It is a great honour for the heavy mineral mining and processing fraternity in India to host the IX Heavy Minerals Conference in the picturesque port city of Vishakapatanam during November , 2013. The biennial International conference is ninth in a series of conferences that focus on the heavy minerals industry, and will be organized for the first time in India by The Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI) in collaboration with and support from the Government, other professional organizations and industry. The conference has been held in such diverse places as Cape Town- SA Jacksonville-US, Fermantle & Perth - Australia and several locations in KwaZulu Natal-SA where this conference was born. Last conference was held in Perth , Australia. Each year we have chosen a venue which will appeal to the delegates. It therefore our pleasure to invite you to Vishakapatanam in the State of Andhra Pradesh , popularly known as the "City of destiny" and more recently as "Goa of the East coast".
India is known for its ancient heritage in mining and processing of several minerals and heavy minerals is no exception. Schomberg, a German chemist , discovered the heavy mineral deposits of Manavalakurichi in the then state of Travancore (now Tamil Nadu ) in 1909 which proved richer and economical compared to any other deposit in the world. Interestingly, Mineral sands then mined from rich seasonal Beach washings for only one mineral viz. Monazite to produce incandescence by impregnating the paraffin mantle in a solution of thorium and cerium compounds, lost its glory with the arrival of filament lamp. World War I gave the British an opportunity to sieze the German -sponsored company and Schomberg was arrested and deported to Madras. By the time monazite ceased to interest importers after 1920, the other minerals which were present in monazite concentrates as contaminants had gradually gained importance. First shipment of ilmenite from India was effected in 1922 and production expanded rapidly to almost 300,000 tonnes in 1940 contributing nearly 80 % of the world production. Thus India monopolized the Heavy mineral sand industry for several years before US, Canada, Australia and Africa established their dominance in Heavy Minerals after World-War II.