Ashapura Minechem Ltd, the flagship company of the Ashapura group and well known as India's largest mine owner and exporter of bentonite. They are the world's sixth largest producer of Bentonite and the largest exporter of Bentonite and metallurgical grade Bauxite from India having nearly 3500 acres of Bentonite mines and 5500 acres of Bauxite mines under their control. The company has activation, milling and processing plants in several different locations in India. They are located at Kutch and Jamnagar in Gujarat, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Ranga Reddy in Andhra Pradesh. Ashapura Minechem Ltd was incorporated in the year 1982 and was promoted by Navnitlal R Shah. They explored Bentonite which finds application in various industries such as oil and water well drilling, foundries, iron ore pelletization, civil engineering, etc. In the year 1991, the company made a Marketing Alliance with Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan. In the year 1997, Ashapura Volclay Ltd, a join venture between the company and Volclay International Corporation, USA started to manufacture value added Bentonite products. During the year 1999-2000, the company had set up a R & D Centre near Mumbai. This R & D facility was considered among the world's best acquired from Shimadhu of Japan. The Bleaching Earth Project undertaken by Ashapura Volclay Ltd which is a joint venture company commenced their production from November 2001. The company acquired 51% stake in Bombay Minerals Ltd. In the next year, they acquired the remaining 49% stake in Bombay Minerals Ltd. Thus they become a wholly owned subsidiary company. The company also acquired Prashansha Ceramics Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Bombay Minerals Ltd. The company continue to pursue their strategy of geographic expansion and portfolio diversification. The company has diversified into business of other minerals such as Iron ore, Bleaching Clay, Kaolin, Barites in addition to their already existing mineral portfolio. In October 2007, the company through their wholly owned subsidiary Ashapura Miniechem (UAE) FZE, has entered Agreement with Alawi Enterprises LLC, Oman, primarily for mining, extracting, processing and sale of calcium carbonate and Gypsum. During the financial year 2007-08, the company's step down subsidiary, Ashapure Holding (UAE) FZE established a wholly owned subsidiary, Ashapura Maritime FZE in July 2007 which is engaged in shipping activities. Also, Ashapura Maritime FZE has incorporated an entity, Asha Prestige Company on June 10, 2008. The company established Ashapura Aluminium Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary for setting up the Alumina Refinery Project in collaboration with China Aluminium International Engineering Company Ltd has got the clearance form the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The company has established two Export Oriented Units in Jamnagar and Baraya for Bauxite and Bentonite respectively. The company has planned to commission their Kaolin project in Kerala by the end of the 2008. Then, the plant will be India's largest Kaolin processing facility with the capacity of 180000 tonnes.