(Last Updated on : 23/06/2017)
Mineral resources in India are adequately rich, widespread and are of huge varieties which provide the industrial centers in India
with a strong base. The survey of these resources is conducted by the Indian Ministry of Mines
, unless other departments of the Government of India
take the responsibility. This ministry looks after the various aspects of industrial mining
in India and also takes care of the way in which the mineral resources are used. This ministry does not perform any activity related to natural gas, petroleum and atomic minerals.
Its capital is rich not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.
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.
Metallic Mineral Resources: Metallic mineral resources are extracted from the earth in raw state and in this state they are called mineral ores. Usually metals exist as compounds in chemical combination with other minerals. Only few of these minerals occur in a pure state. The metallic minerals found in India are iron ore, copper, manganese ore, lead, zinc, tin, bauxite, chromite, silver and gold.
Non-Metallic Mineral Resources: Non-metallic mineral resources do not contain metal in them and are used for the extraction of non-metals like sulphur, phosphorous, carbonate, etc. Limestone, antimony, mica and gypsum salts are some of the significant non metallic minerals that are found in abundance in India.
Minor Minerals Resources: Minor minerals resources are building stones, gravel, ordinary clay and ordinary sand, other than sand used for given purposes in India. It also includes any other mineral which the Government of India may assert as minor mineral.
Fuel Minerals Resources: Fuel minerals resources are hydrocarbon-containing natural resources that are not derived completely from biological sources. Fuel minerals Resources produced in India are coal, lignite, natural gas and petroleum.
Atomic Minerals Resources: Atomic minerals resources are the minerals with radio-elements like uranium and thorium and those minerals in which the radio-elements are in minor to trace amounts. The radio- elements display the typical attribute of radioactivity and so the atomic minerals are also known as Radioactive 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
used in electrical industries. Petroleum is perhaps the most valuable mineral resource in India and it is rightfully called Liquid Gold as industry
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
, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra
, Tamil Nadu
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
and Bombay High. Panna Diamond Belt is a diamond producing area in India, which spreads across the regions of Panna District
, 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
, 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
, wind and sun
are serving as alternative to non-renewable resources of energy in India