(Last Updated on : 24/07/2013)
Mineral resources in India are adequately rich, widespread and are of huge varieties which provide the nation with a strong industrial base. The most important mineral resources which India possesses include Manganese Ore
, Monazite, and Salt
. Further, there other varieties too that are not found in abundance. For instance, Petroleum, Chromites, Gypsum, Tin, Mercury, Copper
, Nickel, Lead and Zinc are not found in sufficient amount. India is mostly rich in iron resources. Iron and coal, actually forms the basis of the machine age. As per estimation, India possesses virtually world's one fourth of iron ore resources. Its capital is rich not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. A further significant mineral required by the ferrous industries is manganese, and it is also found in abundance in India. It is used to manufacture steel alloys.
The country's coal reserves are substantial. Coal is abundantly available in West Bengal
, Madhya Pradesh
and Andhra Pradesh
but unfortunately the quality coal that is required for raising coke as an important input in steel industries is rather inadequate. However, the closeness of coal and the iron deposits has resulted in this shortcoming to certain extent.
Limestone, another input in steel industry, is also abundant and prevalent. India is also affluent in Bauxite, the ore for Aluminium
used for electrical industries. India, on the other hand, is poor in non-ferric minerals like Zinc, Lead, Copper
. It is also lacking in sulphur which forms the foundation of modern chemical industry. At certain point of time, India was insufficient in the manufacture of mineral oil and natural gas. However, persistent efforts, supported by modern technology, have helped everybody to trace considerable reserves that may last for at least another 30 to 40 years. The water power resources and atomic minerals, however, can be depended upon. Iron, Manganese, Bauxite, Mica, Copper and Gold are some of the important mineral resources in India. India has only one Diamond producing area, the Panna Diamond Belt, which spreads across the regions of Panna District
, Chatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh. Banda, Uttar Pradesh
is also covered under this area.
Petroleum is perhaps the most valuable mineral resources in India and it is rightfully called Liquid Gold as Industry, agriculture and transport system largely depend on it. Petroleum is transported from the field areas to other parts by various methods. There are many pipe lines through which oil flows from the oil fields to the refineries. In recent years, a number of pipelines have been lately constructed to connect the vital oil fields with refineries. Road tankers are also used for transporting oil to the local places. Coastal tanks and large freight are used to transport oil across the sea-water.
Types of Mineral Resources in India
Mineral resources in India can be categorised into 2 groups, namely metallic minerals and non-metallic minerals. Metallic mineral resources are the ones, which have the properties of lustre, solidity and hardness. These metals can be melted, drawn into wires and rolled into sheets. Usually metals exist as compounds in chemical combination with other minerals. Only few of these minerals occur in a pure state. Gold, silver and copper are examples of such minerals. Metallic minerals are extracted from the earth in raw state, called as mineral ore. The major metallic minerals found in India are iron, copper, lead, zinc, tin, silver and gold. On the other hand, there are some minerals that do not contain metal in them and are used for the extraction of non-metals like Sulphur, Phosphorous, Carbonate and so on. Limestone, Antimony, Mica and Gypsum Salts are some of the significant non metallic minerals that are found in abundance in India. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar
, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra
, Tamil Nadu
are the major producers of iron ore in India.
Distribution of Mineral Resources in India
The coal deposits in India mostly belong to the Gondwana
age. Nearly three-fourths of the coal deposits in the country are situated in the Damodar River
Valley. The places that are well connected with coal deposits are Jharia
, Raniganj, Bokaro
and Karanpura. Minerals are basically exhaustible sources and thus they need to be preserved. The proficient utilisation, recycling as well as application of enhanced technology for withdrawal and refinement will help in preserving minerals. The other river valleys in India that are connected with coal deposits are Godavari River
, Mahanadi River
, Son River
and Wardha River
. Other significant coal mining areas of the country are in the Satpura mountain range
and in Chhattisgarh
plains of Madhya Pradesh
. The coalfields of Singreni in Andhra Pradesh
, Chanda in Maharashtra
are also very large.
In India, Petroleum is found in Gujarat
High. Other areas like Manipur
, West Bengal
, the Andamans, Tamil Nadu
are also considered as potential oil bearing regions. In Assam the major oil producing areas are Digboi
, Naharkatiya, Rudrasagar, Badarpur, Masinpur and Pallharia. Ankleshwar
, Khambat, Broach and Kalol are the chief areas in Gujarat
. Moreover, oil has recently been unearthed in Godavari and Krishna
basin, Khambat basin, Kaveri basin, etc.