Mineral deposits

Titanium connection

Print edition : July 24, 2015

The beach on the Periyathalai coast in Tuticorin district, Tamil Nadu, takes on a hue characteristic of the presence of garnet, a non-atomic mineral that can be mined with the permission of the State government. The mined sand also contains atomic minerals such as ilmenite, leucoxene and rutile, which on processing yield titanium, and they can be exported under the Open General Licence without requiring the permission of the Union Ministry of Mines. Photo: N. Rajesh

It is the ore ilmenite, and not thorium, that the “mining mafia” is after in the beach sands of Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Titanium, a strategic metal in demand in the nuclear power sector and the aerospace industry, is extracted from it.
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