Authorities in eastern India have begun the process of legalising mica mining, after a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation last year uncovered the deaths of children working in illegal mines.
A three-month investigation in the mica-producing state of Jharkhand found at least seven children had died in just two months in illegal mines.
The shimmery mineral is used in car paint and cosmetics, with brands including BMW, Volkswagen, L’Oréal and Proctor & Gamble linked to Indian mines.
Child rights experts say legalising the mining of mica will allow the sector to be regulated, root out child labour, and ensure better wages and conditions for mine workers.
Jharkand’s labour department said it had found no evidence of child deaths, but has launched a public awareness campaign across the state to stop child labour.