Varun Group uncovers rare earth deposits in Madagascar blocks

New Delhi: Mumbai-based Varun Group, with interests in steelware and mining, said Tuesday it had discovered rare earth critical to the technology industry and titanium minerals in Madagascar.

The company said it has discovered a total of 266.8 million tonnes of heavy minerals in its ten exploratory and mining lease blocks in this south-eastern African country.

Heavy minerals are a class of ore deposits which are an important source of zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten, rare earth elements, the industrial minerals diamond, sapphire, garnet, and occasionally precious metals or gemstones.

The Group's subsidiary Varun Mines & Minerals Ltd, Mauritius, has acquired 1011 blocks in Madagascar and is in the process of acquiring a further 100 blocks, which have huge reserves of uranium and thorium, apart from traces of gold.

Each block covers an area of 2.5 km x 2.5 km.

Varun entered exploration and mining of thorium, gold, minerals and oil and gas in Madagascar when it acquired 6950 sq km on 99-year long leases.