Unit Profile

CHAVARA MINERAL DIVISION: 

Shri A J Janarthan, Head (Chavra ) 

Tel. No: +91 476 268 0701 - 05 

E-mail: cgm-ch@irel.gov.in

Located 10 Km north of Kollam, 85 Km from Thiruvananthapuram capital of Kerala and 135 Km by road from Kochi is perhaps blessed with the best mineral sand deposit of the country.The plant operates on a mining area containing as high as 40% heavy minerals and extending over a length of 23 Km in the belt of Neendakara and Kayamkulam. The deposit is quite rich with respect to ilmenite, rutile and zircon and the mineral-ilmenite happens to be of weathered variety analyzing 60% TiO2. The present annual production capacity of Chavara unit engaged in dry as well as wet (dredging/ up-gradation) mining and mineral separation stands at 1,54,000t of ilmenite, 9,500t of rutile, 14,000t of zircon and 7,000t of sillimanite. In addition the plant has facilities for annual production of ground zircon called zirflor (-45 micron) and microzir (1-3 micron) of the order of 6,000t and 500t respectively.  


MANAVALAKURICHI (MK) MINERAL DIVISION: 

Shri A K Mohapatra, Head & General Manager

Tel. No: +91 4651 237 255- 57 

E-mail: iremk@dataone.in , headmk@irel.gov.in

Plant is situated 25 Kms north of Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin), the southern most tip of the Indian sub-continent. All weather major seaport Tuticorin and the nearest airport at Thiruvananthapuram are equidistant, about 65 kms from the plant site. Nagercoil at a distance of about 18 kms from the plant, is the closest major Railway station. MK plant annually produces about 90,000t ilmenite of 55%. TiO2 grade, 3500t rutile and 10,000t zircon in addition to 3000t monazite and 10,000t garnet based primarily on beach washing supplied by fishermen of surrounding five villages. IREL has also mining lease of mineral rich areas wherein raw sand can be made available in large quantities through dredging operation. In addition to mining and minerals separation, the unit has a chemical plant to add value to zircon in the form of zircon frit and other zirconium based chemicals in limited quantities. 


ORISSA SANDS COMPLEX (OSCOM): 

Shri T Bhattacharya, General Manager & Head OSCOM 

Tel. No: +91 6811  257 890 - 95 

E-mail: headireo@sancharnet.in, head-ireo@irel.gov.in

OSCOM was commissioned at a place called Chatrapur about 150 Kms from the Capital of Orissa - Bhubaneswar and about 320 Km from all weather seaport-Visakhapatanam to exploit the huge placer deposit across a mining area of 24.64sq.km. to produce 2,20,000 ton ilmenite having 50% TiO2 content and associated minerals like rutile, zircon, sillimanite, garnet, etc. The facility was quite unique in the sense that for the first time IREL ventured into dredging and concentration operationat OSCOM. It is quite efficietly engaged in dredging of the raw sand, it's upgradation, drying and finally separation plant. Ilmenite is primarily exported to customers engaged in production of slag and sulphatable TiO2 pigment.A Thorium plant is in operation since 1992 at OSCOM to produce 240 ton per annum mantle grade Thorium Nitrate. 


RARE EARTHS DIVISION (RED) Aluva: 

Shri S. Surya Kumar Head  RED

Tel. No: +91 484 254 5062 - 65 

E-mail: irered@vsnl.com, head-red@irel.gov.in 

Unlike the three units of IREL as described earlier, RED is an exclusively value adding chemical plant wherein the mineral monazite produced by MK, is chemically treated to separate thorium as hydroxide upgrade and rare earths in its composite chloride form. It is located on the banks of river Periyar at a distance of 12 Km by road from Kochi. This plant was made operational way back in 1952 to take on processing of 1400t of monazite every year. However over the years, the capacity of the plant was gradually augmented to treat about 3600t of monazite. Elaborate solvent extraction and ion exchange facilities were built up to produce individual R.E. oxides, like oxides of Ce, Nd, Pr and La in adequate purities. Today RED has built up large stock pile of impure thorium hydroxide upgrade associated with rare earths and unreacted materials. Henceforth, RED proposes to treat this hydroxide upgrade rather than fresh monazite to convert thorium into pure oxalate and rare earth as two major fractions namely Ce oxide and Ce oxide free rare earth chloride. 

 
 

Indian Rare Earth Research Centre (IRERC): 

Shri C.R Sahu, Head (Corporate Research and Safety)

Tel. No: +91 474 2742739

E-mail: irerc@irel.gov.in, irerc@dataone.in 

Corporate Research Centre is located at Kollam, Kerala and carries out research in the field of value added products from beach sand minerals, undertakes consultancy projects on mineral separation and flow sheet development, carrying out mineral analysis and caters to the needs of internal and external customers.  It is engaged in various R&D activities such as processing of Monazite by alternate route, processing of nano rare earth materials and other value addition on minerals with the ultimate objective of commercialization. Research centre also coordinates the research activities of RED, Aluva and Technical Services Division at OSCOM, Chatrapur, Orissa.  This Research Centre was earlier known as Mineral Research and Development Centre since 1991 and later renamed as Indian Rare Earths Research Centre from July 2003.  This Centre is also certified with ISO 9001. 

With the objective of promoting Industrial scale R&D that would be beneficial to its overall program in terms of nuclear and related materials, Indian Rare Earths Limited Technology Development Council (IRELTDC) was constituted in 2006 by the Secretary, DAE with members from BARC, IGCAR, CSIR and other leading Institutions. The Chairperson of this Council is the Scientific Advisor to Director, BARC and Co-Chairperson is the CMD of IREL.  The Head, IRERC is its Member Secretary.

The Research Centre is equipped with various equipments and instruments like magnetic, gravity, electrostatic separators, floatation cells, grinding mills, vacuum filters, mixer settlers, ion exchange columns, particle size analyzer, XRD/XRF, thermal analyzer, ICP atomic absorption spectrometers, UV spectrometers, petrological microscopes, etc. for various analytical and research purposes. 

The annual safety audit of all the operating units is carried out every year with the objective of improving the overall safety standards and increasing the safety awareness among the employees.  The Audit Committee, consisting of External experts, Heads of safety from all the units and the Head of the Corporate Safety, recommends for the CMD’s Shield in various categories; Safety, Housekeeping, Environment & Energy.