Types of Mineral Resources in India
Mineral resources in India can be categorized into several groups. In India, about 88 minerals are produced, out of which 26 are metallic and non-metallic minerals combined, 55 are minor minerals, 4 are fuel minerals and 3 are atomic minerals.
Significance of Mineral Resources in India
Mineral resources in India play a vital role in the Indian economy. Mineral resources are exported, which help in earning foreign exchange. These resources also take care of the domestic needs in India. Minerals like iron and coal have formed the basis of the machine age in India.
Manganese, which is found in abundance in India is a significant mineral required by the ferrous industries. It is used to manufacture steel alloys. Limestone is also abundant in India and is utilized in steel industry. India is also affluent in bauxite, the ore for aluminium and mica used in electrical industries. Petroleum is perhaps the most valuable mineral resource in India and it is rightfully called ‘Liquid Gold’ as industry, agriculture and transport system largely depend on it.
Distribution of Mineral Resources in India
The distribution of minerals resources in India is uneven. India is mostly rich in iron resources. As per estimation, India possesses world's one fourth of iron ore resources. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are the major producers of iron ore in India.
The coal deposits in India mostly belong to the Gondwana age. The country's coal reserves are substantial. Nearly three-fourths of the coal deposits in the country are situated in the Damodar River Valley. Coal is abundantly available in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
In India, petroleum is found in Gujarat, Assam and Bombay High. Panna Diamond Belt is a diamond producing area in India, which spreads across the regions of Panna District, Satna, Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh and Banda in Uttar Pradesh.
Variation in the Amounts of Mineral Resources in India
The most important mineral resources which India possesses include manganese ore, coal, bauxite, mica, iron, monazite and salt. Petroleum, chromite, gypsum, tin, mercury, copper, nickel, lead, zinc and gold are not found in sufficient amount. The quality coal that is required for raising coke as an important input in steel industries is rather inadequate in India. The closeness of coal and the iron deposits has resulted in this shortcoming to certain extent. India is also lacking in sulphur which forms the foundation of modern chemical industry in India.
Preservation of Mineral Resources in India
Preservation of Mineral resources in India is important as minerals are basically exhaustible. The proficient utilization of these resources, recycling as well as application of enhanced technology for withdrawal and refinement can help in preserving minerals resources in India. Renewable or natural sources of energy like water, wind and sun are serving as alternative to non-renewable resources of energy in India.