• India is endowed with a rich variety of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure.
• On the basis of chemical and physical properties, minerals may be grouped under two main categories of metallics and non-metallics.
• Metallic minerals are the sources of metals. Iron ore, copper, gold produce metal and are included in this category. Metallic minerals are further divided into ferrous and non-ferrous metallic minerals. All those minerals which have iron content are ferrous such as iron ore itself and those which do not have iron content are non-ferrous such as copper, bauxite, etc.
• Non-metallic minerals are either organic in origin such as fossil fuels also known as mineral fuels which are derived from the buried animal and plant life such as coal and petroleum. Other type of non-metallic minerals are inorganic in origin such as mica, limestone and graphite, etc.
Mineral Belts of India
(1) North-Eastern Peninsular Belt:
• It is the richest mineral belt of India.
• Comprises of Chotanagpur plateau and Orissa plateau in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa.
• The Chhotanagpur plateau is known as the mineral heart land of India, also Ruhr of India.
• It contains large quantities of coal, iron, manganese, mica, bauxite, Copper, Chromites, and Kyanite.
(2) Central Belt:
• It is the 2nd largest mineral belt of India.
• Comprises of Chhattisgarh, M.P, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
• It has large deposits of Manganese, bauxite, limestone, marble, coal, gems (Panna), mica, iron ore, graphite, etc.
(3) Southern Belt:
• It comprises mostly of Karnataka plateau and contiguous T.N. upland.
• It lacks coal deposits except lignite at Neyveli (T.N.).
• It is more or less similar to northeastern peninsular belt as far as deposits of ferrous minerals and bauxite is concerned.
(4) South-Western Belt:
• Southern Karnataka & Goa are included.
• It has deposits of iron-ore and clay.
(5) North-West Belt:
• Extends along the Aravallis in Rajasthan and in adjoining parts of Gujarat.
• Important minerals – Copper, lead, zinc, Uranium, mica, bauxite, gypsum, manganese, salt.
(6) The Indian Ocean
• Along with availability of petroleum and natural gas in the off shore areas the sea bed contains manganese nodules, phosphorite nodules and barium sulphate concentration
• The best quality nodules are found in water depths of more than 4000m.
• Phosphate nodules are mainly found near Andaman Islands.
Distribution of minerals in India
– India has the vast resources of iron ore, 20% of total world reserves not only quantitatively but qualitatively too as it contain iron upto 65% and sulphur never above 0.6%.
a) Haematite- Iron content up to 86%; of Dharwar & Chuddapah system of peninsular India; also called “Red Ores”; contribute about 85% of total production.
b) Magnetite- Iron content of 60%; of Dharwar & Chuddapah system of peninsula; also called “Block Ores”; contribute about 8% of total production.
c) Limonite- Iron content of 30-50%; prominent constituent of laterite; contribute 7% of total production.
a) Orissa– Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, Cuttak, Karaput.
b) Jharkhand– Singahbhum- Notu- Buru, Noamundi, Ansira Baru, Brajamda, Gua, Sasangda.
c) M.P– Bastar- Bailadila, Raoghat, Aridongri; Durg- Dhalli-Rajhara.
d) Goa (Black iron /Magnetite): North Goa: Pirna- Adolpale- Asnora; Central Goa: Tolsai- Dongarvado; South- Goa: Borgadongar, Netarlim,.
e) Karnataka: Bellary (Sandur-Hospet area), Chikmanglur, Kemmangundi(in Bababudan Hills), Kudremukh, Shimonga.
f) Andhra Pradesh: Jaggayapeta, Ramallakota, Veldurti, Nayudupetta, Baygarm.
g) T.N.: Coimbatore— Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramnathpuram districts.
h) Maharashtra– Chandrapur, Ratnagiri.
• MANGANESE- ORE
– In India a major part of its deposit occurs in the form of sedimentary stratified metamorphic deposits of Gondite & Kodurite series in the Dharwar system of Peninsula which holds 90% of total reserves. India is the 3rd largest producer.
a) Psilomelane : It has-manganese content around 50%.
b) Bronite: Manganese content varies between 52-54%.
c) Manganite : Manganese content’s less than 50%.
d) Hosmanite: Manganese content is less than 40%.
e) Polianite: Manganese content is less than 40%.
a) Orissa: Sundargarh, Kalahandi (Nishikhal), Koraput (Kutinga), Bolangir, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj.
b) Maharashtra: Nagpur (Kodergaon, Gumgaon, Ramdongiri), Bhandara, Ratnagiri.
c) Karnakata: Shimoga, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Bellary, N. kanara.
d) Andhra Pradesh: Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam
e) M.P.: Balaghat, Chindwara, Jhabua, Jabalpur.
f) Gujarat: Panchmahal.
g) Jharkhand: Singhbhum.
