Beach Sand Exploitation Centre
Beach Sand Exploitation Centre one of the centres of the bangladesh atomic energy commission. It is mainly engaged in geological exploration and exploitation of valuable heavy minerals like zircon, rutile, ilmenite, leucoxene, monazite, garnet, etc from the beach sand of the bay of bengal. The Centre is located at Kalatali, about 5 km south of cox's bazar town, occupying about 4.25 ha of land with an administrative-cum-laboratory building, pilot plant, resthouse, housing colony and other auxiliary set-ups.
On detection of radioactive minerals like monazite by the erstwhile Geological Survey of Pakistan in 1961 the geologists of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission carried out preliminary survey work in 1967 and discovered that the beach sand contained valuable heavy minerals. Through systematic survey it was observed that a potential zone of heavy minerals existed along the entire coastal belt, mainly from Cox's Bazar to Badarmokam and in some islands of maheshkhali, kutubdia and Matarbari.
After a long search for two decades, geological survey work was completed in 1986 and seventeen deposits were discovered. Out of these, fifteen deposits are in the coastal areas and in the islands of Cox's Bazar district and the other two deposits are in Nijhum Dwip of hatiya upazila of noakhali district and in kuakata of patuakhali district. [Munir Ahmed]