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What is the cost of rare earth element reserves found in Andhra?

The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad has discovered significant reserves of 15 rare earth elements

By groundreportdesk
New Update
What is the cost of rare earth element reserves found in Andhra?

The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) in Hyderabad has discovered significant reserves of 15 rare earth elements (REEs) in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

These REEs, which belong to the lanthanide series, are a fundamental component used in many everyday electronic devices such as mobile phones, televisions, computers and automobiles, as well as in various industrial applications.

Rare earth elements found in AP

NGRI researchers conducted a survey looking for non-traditional rocks such as syenites and successfully identified the host minerals. The major REEs identified include ceriate, alanite, thorite, tantalite, columbite, apatite, monazite, zircon, pyrochlore, euxenite, and fluorite.

The geological subfield known as "metallogeny" examines the genetic relationship between the geological history of a region and its mineral deposits. In the Anantapur district, alkali complexes lie to the west and southwest of the Paleoproterozoic Cuddapah Basin.

Cost of rare earth element reserves?

The cost of rare earth element reserves can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the specific elements in question, the location of the reserves, the quality and quantity of the ore, and current market demand and price for the rare earth elements. Dysprosium is $551.20 per kg which is around 45,110.48 Indian Rupee, fluorite cost 968.4/kilogram per Kg.

REE-bearing mineral Hubs in Andhra Pradesh

Senior principal scientist in NGRI Dr PV Sunder Raju was quoted by PTI as saying that the discovery of zircon with variable shapes and monazite grains with multiple colours and radial cracks at Anantapur, indicated the presence of radioactive elements.

These elements, known as rare earth elements (REEs), are essential in modern technology for their luminescent and catalytic properties and are used in a variety of products including clean energy, aerospace, and defense.

Further feasibility studies will be carried out through deep drilling to obtain more information on REEs in the alkali syenite complexes located in Anantapur and Chittoor districts.

Net Zero and increasing demand for Rare Earth metals

According to a study funded by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-India) under the project SHORE (Shallow Subsurface Imaging of India for Resource Exploration), the demand for rare earth metals is expected to increase up to 26 times by 2050 in Europe to achieve net zero.

The discovery of these metals was a part of the project's objective to assess resources and identify economically viable sites, particularly in the carbonatite-syenite complexes of Andhra Pradesh.

The study's focus was on obtaining a detailed understanding of the metallogeny of rare and REE metals.

India's rare Earths reserves

India has 13.07 million tonnes of monazite resources in situ (containing ~55-60% of total rare earth element oxide). These reserves are found in the placer sands of the coastal beaches of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, as well as inland placers in parts of Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu.

However, Indian reserves have limitations on the availability of high-value rare earths such as dysprosium and terbium, which are essential for energy transition initiatives.

India's rare earth deposits contain only neodymium and praseodymium, which are found in BSM ore at a ratio of 0.0011 to 0.012%. These two elements are extracted to a purity level of 99.9%. However, the ability to mine rare earths in India is restricted by various regulations such as the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ), mangrove, forest and habitation regulations.

More than 80% of rare earth use in terms of value is in RE permanent magnets, which require magnetic REE, namely neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium. These rare earths are precious due to their use in energy transition initiatives.

Despite the challenges in India's rare earth sector, the country's potential to meet the growing global demand for rare earths is significant.

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