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With reference to India, consider the following statements:

  1. Monazite is a source of rare earths.
  2. Monazite contains thorium.
  3. Monazite occurs naturally in the entire Indian coastal sands in India.
  4. In India, Government bodies only can process or export monazite.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Explanation

Let’s analyse the statements:

  • Statement 1: Monazite is a source of rare earths. This statement is correct. Monazite is a phosphate mineral that contains rare-earth elements and is an important ore for thorium, lanthanum, and cerium.
  • Statement 2: Monazite contains thorium. This statement is also correct. Monazite contains small amounts of uranium and thorium, making it an important ore for thorium.
  • Statement 3: Monazite occurs naturally in the entire Indian coastal sands in India. This statement is partially correct. Monazite is found in placer deposits along the coasts of India, particularly in the coastal sands of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, and Kanyakumari districts. However, it is not present in the entire Indian coastal sands.
  • Statement 4: In India, Government bodies only can process or export monazite. This statement is correct. The processing and export of monazite are restricted to government bodies due to its radioactive nature and the presence of thorium, which is a prescribed substance under the Atomic Minerals Concession Rules.

Therefore, the correct answer is (b) 1, 2, and 4 only.

Learn more

  • Monazite: Monazite is a primarily reddish-brown phosphate mineral that contains rare-earth elements. It is often found in placer deposits, and India, Madagascar, and South Africa have large deposits of monazite sands. Monazite is an important ore for thorium, lanthanum, and cerium.
  • Rare earth elements: Rare earth elements (REEs) are a group of 17 chemically similar elements that include the 15 lanthanides, as well as scandium and yttrium. They have various applications in modern technology, such as in electronics, renewable energy, and defense industries.
  • Thorium: Thorium is a naturally occurring radioactive chemical element that has potential applications in next-generation nuclear power plants. India has significant thorium deposits and is working on developing thorium-based nuclear power technology as part of its nuclear power program.

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