Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), a leading mining PSU enterprise and one of the largest lignite seller in the country, announced that they are keen to establish a Rare Earth Elements (REE) Processing Plant in the country. As REEs are essential for developing green energy technologies like permanent magnets for Electric Vehicles & wind turbines and LEDs, thereby helping India reduce carbon footprint.
India is looking at transitioning to green energy across various verticals, and it is here that GMDC is looking at conducting a scoping study to determine the economic viability of the project and outline at least one opportunity to develop the processing plant for the deposit at Ambadongar, Chotaudepur District in Gujarat state in India.
As the next stage for entry into the sector and setting up the business, GMDC proposes to conduct a pre-economic assessment for the Ambadongar deposit involving, among other things, formulating a process flow design and all relevant testing for beneficiation and REE oxide production in line with Government of Gujarat’s vision of establishing a complete value chain for Rare Earth Elements in Gujarat, estimating the investments required for such ventures and possible returns over the project time horizon.
“The REE exploration project will create high possibilities of producing REE ore in India and will encourage the country to become one of the leading players in the global market, which will also benefit the economic and strategic development of the country. Hence, we at GMDC will ensure the establishment of a complete value chain for REE elements, estimating the investments required for ventures with possible returns over time in the State,” said Shri Roopwant Singh, IAS, Managing Director, GMDC.
Being a domain of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Government of India, the state of Gujarat, is planning to develop mining and processing of REE in the strategic locations of the state and make Gujarat a RE processing hub for such ores mined in India and abroad. It plans to set up mining operations, beneficiation plants, and value addition projects in the proximate zone of such minable resources and make India a rare earth powerhouse. The exploration of REE in the State has been taken up extensively by the Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) & the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in conjunction with each other.
Rare Earth Elements classified as ‘Strategic minerals’, also called Rare Earth Metals, are 17 lustrous soft heavy metals with various applications in electrical and electronic components, lasers, glass, magnetic materials, and industrial processes. These are used in multiple industrial applications, including electronics, clean energy, aerospace, automotive, and defence.