the process, slowly but surely, they can gain control and remotely drive our nuclear programmes in the long run. This deal, through the Hyde Act, gives far too many opportunities to 16 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  17. 17. penetrate deep into and interfere even in our three-stage programme to slow down the realisation of our goal of harnessing our vast resources of thorium for long-term energy security. Two points in support of this, which have largely missed notice: *One*, the revelation by Nicholas Burns, US under secretary of state during his interview to the Council on Foreign Relations: 'It had been an easy quot;strategicquot; choice for Washington when faced with the question -- should we isolate India for the next 35 years or bring it in partially now (*under safeguards inspection*) and nearly totally in the future.' *Two*, Article 16.2 of the text says the 123 Agreement shall remain in force for a period of 40 years and at the end of this initial period each party may terminate by giving six month's notice. There is no in-built provision for terminating before 40 years even if we were to suffer for any reason in the implementation of the deal. These 40 years are expected to cover the period by which we intend to take thorium utilisation to a commercial reality. A coincidence? It is naive to judge the merits of the deal based purely on the language of the text. The underlying undercurrents and intentions of the controlling party are important and cannot be wished away as hypothetical or as their internal matter when they do actually have serious repercussions on our long-term interests. There has been a careful balancing of US commercial interests with the goal of bringing India into the non-proliferation hold, an American obsession ever since the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into existence in 1970. There have been overt suggestions in the Hyde Act to the American administration to not only attempt to cap but also try to eventually roll back our strategic programme and report to the US Congress. Try they will; but whether we are smart enough to thwart their designs or they manage to succeed -- given the tremendous access they get through this deal � is something time will tell. Let me turn to some of the most contentious issues that have not been satisfactorily resolved. *Reprocessing* This has been stated to be the most hotly debated issue. Let me therefore deal with it in some detail in simple terms to put things in perspective. Reprocessing is at the core of our three-stage nuclear power programme. It is the interface between the first and the second stage and again between the second and the third stage. In the first step, it facilitates extracting plutonium from the spent uranium fuel and feeding to the fast breeder reactors in the second stage as fuel -- where thorium fuel is also introduced. When thorium is converted into fissile uranium in the fast reactors, the same is extracted by reprocessing to be fed into third stage reactors where large-scale thorium utilisation occurs. It was once estimated that with the limited resources of uranium in the country more than 350,000 MW of electricity could be produced through thorium utilisation, ensuring long- term energy security. The steady progress India is making with starting the construction of the first 500 Mwe prototype fast breeder reactor is an envy of many in the advanced world. Recognising the key role of reprocessing, development activities were started as early as 1959 -- much before even the first nuclear power reactor became operational at Tarapur in 1969. While the first power reactor was imported from the US, the first reprocessing facility was built entirely through indigenous efforts and went into operation in 1965. The irony is, the US -- knowing fully well our four decades of experience in reprocessing and aware of its importance in our three- stage programme -- has sought to create impediments and make us beg for reprocessing consent, that too after accepting us as strategic partner. What hypocrisy! Should we call this nuclear cooperation or non-cooperation? Is it not obvious that their intention is to place hurdles on our thorium-utilisation programme right from the beginning? In fact, even though there is what is called a fast reactor nuclear fuel cycle, not a word is mentioned in the Agreement on fast-reactor cooperation. The text calls for all future fast breeder reactors to be put under the civilian list for applying safeguards in perpetuity -- just because plutonium extracted from imported uranium spent fuel is fed into these reactors. It is a pity our negotiators have chosen not to pursue extending the cooperation into the area of fast reactors at least to the extent that we should be able to access the international market for equipment and components which otherwise have to be produced by Indian industry with considerable effort The way the reprocessing issue has been resolved certainly does not give any comfort. What has been agreed to is consent in principle, with the arrangements and procedures to be agreed in the future. Having offered a dedicated facility for reprocessing imported fuel, we should have got unconditional upfront consent to be made effective on satisfactory conclusion of safeguards. The intent of the American legislation is to deny reprocessing rights to NPT countries that don't already have this technology. We cannot be equated with Japan, which��Burns reportedly said has been used as a model for resolving 17 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  18. 