Director of VV Minerals India, V Subramanian, in conversation with Tribune India spoke about the heavy minerals market in India.
“The market size of heavy minerals is around 1.2 million tonne worldwide and 700000 tonne in India,” he informs. Though India has 40% of world’s total reserve, the production contribution as compared to world market is less than 5%.
The main reason for this difference is the mining lease approval process that involves 26 different government departments. This, in turn, takes roughly 7-8 years for clearance.
“Beach sand industry easily generates forex in the tune of Rs 3500-4000 crore each year,” he says. VV Minerals, which was founded by Vaikundarajan in late 1980s generates garnet (750,000 tonne per year), ilmenite (11 lakh tonne per year), zircon (50,000 tonne per year), rutile (35,000 tonne per year) and silimanite (60,000 tonne per year).
Speaking on future demands, he says, “These minerals are used for making of welding electrodes. India imports almost 1.5 lakh tonne of titanium dioxide for production which is still less than actual consumption. The consumption level could grow 5-10 times considering that we consume 400gm per head of population as compared to USA’s 4kg per head.”