VV Minerals India, a beach sand mining company, was founded by S Vaikundarajan in the late 1980s. The company has operated under the leadership of VV Mineral Vaikundarajan and grown into one of the best sand mining companies in the sector.
VV Minerals India is known to extract garnet and ilmenite and export it to over 20 countries. The company recently released a statement that due to the lack of technology, it could not separate thorium from monazite. This was later confirmed by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
However, former principal scientist at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in Kochi raised his concerns, “Indian Rare Earth Ltd (IREL), Manavalakurichi, uses the sand from the same area and produces thorium, so what happens to the monazite in the VV mines? Does the company follow the procedure recommended by the AERB?” Further allegations were added that the mining was operated without proper regulatory clearance.
Addressing these allegations head on, VV Minerals stated, “We have established a mineral separation plant and approached the AERB for a license, which is awaited.” He assured that the company has worked within legal boundaries since its inception and thwarted the allegations as a setup by IREL officials. He further stated that IREL has been illegally mining in VV Mineral’s land and indulged in questionable practices. “No authority is ready to take action based on our complaint. Hence we approached the High Court,” said VV Mineral Vaikundarajan.
The sand mining activities have been temporarily suspended for now. Following this, VV Minerals has filed two writ petitions that are pending with the Madras High Court.