Japan-based Toyota Motor Corporation has plans to set up a processing plant for rare earth chloride, one of the intermediate products of monazite. It is in final stage of discussions with Orissa Sands Complex (OSCOM), part of Indian Rare Earths Ltd, for setting up the plant near OSCOM's site at Matikahal, near Chhatrapur. The rare earth metals are used in manufacturing electronics items, magnet and automobile tools.
OSCOM is setting up a 10 million tonne per annum monazite processing plant within its existing unit in Orissa. The total investment was approved at Rs 90 crore in the eleventh plan however; the expenditure is expected to increase. OSCOM is in the process of acquiring environmental clearances from the Union ministry of environment and forests. The plant is expected to start production from 2011.
Currently, the Mining and Mineral Separation (MMS) plant of OSCOM is producing ilmenite and associated minerals by processing the rare earth minerals in the Ganjam coast. The present capacity of the plant is 220,000 tonne per annum and the capacity utilization is almost 100 per cent.