– Used for producing “Dasomium” which is used for producing stainless steel.
a) Orissa: Contributes 90% of the country’s total production, main centers are Sukinda (between Daiteri & Mahagiri Range) in cuttak, Nausahi in Keonjhar.
b) Karnataka: 2nd largest producer.
d) Jharkhand: Singhbhum
e) T.N.: 96% of cromite is exported to Japan and the rest to Australia.
a) Jharkhand- Sahabad (Amjhor, Kasisiyakoh, Kurriari).
b) T.N. – Arcot (Polur), Nilgiri (Pandalur- Devala- Nadghani region).
c) Karnataka – N. Kanara (Kaiga), Chittradurga (Indldhal).
d) Himachal Pradesh – Ashmi river.
e) Rajasthan- Sikar.
f) Meghalaya- Khasi, Jaintia.
– It is a silvery metal which does not gather rust. It is therefore, much useful for plating purposes.
– Hardness and high malleability, high tensible strength, great elasticity, and resistance to abrasion, shock and corrosion are its special qualities. Nickel is therefore, largely used in ornament, aircraft, automobiles, industrial machinery etc.
– Occurrence in India
a) Cuttak & Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa have the major reserves of Nickel. The total reserves is of 5.8% crore tonnes of which 4.08 crore tonnes are in Kausa block and 1.5% crore tonnes in Saruabil – Sukaragi area. Sirkinda is another famous mine.
b) Some amount is also produced in Maharashtra, J&K, M.P.
c) India imports nickel to fulfill its domestic demand.
– Its importance is due to the toughness, strength, hardness, and resistance to abrasion which it engenders in tool steels which retain their strength and efficiency at very high temperatures (3375°C) and speed. Tungsten carbide is a substance second only to diamond in hardness.
– Tungsten, also known as ‘high speed steel’, is highly desirable for valves in internal-combustion engines. It is also used in cold chisels, hack saws, files, razor blades, springs, armour plate, and armourpiercing shells.
– The most important and known use of tungsten is as a filament in electric light bulbs. Tungsten has high electric resistance and a very high melting point which allows a high degree of efficiency in the conversion of electricity into light.
– Principal Ore: Wol-framite and schedite.
– Occurance- Deganal near Rawat Hills in Rajasthan.
– These deposit are mainly associated with laterite soil, formed in the Tertiary period.
– Up to 1988 India was an importer of aluminium but in 1993 India has become an important exporter of alumina, mainly to Italy, Germany, U.k., Japan.
– India contributes 14% of the world’s output which is second largest in the world after Australia.
a) M.P.: Amarkantak Plateau- Sargujar, Raigarh, Bilaspur; Maikala Range – Balaghat; Katni Range – Jabalpur.
b) Jharkhand: Palamu, Lohardagga, Ranchi, Sahabad (Netarhat Plateau).
c) Gujarat: Jamnagar, Khaira, Kutch.
d) Maharashtra: Kolhapur, Kolaba, Satara, Ratnagiri,
e) Karnataka: Belgaum (Karle Hills, Jamboti, Bakur- Navge- Ridge)
f) T.N.: Salem, Nilgiri, Madurai ( Palni Hills, Kodaikanal Hills), Coimbatone (Sandabkuli).
g) Goa: Quepem, Canacora.
– The development of electrical industries gave rise to unprecedented growth of copper industry, because of its conductivity of electrical energy, ductibility, and malleability.
– Copper plays a basic role in modem facilities for light; power and heat, in telephone, telegraph, and radio, in automobiles, railroad equipment, aeroplanes, and ships in refrigerators and other household appliances, and in weapons.
– It is also used for roofing, plumbing, hardware, utensils, jewellery, and decorative items.
– Copper occurs in three forms: (i) as native metal, in igneous rocks; (ii) as oxides and (iii) as sulphides. Although, sulphides have very little copper content (1 to 3 per cent), yet, 90% of the world’s total output is obtained as sulphides.
– Porphyries or pyrites rocks contain sulphides and oxides of copper. Copper minerals occur mostly in veins, therefore, the ore as mined contains a high percentage of rock material known as ‘gangue’.
– Copper ores in India are found as sulphides (Chalcopyrite, Chalcocite , Bronite), Oxide (Cuprite) and Carbanates (Malachite & Azurite).
