Galla Aruna inaugurates three-day ninth international heavy minerals conference

The ninth international heavy minerals conference (HMC-2013) began on Wednesday with Minister for Mines and Geology Galla Aruna declaring that the State government would formulate new mineral policy to facilitate sanction of more mining leases and establishment of mining projects. She was speaking after inaugurating the three-day conference being held here – the first in India – under the aegis of Mining Engineers’ Association of India (MEAI).

Some 275 delegates, including 60 from Australia, Canada, Africa, US, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Europe are attending the conference.

The event with the theme ‘overcoming new challenges’ will discuss the technical, managerial, business opportunities and challenges facing the sector world-wide.

Ms. Aruna said Andhra Pradesh with a coastline of 900 km had 153 million ton heavy mineral beach sands from Ichhapuram in Srikakulam to Nizampatnam in Guntur district. She said the State was rapidly emerging as a prime destination for exploration of minerals by foreign investors and hoped that the valuable contributions made by the delegates at the HMC-2013 would be motivating factors for developing the mining industry in future.

State’s objective

She said the State’s objective was to have proper legislation as envisaged in the National Mineral Policy for accelerated development in the mining sector. She said: “We have also asked the industry to ensure mining is done responsibly and in an eco-friendly manner keeping ecological balance in mind and support local community with better livelihood and job creation.”

Mines and Geology Principal Secretary Sabyasachi Ghosh and Director of Mines and Geology B.R.V. Susheel Kumar said the State government was keen on encouraging investors in exploration of heavy mineral beach sand with eco-friendly technologies. HMC-2013 chairman T.V. Chowdary called for simplification of procedures for giving leases to exploration of beach minerals. Owing to cumbersome process, only a negligible amount was being explored, he stated.

President of MEAI and HMC-2013 principal convener Arjeth Bagchhi welcomed the gathering.

Prominent guests included Trevor Arran, global president, Tronox Mineral Sands, South Africa, Steve Gilman, Partner & Consultants, TZ Minerals International, Australia, P.S. Parihar, Director, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration & Research, India and R.N. Patra, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Indian Rare Earth Limited.