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On August 18, 1950, Indian Rare Earths Limited(IREL) was incorporated as a private limited company -jointly owned by the Government of India and Government of Travancore, Cochin with the primary intention of taking up commercial scale processing of monazite sand at its first unit namely Rare Earths Division(RED), Aluva, Kerala for the recovery of thorium.
* After becoming a full fledged Central Government Undertaking in 1963 under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy(DAE), IREL took over a number of private companies engaged in mining and separation of beach sand minerals in southern part of the country and established two more Divisions one at Chavara, Kerala and the other at Manavalakurichi(MK), Tamil Nadu.
* After a gap of about 20 years, IREL commissioned its largest Division called Orissa Sand Complex(OSCOM) at Chatrapur, Orissa. Today IREL operates these four units with Corporate Office in Mumbai and produces/sells six heavy minerals namely ilmenite, rutile, zircon, monazite, sillimanite and garnet as well as various value added products. IREL is making profit since 1997-98 with its sales turnover reaching a peak exceeding Rs. 3600 million in 2006-07, with export component of above Rs. 1000 million.