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Nearly 37,024 tons of Monazite can be extracted from beach sand stored by private miners in Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and KanyaKumari districts of Tamilnadu claims amicus curiae.

·         Since 2000, banned mining and transportation of mineral, Ilmenite, Rutile, Zirem, Sillemanate and Leucoxene were happening despite the State government’s complete ban in these 3 districts.

·         In 2016, the Madras HC ordered strict implementation of ban.

·         However, the prohibited mineral monazite are clandestinely sold-out by mix it with processed minerals.

·         Monazite: Monazite is one of the beach sand minerals that contains rare earths like, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium etc.

·         It also contains thorium which is a “prescribed substance”, the list of which was revised in 2006 under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.

·         While completely different rare earths are used for producing of varied elements of the pc, mobile phones, magnet for electrical motors fitted in automobiles and gas mantle etc, thorium is vital for the country’s third stage nuclear energy programme and has the potential to emerge as next generation fuel for nuclear energy plants.

·         It is being stockpiled for future use, said chairman-cum decision maker, IREL RN Patra.

·         It may be a rare phosphate mineral sometimes happens in little isolated grains in Igneous and Metamorphic rocks like granite, pegmatite, schist, and gneiss.

·         It is translucent and one in all the foremost resistant minerals to weathering. Stream sediments, deposit terraces, beach sediments, beach terraces, and shallow water sediments have all been dredged for significant minerals.

·         But all monazite mining is focused on placer deposits as a result of theyre easier to mine, and also the monazite is commonly present in higher concentrations than in hard rock deposits.

·         Other significant minerals that accumulate with mineral embody Gold, Platinum, Magnetite, Ilmenite, Rutile, zircon and a range of gemstones.

·         Today, most of the world’s monazite is produced in the offshore waters of India, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brazil.

·         Southern India and Sri Lanka have the most extensive offshore monazite resources known.

·         It could be a radioactive  atomic mineral used for production of Th (as high as five hundred ppm) and has the potential to be used as fuel within the nuclear energy system.

·         World Distribution: india guangdong, China Mount Weld, Australia Kangankunde, malawi Zandkopsdrift, SA Steenkampskaal, SA Recent studies discovered that Thorium-232 may well be an economical and safe fuel different to uranium to get nuclear energy for business functions for 2 major reasons:

1)      Abundance of thorium in nature is three or four times higher than uranium compared to uranium fuels,

2)      Thorium fuels produce much less plutonium and minor actinides therefore, induced radiotoxicities are lower by more than two orders of magnitude.