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Pradeep Koneru - Trimex to invest Rs.

4,000-cr in AP, produce minerals from beach sands Pradeep Koneru Trimex group will be investing Rs. 4,000 crore in Srikurmam Mineral Sands for extraction of minerals in the beach sands of Srikakulam district at three different locations – Srikurmam, Bhavanapadu and Kalingapatanam in the next 10 years. The project which was commenced with an initial investment of Rs. 250 crore is already producing 200,000 tons per annum (TPA) of Ilmenite, while it targets to produce Titanium by 2017. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Chairman of the company Prasad R. Pradeep Koneru said that the company, which was into logistics and minerals, had passed through the rigmarole of obtaining licenses, which took a very long time. It was almost a decade-long process from the conception level to the current stage, but it would consume an equal amount of time anywhere else too. Consequent upon the permission granted by the Centre, the State Government approved the proposal of the company to extract minerals from the beach sands. The extracted minerals had great demand in the international market and the company was making efforts to create demand for some of them even in the domestic market, his disclosed Pradeep Koneru Trimex was currently producing 6,000 TPA each of Rutile, and Zircon, 60,000 TPA of Garnet and 50,000 TPA of Sillimenite. The products would be used in the manufacture of paper, paints, ceramics, abrasives, cosmetics, insulation, leather, glass products, artificial gems, aircraft parts, artificial human joints and filtration media. Executive Director of the company Pradeep Koneru said that it would establish facilities for the production of Titanium Dioxide pigments for which there were application available in paints and allied areas. Besides, the Pradeep Koneru Trimex Group company was working on some value-added products, including sillimenite flour, sintered sillimenite grains, sintered mullet grains, pigment through sulphate route – 30,000-60,000 tons with an investment of about Rs. 1,250 crore-Rs. 1,500 crore. The companies would enhance its capabilities to produce and other minerals in the next phase. Though the beach sand mining and extraction of minerals from the beach sand was under the control of the Union Government, it had recently allowed private companies to exploit it. Though India had rich mineral reserves in

beach sands, it was currently producing only six per cent of the total production in the world. However, the Pradeep Koneru Trimex Group company would leave Monazite, consisting of Thorium content, for the Government, for private companies were not allowed to handle that.

The beach sand project would mine sand from the beach beyond 100 meters of the high tide line and purify it by using multiple levels of water treatment. After the mineral extraction, the sand was again pumped into the beach to refill the pits. Mr. Koneru Pradeep said that the company was looking at a 70-30 debt-equity ratio in the next few years of investment in different tranches.