Managing Director and founder of VV Minerals India, S Vaikundarajan, founded the company in the late 1980s. Under his tutelage, the company has grown to become the biggest sand mining companies in India. It is known for extracting and exporting garnet and ilmenite to over 20 countries. For its contribution to the export business, the company has won several national awards.
Recently, the company released a statement that there was a lack of technology to separate thorium from monazite. This was later confirmed by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
Despite this confirmation, 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 all these allegations, VV Mineral Vaikundarajan stated, “We have established a mineral separation plant and approached the AERB for a license, which is awaited.”
The company has been operating within the legal boundaries for over twenty years. The allegations by IREL officials were a setup to maim the company’s reputation. “No authority is ready to take action based on our complaint. Hence we approached the High Court,” said VV Mineral.
VV Minerals has filed two writ petitions that are pending with the Madras High Court following the temporary ban on sand mining activities.