Mineral sands, also known as heavy mineral sands are found in particular locations around the world. They are formed by the continuous depositions from the sea. The sea wave action forces the minerals to get washed off to the shores and form placer deposits. These sands are rich in contents of minerals such as Bauxite, Monazite, Rutile, Ilmenite, Zircon, Garnet and other minerals.
These rare earth elements are used in various industrial applications. For example, Garnet is used in water jet cutting, Zircon is used in ceramics and Rutile is used in making of Titanium metal. Mineral sand can be mined by a process called beach sand mining. This process involves the manual extraction of sand from where it is taken to the separation plants. The valuable minerals are then separated according to their grades and magnetic properties. After the separation process, they are packaged and transported to different parts.
One of Indias major contributor to heavy mineral mining is V.V. Mineral. They are based in Tamil Nadu but have their market shares in various parts of the world such as U.S., Australia, Europe and South Africa. They are the country’s first company to export Ilmenite. Moreover they are the largest exporters of Garnet and Ilmenite in India.