India is richly endowed with minerals like coal (non-coking); bauxite, (metallurgical), barites, iron ore, mica gypsum, chromites (fines and low grade), dolomite (non-flux grade) and limestone while it is deficient in minerals like asbestos, phosphates, lead, tungsten, tin, platinum group, gold and diamonds. Under the Constitution, mineral rights and administration of mining laws are vested in state governments. Central government, however, regulated development of minerals under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 and the rules and regulations framed under it. The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 came into force on 1 June 1958. A number of amendments to this Act were made in 1972 and major amendments were made in 1986.
Principal minerals found in the country, along with their estimated reserves are as follows.
In-situ resources of all grades of bauxite in the country are estimated at 233.3
crore tones. This places India in the fib slot in overall global bauxite resources Important deposits occur in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
Coal And Lignite
Coal is India's largest mineral resource and presently Indio is the fifth largest producer of coal in the world. Vast deposits of coal of Gondwana formations occur in West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. It also occurs in tertiary formations in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland. Total reserves of coal are estimated at 19,602 crore tons, comprising 16,632 crone tons of non-coking coal and 2,970 crore tons of coking coal. By contrast with India's coal reserves, lignite resources are relatively modest at 647 crore tons of which the bulk of the reserves are located in and around Neyveli in Tamil Nadu, Significant lignite resources also occur in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
Total reserves of in-situ chromites, including lumps and fines, are estimated at 8.8 crore tonnes. Deposits of economic significance occur in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. However, refractory grade reserves of chromites ore very meagre.
Major and important copper ore producing areas are in Singhbhum district (Bihar), Balaghat district (Madhya Pradesh) and Jhuojhunu and Alwor districts (Rajasthan). In addition small production of copper ore comes from Khammam district (Andhra Pradesh), Chitradurga and Hassan districts (Karnatka) and Sikkim.
Recoverable reserves of copper ore in the country are estimated at 28.03 crore tonnes with a recoverable metal content of about 28.51 lakh tonnes. Production of copper by Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) was estimated at 45,000 tonnes as against the Plan target of 50,000 tonnes. HCL is planning to expand production to 1,00,000 tonnes.
Total reserves and resources in the country ore placed at 12.75 lakh carats. Main diamond bearing areas in India are Parma belt in Madhya Pradesh. Ramallakota and Bangampalle conglomerate rocks in Kurnnool district and gravels of Krishna river basin in Andhra Pradesh. Presently the only diamond pipe under exploitation is at Parma
There are three important gold fields in the country, namely, Kolar field in Kolardistrict and Hutti gold field -iirifilichur district (both in Karnatka) and Ramagiri gold field in Anantpur district (Andhra Pradesh). Total in-situ gold ore reserves and resources are estimated at 88 lakh tonnes. Out of which Hutti account for bulk of gold ore reserves equivalent to about 50 lakh tonnes of recoverable gold. Fireclay India has vast resources of fireclay with identified reserves of 69.67 crore tonnes fireclay occurs in India mainly associated with coal beds of Gondwana and tertiary basins. Major fireclay producing states are Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
Total reserves and resources of gypsum III the country are placed at 120 crore tonnes, of which recoverable reserves are 23.9 crore tonnes. Bulk of domestic production of mineral gypsum comes from
Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Gujarat also produces small quantities.
Recoverable reserves of graphite are estimated at 31 lakh tonnes which occur in Kerala and Bihar and the rest in Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In addition conditional (submarginal) resources of 15.57 lakh tonnes of all grades have been estimated chiefly in Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. Principal producer of graphite in the country is Orissa.
Total reserves of ilmenite are estimated at 8.7 crore tonnes, mainly in beach sands on eastern and western coasts of India. Of the workable deposits of this type, those in Kerala, Orissa and Tamil Nadu are important.
India is favourably endowed with iron ore resources; recoverable reserves are estimated at 1274 crore tonnes; of which 969 crore tonnes are haematite and 314 crore tonnes magnetite ore. Haematite ore mainly occurs in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Large reserves of magnetite ore occur along west coast, primarily in Karnataka with minor occurrences in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The production of iron ore has been varying between 54-57 million tonnes per annumn (1992-93 to 1995-96) and exports between 26-27 million tonnes (over 50%) during the same period.
