Staff Reporter

Nagercoil: The Central Government has allotted Rs.65 crore for the modernisation of Indian Rare Earth (IRE) Unit at Manavalakurichi in Kanyakumari district, said the Chairman cum Managing Director, S. Sivasubramanian.

Speaking to The Hindu he said that the Manavalakurichi plant played an important role in three stage nuclear programme of the country. This area has abundant monazite reserve and had supplied all along Monazite to IRE unit at Alwaye in Kerala for processing monazite to separate uranium and thorium values. This has helped in IREL stockpiling sufficient quantity of thorium for use as nuclear fuel in the immediate future. When the scientists switch over to thorium fuel, Manavalakurichi plant will play a crucial role.

The IRE was the pioneer in the world market for titanium products viz., ilmenite and rutile. This plant was giving direct employment to about 500 people. The raw material requirement of the plant was met from the beach washing available in the Arabian Sea coast stretching about 8 km in the Manavalakurichi – Colachel coastal belt and Midalam beaches in the district. The beach mining was being carried out through seven fishermen village societies by employing fishermen from the adjoining villages.

IREL was committed to provide a safe and healthy environment for the protection and the well-beings of the employees and the general public by means of safe and the healthy system of work.