18. this issue. I can say from personal knowledge that Japan was totally unhappy in dealing with the US while negotiating procedures and arrangements in the late 1970s for their reprocess. An overview of world thorium resources, incentives for further exploration and forecast for thorium requirements in the near future Jayaram, K.M.V. (Department of Atomic Energy, Hyderabad (India). Atomic Minerals Div.) Abstract Thorium occurs in association with uranium and rare earth elements in diverse rock types. It occurs as veins of thorite, uranothorite and monazite in granites, syenites and pegmatites. Monazite also occurs in quartz-pebble conglomerates, sandstones and fluviatile and beach placers. Thorium occurs along with REE in bastnaesite, in the carbonatites. Present knowledge of the thorium resources in the world is poor because of inadequate exploration efforts arising out of insignificant demand. But, with the increased interest shown by several countries in the development of Fast Breeder Reactors using thorium, it is expected that the demand will increase considerably by the turn of the century. The total known world reserves of Th in RAR category are estimated at about 1.16 million tonnes. About 31% of this (0.36 mt) is known to be available in the beach and inland placers of India. The possibility of finding primary occurrences in the alkaline and other acidic rocks is good, in India. The other countries having sizeable reserves are Brazil, Canada, China, Norway, U.S.S.R., U.S.A., Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and Sri Lanka. Considering that the demand for thorium is likely to increase by the turn of this century, it is necessary that data collected so far, globally, is pooled and analysed to identify areas that hold good promise. Reference: Proceedings of a technical committee meeting on utilization of thorium-based nuclear fuel: current status and perspectives held in Vienna, 2-4 December 1985 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria) IAEA-TECDOC--412, pp:8-21 The accumulation of thorium reserves of India is party attributed to the reworking of beachsands by seawaves (almost like a cyclotron or sieving operation to remove small stones from fresh husked paddy by women in India) given the nature of the ocean currents and the Rama Setu (Adam’s bridge) acting as a barrier to the ocean currents inducing countercurrents. Views of Prof. Rajamanickam, geomorphologist and mineralogist: “The coast between Nagapattinam to Nagore, Nagore to Poompuhar, Colachal and Madras were the places where the strong impact from the Tsunami was noticed. These were also the places where a high order of ilmenites was found soon after the Tsunami. For example in the Nagore coast, the pre- Tsunami heavy mineral content of 14 per cent jumped to 70 per cent of ilmenites after the Tsunami.” 18 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  19. 19. Monazite, a radioactive material, contains 3 to 7% thorium by weight. Ilmenite less radioactive, contains .05% thorium. Chavara mineral division, India Rare Earths Limited. Corporate office: Plot No.1207,Veer Savakar Marg, Near Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Prabhadevi,Mumbai - 400 028 +91 22 24382042/ 24211630/ 24211851, 24220230 FAX +91 22 24220236 Major Activity : Mining and separation of Heavy Minerals like, Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Sillimanite, Garnet and Monazite from beach sand. Also engaged in chemical processing of Monazite to yield Thorium compounds, Rare Earth Chlorides and Tri-Sodium Phosphate. Dr. S. Suresh Kumar, Head Tel. No: (0476) 268 0701 – 05 Located 10 Km north of Kollam, 85 Km from Thiruvananthapuram capital of Kerala and 135 Km by road from Kochi is perhaps blessed with the best mineral sand deposit of the country.The plant operates on a mining area containing as high as 40% heavy minerals and extending over a length of 23 Km in the belt of Neendakara and Kayamkulam. The deposit is quite rich with respect to ilmenite, rutile and zircon and the mineral-ilmenite happens to be of weathered variety analyzing 60% TiO2. The present annual production capacity of Chavara unit engaged in dry as well as wet (dredging/ up-gradation) mining and mineral separation stands at 1,54,000t of ilmenite, 9,500t of rutile, 14,000t of zircon and 7,000t of sillimanite. In addition the plant has facilities for annual production of ground