Scientists at the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research facility in Hyderabad, have reported the presence of lucrative rare-earth elements (REEs) in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.
These elements are key components in many electronic devices and whose industrial applications span sectors like imaging, aerospace, and defence.
The REEs are lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, yttrium, hafnium, tantalum, niobium, zirconium, and scandium.
NGRI principal scientist P.V. Sunder Raju told PTI that they found enriched quantities of the REEs in “whole rock analyses”. He added that deep drilling for at least a kilometre will help ascertain the consistency of the elements’ presence underground.
According to him, the most important end-use of REEs was to make permanent magnets, which have essential use in modern electronic devices like smartphones, computers, jet aircraft, and other products.
The discovery was part of a study funded by the Council, under a project called ‘Shallow subsurface imaging Of India for Resource Exploration’, or SHORE.