– They generally occur in veins and in peninsular India in highly metamorphosed rocks.
a) Jharkhand – Singhbhum ( 50% of total country’s reserves at Mosabani, Rakha, Dhobani, Rajdah, Surdah, Pathargara, Tamapahar, Turamdih), Lota- pahar- Fault.
b) Rajasthan – Khetri- Singhana Area (Kolihan, Mandhan, Akwali, Berkhera), Kho- Dariba Area, Delwara- Kerovle Area.
c) M.P. – Balaghat (Malanjkhand, Madarkhand)
• ZINC and LEAD
– The chief use of zinc is for galvanizing or coating iron and-steel to ‘make it resistant to rust.
– Another important use of zinc is in the form of alloys, for die casting, in which the molten metal is cast in steel dies to form small automobile and machinery parts and hardware items of various shape.
– The major zinc material is sphalerite a combination of zinc and sulphur. Zinc content of ores generally ranges from 2 to over 12 percent.
– It can be easily rolled or hammered into sheets, but unlike copper or iron, it lacks ductility, so it cannot be drawn out into wire.
– Its resistance to corrosion makes it exceptionally valuable for plumbing fixtures, storage batteries and for cable, widely used in telegraph and telephone industries.
– Galena, a combination of lead and sulphur is the principal ore of lead. Cerussite and anglesite are the other important lead minerals.
a) Rajasthan – Zawar deposit of Udaipur(Mochia-Mogra,Balaria, Zawarmala,Baroi,Baba-Hill), Taragarh Hill area (lead ore), Ajmer (Taragarh, Ganeshpura, sawar), Alwar (Jodhawas).
b) Andhra Pradesh – Zangamarajupalle (in Chuddapah district)
c) Bihar – Bhagalpur (Dudiar, Gauripur)
d) Jharkhand – Hazaribagh (Hatasu, Parasia), Santhal. Paragana (Panchpahar, Bhairkuhi, Sankera)
– Gold is used extensively for jewelley and many other articles, and smaller amounts are used in dentistry the making of glass and porcelain, in dyes, in medicine; and in other industries.
– Generally found in veins or reefs of quartz and sometime associated with iron & Copper sulphides.
– Gold occurs in nature as native gold. It may be found as a constituent of solid rock (a lode deposit), as flakes, grains, or nuggets of native gold in sands and gravels (a placer deposit) eroded from the original merit-rock.
– Shaft tunnel mining is required in the first case, whereas placer mining is used in the second. Rich gold ores may contain 4 to 6 ounces of gold per tonne.
a) Karnataka- Kolar Gold field/KGF (since 1871 when mining first started in Ooregum mines, Marikuppam quartz vein bearing gold, Champion, Nandidroog, Mysore),Hutti, Topuldedi, wondalli.
b) Andhra Pradesh- Ramagiri Gold field (Anantapuram district).
c) Jharkhand- alluvial gold in the beds of Garra-Nadi, S-Koyel, Sanjai, Sona-Nadi, Subarnarekha rivers in Singhbhum district.
d) Kolar & Hutti goldfields all together produce 98% of total country production.
– In Nature, silver mostly occurs as sulphides. It rarely occurs in pure form. It is often mixed with zinc blende, galena (lead), and copper pyrites.
– It is used for making coins, jewellery, and decorative items, in silver plating, electroplating, and in several other industries.
a) Produced as by product during the smelting of galana, also produced from lead ore of Kurnool, Cuddapah and Guntur of Andhra, Singhbhum & Ranchi of Jharkhand and Vadodara of Gujarat. Quartzites of Mysore gold field and cupriferous pyrites of Chitradurga are also yield some amount of silver.
– There are several kinds of mica, important being muscovite (white colour), phlogopite (yellow colour), and biotite (black coloured).
– The two important ores found in India are Muscovite and Biotite.
– It is non conductor therefore, makes an ideal electrical insulator. It is used in the electrical industry and hardly has it had a substitute.
a) Jharkhand- A belt existing over 150 km in length and 20-22 km in width from Gaya in west through Hajaribag and Mungar districts to Bhargalpur districts in the east; Kodarma, Damchanch, Maenodils, Parsabad, Tisri, Mohesari, Chakai are the main centres. Kodarma is the world largest Mica market. Ruby – mica & Bangal- mica,which is of high quality is found in Jharkhand.
b) Andhra Pradesh- Gudur , Sangam & Nellore are the main producing regions of Green- mica, also called Electrical- mica (lightest of all types).
c) Rajasthan- chief mining centres are Barla, Naukhand. Sohlenwara, Barani, Palmin in Tonk and Jaipur districts. Bhilwara is also the important centre. In Rajasthan green or pink colour high quality mica is found.
– Consumption of limestone in the country: Cement industry 67% (of higher silica content limestone); Iron & steel industry – 16% and Chemical industry- 4%.