zircon called zirflor (-45 micron) and microzir (1-3 micron) of the order of 6,000t and 500t respectively. MANAVALAKURICHI (MK) MINERAL DIVISION: Plant is situated 25 Kms north of Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), the southern most tip of the Indian sub-continent. All weather major seaport Tuticorin and the nearest airport at Thiruvananthapuram are equidistant, about 65 kms from the plant site. Nagercoil at a distance of about 18 kms from the plant, is the closest major Railway station. MK plant annually produces about 90,000t ilmenite of 55%. TiO2 grade, 3500t rutile and 10,000t zircon in addition to 3000t monazite and 10,000t garnet based primarily on beach washing supplied by fishermen of surrounding five villages. IREL has also mining lease of mineral rich areas wherein raw sand can be made available in large quantities through dredging operation. In addition to mining and minerals separation, the unit has a chemical plant to add value to zircon in the form of zircon frit and other zirconium based chemicals in limited quantities. RARE EARTHS DIVISION (RED) Aluva: Unlike the three units of IREL as described earlier, RED is an exclusively value adding chemical plant wherein the mineral monazite produced by MK, is chemically treated to separate thorium as hydroxide upgrade and rare earths in its composite chloride form. It is located on the banks of river Periyar at a distance of 12 Km by road from Kochi. This plant was made operational way back in 1952 to take on processing of 1400t of monazite every year. However over the years, the capacity of the plant was gradually augmented to treat about 3600t of monazite. Elaborate solvent extraction and ion exchange facilities were built up to produce individual R.E. oxides, like oxides of Ce, Nd, Pr and La in adequate purities. Today RED has built up large stock pile of impure thorium hydroxide upgrade associated with rare earths and unreacted materials. Henceforth, RED proposes to treat this hydroxide upgrade rather than 19 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  20. 20. fresh monazite to convert thorium into pure oxalate and rare earth as two major fractions namely Ce oxide and Ce oxide free rare earth chloride. The total known world reservesof Thi nRA R category are estimated at about 1.16 million tonnes. About 31% of this (0.36 mt) is known to be available in the beach and inland placers of India…Prior to the second world war thorium was used widely in the manufacture of gas mantles, welding rods, refractories andin magnesium based alloys .Its use as fuel in nuclear energy, in spite of its limited demand as of now and low forecast, is gaining importance because of its transmutation to 233 u. Several countries like India, Russia, France and U.K. have shown considerable interest in the development of fast breeder reactors (FBR) anditisexpected thatbytheturnof this century someofthe countries would have started commissioning large capacity units… Beach sands: Although monazite occurs associated with ilmenite and beach sands, skirting the entire Peninsular India, its economic concentration is confined to only some areas where suitable physiographic conditions exist.The west coast placers are essentially beachorbarrier deposits with development of dunes where aeolin action is prominent in dry months… Origin of West Coast deposits: …The deposits are formed in four successive stages:(i) lateritisation of gneissic complexes, (ii) successive mountain uplift and simultaneous seaward shift of strand line., (iii) reworking of the beach sands by sea waves, which rise often to a height of 12s.period and (iv) littoral drift caused by the breaking of thewaves faraway from the shore and consequent northerly movement of lighter minerals along the reflected waves… In Manavalakurchi, Tamil Nadu, the depositis formed by the quot;southerly tilt of the tip of the peninsula [9] aided by seasonal variation of sea currents, both in direction and magnitude [Udas, G.R.,Jayaram, K.M.V., Ramachandran, M and Sankaran,R.,Beach sand placer deposits of the world vs. Indian deposits. Plant maintenance and import substitution.1978.35.] … The reasonably assured resources of thorium in India, form about 31% of the world's estimated deposits.The reserves could have been several times more if systematic surveys are carried out… Indian ocean currents both east to west and counter currents result in a churning operation and consequent deposition of heavy minerals such as thorium or titanium. 20 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  21. 21. This is a colour version of Figure 11.3 of Regional Oceanography: an Introduction by M. Tomczak and S. J. Godfrey (Pergamon Press, New York 1994, 422 p.). Major ocean currents of the world. On this illustration red arrows indicate warm currents, while cold currents are displayed in blue. (Source: This map shows the unique phenomenon of two ocean currents in two opposing direcions operating like a cyclotron/sieve to isolate heavier minerals with heavy atomic weights such as Thorium 232 and Titanium. Beaches of Kerala with thorium sands. 