As you would notice India, particularly Tamil Nadu, has a lot of potential in RARE EARTH METALS. There has been very little awareness of the potential of this industry. It is not just a lack of awarenesss, people are grossly ill-informed about mineral mining. Hence the sector has faced a lot of challenges from media and the government particularly.
We have to view this in a more informed way. ‘Responsible Mining’ is all about that.
Minerals are valuable to the manufacturing sector. Take the case of the paint industry. There are around 300 to 400 ingredients that go into making decorative paints. Out of this, the major raw material, TiO2, a white pigment, constitutes about 12-35% and is derived from Ilmenite. Continuing technological inventions and environmental regulations make the inventory even larger. While there are thousands and thousands of coating manufacturers around the globe, TiO2 producers are comparatively few in numbers. More than 60 percent of the input costs of paint manufacturing go into procuring raw materials. Since the high demand for raw materials makes the supply irregular, the paint manufacturer (particularly the small player) has to plan ahead and keep stocks. As many of the raw materials are to be imported, the picture gets even more complicated. Of the imports, the pigment Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is of major interest due to the following reasons. Indian annual requirement for TiO2 is 1,75,000 Metric Tonnes whereas the domestic production is only 30,000 Metric Tonnes. This forces Indian paint manufacturers to import 1,45,000 Metric Tonnes of TiO2 every year, spending out huge amounts