– Types of Limestone and their Distribution
A. Cement-Grade Limestone
a) Andhra Pradesh – (13 of total reserves)- Cuddapah, Guntur, Krishna, Khammam, Kurnool, Godavari
b) Karnataka-(1/3 of total reserves) Gulbarga, Bija-pur, Shimoga.
c) Gujarat- (13% of total reserves)- Junagarh, Amreli, Kutch, Banas- Kantha, Surat.
d) Rajasthan – (6% of total reserves) – Ajmer, Jaipur, Pali, Madhopur, Banswara, Jodhpur, Bundi
B. Flux-Grade Limestone
a) M.P- (36% of the total reserves)- Belaspur, Jabalpur, Rewa, Satna, Raipur.
b) Meghalaya- (30% of the total reserves) Khasi & Jaintia Hillls.
– Cryostile and Amphibole varieties of asbestos are found in India.
– Asbestos has the fibrous structure and has a great economic importance as it has the capacity to be separated quickly into fine filaments of high tensile strength and its great resistance to fire.
– State-wise Production as % of total production – Rajasthan> Andhra > Karnataka.
a) Rajasthan- Ajmer, Bhilwara, Dungarpur, Pali, Sirohi, Udaipur.
b) Karnataka- Gopalpur, Mavinhalli, Hassan, Mandya, Shimoga, Chikmanglur.
c) Andhra Pradesh- Cudapah, Anantapur, Mehbubnagar.
d) Jharkhand- Singhbhum, West Bengal, Purulia.
– Used in the manufacturing of bricks, refracting fitting for the electrical appliances.
a) Meghalaya- Sonapahar, Nagpur, Nangbain in the Nongtoin area.
b) M.P.- Sidhi & Reewa.
c) Maharashtra- Bhawara, Nagpur.
d) T.N.- Coimbatore, South Arcot.
e) Kerala- Palghat, Kottayam.
– India has the largest reserves of Kyanite in the world.
a) Jharkhand- A belt extending from Lapsa Buru to Kharasawan in Saraikala. with the important mines at Lapsa-Buru, Ghagidih, Bachia- Bakro & Mauy aluka.
b) Maharashtra- Pahergaon & Pipalgaon in Sakohi Tehsil and Gorkha- Buranga and Asvalpain in Bhandara districts.
– About 75% of total salt produced in India is manufactured from saline sea- water by the process of solar evaporation.
– Production as % of total production-Gujarat> T.N.>Rajasthan.
– Occurrence India
a) Sea-salt- Mithapur, Jamnagar, Dharsana, Okha, Bulsar in Gujarat; Bhandrup, Uran, Bhayandar in Maharashtra; Madras & Taticorin in T.N.
b) Salt- lake- Sambhar, Didwana, Pachbhadra, Lankaesara lakes in Rajasthan.
c) Rock-salt- mined at present in Mandi District at Drang & Guna in Himachal Pradesh.
– In the South-west tip of India on the Kerala and T.N. cost,an extremely rich minerals like Ilmenite and Monazite.
– Ilmenite- from Quilon to Kanyakumari
– Ilmenite and Rutire are by- products in the extraction of monazites.
Problems posed by mineral resources
• Depletion of Mineral
• Rapidly growing mining activity has rendered large agricultural tracts almost useless.
• Miners have to work under most hazardous conditions.
• Many mineral producing areas lead to air and water pollution.
• Huge displacement of tribal people.
Conservation of mineral resources
• New researches should be undertaken to find out and develop replacement minerals for use in place of scarce minerals which are in short supply and are going to be depleted soon.
• Researches should be carried on to develop new technology which should avoid wastage and promote maximum utilization of by- products
• There should be curbing on wastage mining methods that deplete the environment too
• Use of alternate sources of energy like solar energy, hydroelectric energy, etc.
• Walking on a path that leads to sustainable development.
• Use of renewable sources of energy.
• Avoid over-exploitation of the mineral resources.
• Use of biogas as a fuel for cooking instead of the non-renewable sources of energy.
Sustainable mining is defined as “Mining that is financially viable; socially responsible; environmentally, technically and scientifically sound; with a long term view of development; uses mineral resources optimally; and, ensures sustainable post-closure land uses. Also one based on creating long-term, genuine, mutually beneficial partnerships between government, communities and miners, based on integrity, cooperation and transparency”.
• Mining operations that have a broad-based social license to operate- creating lasting social and economic wealth which will outlast the life of the mine.
• Environmentally, technically and scientifically sound implying proper management of natural resources.
• Uses mineral resources optimally.