The demand for zircon in India is about 130,000 tons, where as zircon mining in India amounts to hardly 50,000 tons. The remaining needs are fulfilled by importing. The demand for titanium pigments in the Indian markets is about 200,000 tons, yet only 60,000 tons is actually produced by Indian manufacturers; the remaining is imported mostly from China and other developed countries. As for Rutile, Indian demand is around 40,000 tons and only 18,000 tons are produced in India.
The only mineral that is exported is ilmenite because the Government policy doesn’t recognize the value addition of ilmenite to the economy. Also, on the globally the demand for heavy minerals is rising day by day but, Indian manufacturers are playing a very minimal role in the supply, leaving Garnet.
The domestic market of India for heavy minerals is quite young and has tremendous growth potential. Our current consumption of pigment is only 1.5kg / person, whereas the developed countries typically use 4kg / person. The same trend applies for other minerals like Zircon and Rutile as well.
As for utility, Garnet is widely used as an abrasive in oil producing companies for corrosion control. Ilmenite and Rutile are Titanium feedstock used mainly for producing Tio2 pigment and small quantities in production of welding electrodes. Zircon is used in ceramic tiles as an opacifier and in Refractory for insulation.
Major players in the manufacturing and mining of these heavy minerals include VV Minerals India. They are based in Tamil Nadu and the country’s finest heavy mineral manufacturers and exporters.
It is a family owned business, established by Mr. S. Vaikundarajan, who is the chairman and managing director of the company. Starting from 1989, in Tamil Nadu, they have now grown to be the leaders in the industry on the global front.