Table of Contents
India possesses significant mineral resources, ranking among the top ten global producers of mica, barites, coal and lignite, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, and manganese.
India is gifted with important mineral resources. The country produces about 89 minerals out of which 52 are non-metallic, 4 are fuel minerals, 11 are metallic, and 22 are minor minerals. The value of the total India mineral production in the year 2000-2001 stood at Rs. 568070 million excluding the value of petroleum and natural gas.
India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) for the exploration and mining of non-core minerals like gold, silver, and diamonds, as well as in oil exploration, captive mining of coal and lignite, and coal processing (washing and sizing). To meet energy demand, India plans to upgrade the equipment and technology used in many of its mines, particularly in the coal sector. In 2020, the Indian Government passed an ordinance allowing commercial mining of coal in India and removing all restrictions on end-use of mined coal. The ordinance also removed barriers of required experience for companies to participate in coal block auctions.
India happens to be the largest producer of mica blocks in the world. India has also recently grabbed the second position as far as chromite production goes. Due to the recent spurt in the demand for chromite across the world the country has really managed to accelerate its production. India holds the 3rd rank in case of coal & lignite production, 2nd rank in case of barites production, 4th in case of iron ore, 5th in case of bauxite and crude steel, 7th in case of manganese ore and 8th position in case of aluminum production.
The Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited or MECL is the company which is responsible for exploring various minerals and ores using the processes of drilling and exploratory mining. It is a public sector company which takes up exploration for both the Government of India and other agencies on a contractual basis. According to the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited, India has still not fully explored its rich mineral wealth.
Lead and Zinc :
Lead is a relatively soft, malleable, blue-grey, heavy metal and is probably the earliest discovered metal that does not occur naturally in its pure state. Zinc is a brittle, crystalline, bluish white metal and is principally mined as the primary sulphide sphalerite, usually in association with galena.
Mostly Found in Indian Places are:
India has a combined zinc-lead production capacity of more than one million tones per annum.
- Rajasthan is endowed with the largest resources of lead-zinc ore in India.
- Resources are also established in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
- RampuraAgucha is zinc and lead mine in the Bhilwara district of Rajasthan, India.It has world’s largest deposits of zinc and lead.
- Refined lead is imported from South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, UAE and Myanmar and exported to the US, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam & Thailand.
Micas are a group of minerals whose outstanding physical characteristic is that individual mica crystals can easily be split into extremely thin elastic plates. This characteristic is described as perfect basal cleavage. Mica is common in igneous and metamorphic rock and is occasionally found as small flakes in sedimentary rock. It is particularly prominent in many granites, pegmatites, and schists and “books” (large individual crystals) of mica several feet across have been found in some pegmatites
- The three major types of mica found in India are: muscovite (potash or white mica), phlogopite (magnesium or amber mica) and biotite.
- Important mica bearing pegmatite occurs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana.
- Andhra Pradesh leads with 41% share in country’s total resources followed by
- Rajasthan (28%) □ Odisha (17%) □ Maharashtra (13%) □ Bihar (2%) and □ Small quantities in Jharkhand and Telangana.
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4,72.4%Fe), hematite (Fe2O3, 69.9%Fe), goethite (FeO(OH), 62.9%Fe), limonite (FeO(OH)·n(H2O),55% Fe) or siderite (FeCO3,48.2% Fe).
Ores containing very high quantities of hematite or magnetite (greater than about 60% iron) are known as “natural ore” or “direct shipping ore”, meaning they can be fed directly into iron-making blast furnaces. Iron ore is the raw material used to make pig iron, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel—98% of the mined iron ore is used to make steel.
- Odisha is the leading producer of iron ore accounting for 51% of total production followed by Chhattisgarh (17%), Karnataka (14%), Jharkhand (11%) and remaining (7%) production was reported from Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
- Geologically, iron ore is owned from following types of deposits. □ Banded Iron Formation of Precambrian age
- Archean schist belts: Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Goa (high grade deposits).
- Granulite terrain of South India:Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- Sedimentary Iron Ore Deposits of siderite and limonite composition (30–40% Fe) associated with Iron stone shales of Lower Gondwana age in coal fi eld areas of Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam
- Lateritic ores derived from the sub–aerial alteration of gneisses, schists, basic lava etc. under humid tropical condition. Deccan Trap, Chotnagpur gneisses (30–40% Fe)
- Apatite Magnetite Rocks of Singhbhum Copper Belt: Occur in form of a zone associated with granodiorite on the hanging wall side of Copper lodes.