21 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  22. 22. 22 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  23. 23. Importance of thorium for Bharatam’s strategic program From BARC website: Thorium deposits - ~ 3,60,000 • tonnes The currently known Indian thorium reserves amount • to 358,000 GWe-yr of electrical energy and can easily meet the energy requirements during the next century and beyond. India’s vast thorium deposits permit design and operation of U-233 fuelled • breeder reactors. These U-233/Th-232 based breeder reactors are under development and • would serve as the mainstay of the final thorium utilization stage of the Indian nuclear programme. This is underscored in a US report: • where, Tellis, the point-man for Indo-US nuke deal notes that India reserves of 78,000 metric tons of uranium. The interests of US are best served by selling uranium and nuke reactors instead of allowing India to gain self-sufficiency using indigenous thorium reserves. The extraordinary monograph by Prof. Monu Nalapat, Prof. of Geopolitics in Manipal University, notes with forthrightness and clarity and unravels the shocking sell-out of the national interests, national integrity and national security of Bharatam, ignoring the sage advise of the nation's foremost nuclear scientists. [quote] The Indian position has been deliberately made murky, given the lack of an adequate official response to recent statements made by the US that have described the proposed quot;strategicquot; partnership for what it is—a non-proliferation mechanism intended to bring India into the now tattered NPT fold as a non-nuclear weapons state. Should Congress finally get their way and force this agreement on the nation, not only should the pact be torn up by the successor government, but both should be prosecuted for high treason. [unquote] The issue of thorium as the nuclear fuel which will unleash the nuclear potential of Bharatam has been underscored in the BARC website. One of the principal earth science 23 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::
  24. 24. reasons for the accumulation of thorium resources on Kerala beaches is the oscillating, sieving action of the ocean currents around Ramasetu. Incursive channel in an arbitrarily drawn medial line between Bharatam and Srilanka as a defacto boundary of international waters, discarding the age-old rights as 'historic waters' under the UN Law of the Sea, is a serious dereliction of responsibility on the part of the Setusamudram Channel Project designers. PM and UPA Chairperson have to explain to the nation for the undue haste and carelessness in choosing an alignment impacting on RamSetu while five other alternative channels closer to the Bharatam coastline were available. Was the new, arbitrarily drawn medial line as the channel alignment influenced by US Navy Operational Directives of 23 June 2005? Is it mere coincidence that the inauguration of SSCP takes place within a week thereafter, on 2 July 2005 ignoring the imperative subjecting the impact of a future tsunami on the integrity of the coastline if the present chosen alignment is implemented? Together with the destruction of Kerala, will it impact on the harnessing of the thorium resource as the foundation fuel for the nuclear programme of Bharatam? As the trial for treason unravels, in case Bharatam succumbs to US geopolitical pressures, a lot of questions will have to be raised and answered. Was the PM satisfied by the answers (provided on 30 June 2005) to the 16 questions raised by PMO on 8 March 2005? The US study pointing to the urgency of striking the Indo-US nuclear deal can be downloaded from Tellis notes that India reserves f 78,000 metric tons of uranium. •eight reactors allocating a quarter of their cores for the production of weapons- grade material, uranium needed would be: 19,965 to 29,124 tons. T two research reactors will need 938 to 1,088 tons. • These would yield India 12,135 to 13,370 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium. •Thorium blanket as fuel will be the nuclear fuel of the future for Bharatam, which has the largest reserves of thorium in the world. A team of scientists led by Dr. VJ Loveson of the CISR New Delhi, studying placer deposits in the area, says an estimated 40 million tonnes of Titanium alone has been deposited in the entire stretch of 500 km. coastline. The message is loud and clear: somehow, Bharatam should be dissuaded from pursuing an independent, self-reliant nuclear programme using thorium blanket on fast-breeder reactors. With thorium resources accumulated thanks to the ocean currents and counter currents facilitated by Rama Setu, the consequences will be serious if the next tsunami were to desiccate these resources together with the devastation of the coastline of Tamilnadu and Kerala. S. Kalyanaraman 13 August 2007 24 PDF Created with deskPDF PDF Writer - Trial ::