Published on: April 6, 2023
Rare earth elements
Why in news? Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute has found large deposits of 15 rare earth elements (REE) in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district.
- REE of the lanthanide series are critical components in many electronic devices like cellphones, televisions, computers, automobiles used daily and in various industrial applications
- NGRI scientists conducted a survey looking for non-traditional rocks like syenites in Anantapur and successfully identified the host minerals.
- The major REE identified were allanite, ceriate, thorite, columbite, tantalite, apatite, zircon, monazite, pyrochlore euxenite and fluorite.
- The assessment of REEs with implications for metallogeny is currently underway at alkaline syenite complexes in Andhra Pradesh.
- Zircon of varying shapes was observed in the Anantapur district and the monazite grains, on the other hand, showed high-order various colours with radial cracks within grains, which were suggestive of the presence of the radioactive elements
- Some of the potential hubs for these REE-bearing minerals include Dancherla, Peddavaduguru, Danduvaripalle, Reddypalle Chintalchervuand the Pulikonda complex in Anantapur and Chittoor districts.
Strategic Importance of Rare Earth Minerals to India
- Rare earth minerals are very crucial for India in order to reduce the energy burden. It is an important component in the manufacture of hybrid vehicles, fuel cells and LEDs.
- It is indispensable in the manufacture of advance defence equipment.
- Essential for purifying the rivers flowing across the country.
- It is used in the manufacture of mobile phones, computers, digital networks, optical fibre cables and other IT gadgets which would help in our Digital India programme.