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There are 17 chemical elements that comprise of rare earth minerals. These rare earth minerals are extracted from beaches, river beds, etc. Rare earth minerals which are found in India are ilmenite, sillimanite, garnet, zircon, monazite and rutile. The largest manufacturer and exporter of ilmenite and granet in India is V. V. Mineral. These rare earth minerals are used widely across different industrial sector like computer and IT, clean energy systems, healthcare, defence production, advanced transportation services and many others.
According to industry representatives, the Indian rare earth minerals industry worth Rs 90,000crore in annual turnover, lies wasted and underused. Globally speaking, India has approximately 35% of total beach sand mineral deposits. Rare earth minerals importance lies in their unique electronic, optical and magnetic characteristics. These characteristics cannot be matched by any other metal or synthetic substitute. Experts of Beach Minerals Producers Association estimated that the industry can net a capital employment of about Rs 121,000crore, including Rs 50,000crore worth of foreign exchange.