- Titaniferous and Vanadiferous Magnetite deposits occurring in form of lensoidal bodies associated with intrusive ultramafi c – gabbroic rocks of Singhbhum (Jharkhand), Mayurbhanj, Kendujhar (Odisha) and Southern districts of Karnataka (Hassan and Tumkuru districts)
Manganese in the form of the black ore pyrolucite (manganese dioxide, MnO2) was used by the pre-historic cave painters of the Lascaux region of France around 30,000 years ago. In more recent times was used by glass makers to remove the pale greenish tint of natural glass.
In 1740, the Berlin glass technologist Johann Heinrich Pott investigated it chemically and showed that it contained no iron as has been assumed. From it he was able to make potassium permanganate (KMnO4), one of the strongest oxidizing agents known. Several chemists in the 1700s tried unsuccessfully to isolate the metal component in pyrolusite. The first person to do this was the Swedish chemist and mineralogist Johan Gottlieb Gahn in 1774. However, a student at Vienna, Ignatius Kaim, had already described how he had produced manganese metal, in his dissertation written in 1771.
Mostly Found in:
- South Africa – Kuruman area of Kalahari Basin
- Gabon – Moanda
- Australia – Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria
- Russia – Nikopol Basin, Urals, Western and Eastern Siberia.
- Brazil – The Serra doNavio and Corumba district of Mato Grosso.
- Mexico – Molango region.
Meteorites contain both iron and nickel, and earlier ages used them as a superior form of iron. Because the metal did not rust, it was regarded by the natives of Peru as a kind of silver. A zinc-nickel alloy called pai-t’ung (white copper) was in use in China as long ago as 200 BC. Some even reached Europe.
In 1751, Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, working at Stockholm, investigated a new mineral – now called nickeline (NiAs) – which came from a mine at Los, Halsingland, Sweden. He thought it might contain copper but what he extracted was a new metal which he announced and named nickel in 1754. Many chemists thought it was an alloy of cobalt, arsenic, iron and copper – these elements were present as trace contaminants. It was not until 1775 that pure nickel was produced by Torbern Bergman and this confirmed its elemental nature.
- Nickel occurs principally as oxides, sulphides and silicates in India.
- Important occurrence is nickeliferous limonite in the overburden of chromite in Sukinda Valley, Jajpur district, Odisha.
- In addition, nickel is found associated with uranium deposits at Jaduguda, Jharkhand and a process are being developed for its recovery.
- Resources are spread over in Singhbhum East district of Jharkhand and Jajpur, Keonjhar&Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha.
- It is found as oxide in Odisha which has 93% of the India’s nickel resources. In Jharkhand, nickel is found along with copper and uranium deposits.
- Nickel is also produced as a by-product of copper mining, as in the Ghatsila area of Jharkhand where nickel occurs in small quantities in the copper
Bauxite: [Bauxite ore is the world’s main source of aluminum]
Bauxite is a rock formed from a reddish clay material called laterite soil and is most commonly found in tropical or subtropical regions. Bauxite is primarily comprised of aluminum oxide compounds (alumina), silica, iron oxides and titanium dioxide. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s bauxite production is refined through the Bayer chemical process into alumina. Alumina is then refined into pure aluminum metal through the Hall–Heroult electrolytic process.
Bauxite ore is the world’s primary source of aluminum. The ore must first be chemically processed to produce alumina (aluminum oxide). Alumina is then smelted using an electrolysis process to produce pure aluminum metal. Bauxite is typically found in topsoil located in various tropical and subtropical regions. The ore is acquired through environmentally responsible strip-mining operations. Bauxite reserves are most plentiful in Africa, Oceania and South America. Reserves are projected to last for centuries.
- Aluminum must be refined from ore
Although aluminum is the most common metal found on Earth (totaling 8 percent of the planet’s crust), the metal is too reactive with other elements to occur naturally. Bauxite ore, refined through two processes, is the primary source of aluminum.
- Land conservation is a key industry focus
An average of 80 percent of the land mined for bauxite is returned to its native ecosystem. Topsoil from the mining site is stored so it can be replaced during the rehabilitation process.