Lead-zinc ore resources occur in Rajasthan, Meghalaya, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Sikkim. However, 95 percent of the known resources are localized in south-central Rajasthan and the adjoining part of Gujarat. Total identified ore resources are placed at 16.75 crore tones equivalent to recoverable metal content of 24.2 lakh tones of llead and 78.8 lakh tones of zinc.
Ismorilone occurs extensively in the country and is produced in almost all states. Major producing states are Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Total recoverable reserves of limestone of all grades are estimated at 7,645 lakh tonnes.
Total reserves of manganese ore are estimated at 17.6 crore tonnes. Rich deposits of manganese ore occur in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan. Major producers are Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
India is world's leading producer of sheet mica and accounts for about 60 per cent of global mica trade. Economic deposits of mica occurTri three important belts in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Bihar which has the richest mica belt, accounts for almost 60 per cent of India's output in terms of value. Though large mica resources are existing, estimates have not so far been made because of irregular nature of pegmatites as well as erratic nature of pegmatities as well as erratic nature of mica mineralisation in pegmatities.
Nickel ore is found in Cuttack, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa. Main occurrence is in Sukinda belt, Cuttack district. Minor occurrences are also reported from Bihar, Manipur, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan. Total nickel ore resources are estimated at 29.4 crore tonnes.
Deposits of phosphorites are located in Chattarpur, Sugar and Jhabua districts of Madhya Pradesh, Udoipur, Jaisalmer and Banswara districts of Rajasthan and Dehro Dun, Tehri and Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Besides, apatite deposits of commercial importance are reported to occur in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Total recoverable reserves of rock phosphate are estimated at 11.5 crore tonnes of all grades and of apatite at I .3 crore tonnes.
Recoverable reserves of tungsten ore are placed at 239 lakh tonnes with WO, content of 55,000 tonnes. Tungsten ore occurs in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The only producing mine in the country is at Degana in Rajasthan.
India is having large resources of magnesite which is an important refractory mineral. Total recoverable reserves of magnesite are estimated at 23.3 crore tonnes. Presently, chief sources of magnesite are in the districts of Salem in Tamil Nadu and Almora in Uttar Pradesh. Deposits of magnesite also occur in Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts of Uttar Pradesh, Mysore and Hassan districts of Karnataka and in Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.
Kyanite And Sillimanite
Kyanite and Sillimanite are other important refractory minerals. Principle sources of supply of Kyanite are Singhbhurn deposits of Bihar and Bandara deposits of Maharashtra. A small quantity is also produced in Karnataka and Rajasthan. Total recoverable reserves of Kyanite are placed at 27 lakh tonnes. In addition 17.12 crore tonnes of conditional (submariginal) resources have also been estimated. Lumpy sillimanite is chiefly supplied by Meghalaya and Maharashtra with a unroll quantity from Madhya Pradesh. Besides sillimanite occurs in beach sand deposits of Kerala, Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Total recoverable reserves of sillimanite are placed at 507 lakh tonnes.
Other minerals occurring in significant quantities in india are bentonite (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nodu), corundum (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh), calcite (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat), Fuller's earth (Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh), felspar (Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh), garnet (Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh), pyrite (Bihar and Rajasthan), steatite (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar), wollastonite (Rajasthan and Gujarat) and zircon (beach sands of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Orissa) Quartz and other silica minerals are widespread and occur in almost all states. Besides the country have vast resources of building, dimension and ornamental stones such as granite, marble and slate. While granite is chiefly mined in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, marble is extensively mined in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Slate is produced principally by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.
Mineral Exploration And Development
A number of organisations are engaged in exploration and development of mineral resources in India. These include Geological Survey of India, Indian Bureau of Mines and a number of public sector undertakings like (1) Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL)-zinc and lead, (2) Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL)-copper, (3) Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML)-gold, (4) Bharat Aluminum Co. Ltd. (BALCO)-aluminum, (5) National Aluminum Co. Ltd. (NALCO). aluminum, (6) Mineral Exploration Corpn. Ltd. (MECL)-exploration of minerals and (7) Sikkim Mining Corporation-copper, zinc and lead.