- Reserves will last for centuries
Although demand for aluminum is increasing rapidly, bauxite reserves, currently estimated at 40 to 75 billion metric tons, are projected to last for centuries. Guinea and Australia have the two largest proven reserves.
- A wealth of bauxite reserves
Vietnam may hold a wealth of bauxite. In November 2010, the prime minister of Vietnam announced the country’s bauxite reserves may total up to 11 billion tons.
Places from where BAUXITE found in INDIA:
- Odisha alone accounts for 51% of country’s resources of bauxite followed by Andhra Pradesh (16%), Gujarat (9%), Jharkhand (6%), Maharashtra (5%) and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh (4% each).
- Major bauxite resources are concentrated in the East Coast bauxite deposits in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
- The world bauxite reserves are estimated at 30 billion tonnes and are located mainly in Guinea (25%), Australia (20%), Vietnam (12%), Brazil (9%), Jamaica (7%), Indonesia, Guyana and China (3% each). Major Bauxite Centres in India □
- Odisha: Kalahandi, Sambalpur,Bolangir and Koraput. □ Jharkhand: The patlands of Jharkhand in Lohardaga.
- Gujarat: Bhavnagar, Jamnagar in Gujarat.
- Chhattisgarh: Amarkantak plateau □ Madhya Pradesh: Katni-Jabalpur area and Balaghat.
- Maharashtra: Kolaba, Thane, Ratnagiri, Satara, Pune and Kolhapur.
- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa are minor producers of bauxite
Chrome ore Is an iron chromium oxide: FeCr2O4. It is an oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. Magnesium can substitute for iron in variable amounts as it forms a solid solution with magnesia chromite (MgCr2O4); substitution of aluminum occurs leading to hercynite (FeAl2O4). It is by far the most industrially important mineral to produce metallic chromium, used as an alloying ingredient in stainless and tool steels.
Chromite is found as orth cumulate lenses of chromitite in peridotite from the Earth’s mantle. It also occurs in layered ultramafic intrusive rocks. In addition, it is found in metamorphic rocks such as some serpentinites. Ore deposits of chromite form as early magmatic differentiates. It is commonly associated with olivine, magnetite, serpentine, and corundum. The vast Bushveld igneous complex of South Africa is a large layered mafic to ultramafic igneous body with some layers consisting of 90% chromite making the rare rock type, chromitite. The Stillwater igneous complex in Montana also contains significant chromite.
The only ores of chromium are the minerals chromite and magnesia chromite. Most of the time, economic geology names chromite the whole chromite-magnesiochromite series: FeCr2O4, (Fe,Mg)Cr2O4, (Mg,Fe)Cr2O4 and MgCr2O4. The two main products of chromite refining are ferrochromium and metallic chromium; for those products, the ore smelter process differs considerably. For the production of ferrochromium the chromite ore (FeCr2O4) is reduced with either aluminium or silicon in an aluminothermic reaction and for the production of pure chromium the iron has to be separated from the chromium in two step roasting and leaching process. Chromite is also used as a refractory material, because it has a high heat stability.
The chromium extracted from chromite is used in chrome plating and alloying for production of corrosion resistant super alloys, nichrome, and stainless steel. Chromium is used as a pigment for glass, glazes, and paint, and as an oxidizing agent for tanning leather. It is also sometimes used as a gemstone.
- More than 96% resources of chromite are located in Odisha, mostly in Jajpur, Kendujhar and Dhenkanal districts.
- Minor deposits are scattered over Manipur, Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
- At present, mining operations for chromite are restricted in the Sukinda ultramafi c belt, in the BaulaNausahi chromite belt in Odisha, in Hassan district of Karnataka and minor quantity is also produced in Maharashtra.
Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, derived from the Proto-Indo-European h₂erg: “shiny” or “white”) and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal.
- Mexico is the world leader in terms of silver production from mines, followed by countries such as Peru, Australia, China, Chile, Bolivia, USA and Russia among others.
- By states, largest resources in terms of silver ore in descending order: Rajasthan>Jharkhand>Andhra Pradesh>Karnataka.
- In terms of production, following states are the top producer of silvers in descending order: Andhra Pradesh>Bihar-Jharkhand>Rajasthan>Karnataka.