India is fairly rich in minerals and has sufficiently large reserves of ferrous metals, coals and mica, manganese, bazuxite and thorium. India has very little reserves of mercury, tungsten, molybdenum, silver, cobalt, nickel, tin and Zinc. The production of petroleum, phosphate and sulphur falls short of its requirements. The minerals of India is unevently distributed and are localised in few areas. More than 90% of our mineral wealth is concentrated in the chottanagpur plateau region.
The major iron ore belts in India are:
• Orissa-Jharkhand belt: In Orissa high grade hematite ore is found in Badampahar mines in the Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar districts. In the adjoining Singbhum district of Jharkhand haematite iron ore is mined in Gua and Noamundi.
• Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt lies in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. Very high grade hematites are found in the famous Bailadila range of hills in the Bastar district of Chattisgarh. The range of hills comprise of 14 deposits of super high grade hematite iron ore. It has the best physical properties needed for steel making. Iron ore from these mines is exported to Japan and South Korea via Vishakapatnam port.
• Bellary-Chitradurga-Chikmaglur-Tumkur belt in Karnataka has large reserves of iron ore. The Kudermukh mines located in the Western Ghats of Karnataka are a 100 percent export unit. Kudremukh deposits are known to be one of the largest in the world. The ore is transported as slurry through a pipeline to a port near Mangalore.
• Maharashtra-Goa belt includes the state of Goa and Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Though, the ores are not of very high quality, yet they are efficiently exploited. Iron ore is exported through Marmagao port.
India possess about 20% of the world total reserves . second largest after the reserves of CIS. The total reserves of India consists of haematite or the red ores (9.6 billion tonnes) and the magnetite or the black ores (3.1 billion tonnes).
Gurumahisani and the badampahar group of mines in Mayurbhanj district, in Sundergarh districts.
Barajamda mines, Singhbhum district
Dallirajhara in Durg district and bailadila in Baster district
Lohara,Pipalgaon,Surajgarh region & Ratnagiri district
Bellary-Chitradurga-Chikmaglur-Tumkur belt and magnetite in kudremukh
Salem-Trichirapalli-North Arcot belt
Manganese: Manganese is mainly used in the manufacturing of steel and ferro-manganese alloy. Nearly 10 kg of manganese is required to manufacture one tonne of steel. It is also used in manufacturing bleaching powder, insecticides and paints. Orissa is the largest producer of manganese ores in India.
India is the world’s third largest producer, next only to the CIS and South Africa.
The Gondite is found in Keonjhar and Sundergarh dt; Kodurite and Khondolite in Koraput and Kalahandi districts; Lateritic deposits In Bolangir and sambalpur districts
Bellary, Chitradurga, Shimoga, Tumkur and North Kanara
Balaghat and Chindwara
Bhandara and Nagpur
Srikakulam and Vishakapatanam
Copper: The Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh produce 52 per cent of India’s copper. The Singbhum district of Jharkhand is also a leading producer of copper. The Khetri mines in Rajasthan are also famous.
Bauxite: India’s bauxite deposits are mainly found in the Amarkantak plateau, Maikal hills and the plateau region of Bilaspur- Katni. Orissa is the largest bauxite producing state in India with 45 per cent of the country’s total production . Panchpatmali deposits in Koraput district are the most important bauxite deposits in the state.
Mica deposits are found in the northern edge of the Chota Nagpur plateau. Koderma Gaya – Hazaribagh belt of Jharkhand is the leading producer. In Rajasthan, the major mica producing area is around Ajmer. Nellore mica belt of Andhra Pradesh is also an important producer in the country.
India is the largest producer of Mica in the world.
Gaya – Hazaribagh
Beawar,Ajmir,Banswara – Dungarpur belt,Bhilwara,Tonk and Kaunthal
Lead and Zinc: The reserves of lead and zinc is not adequate for domestic use.
Zarwar mines in Udaipur and Anguncha in Bhilwara districts
Banaskantha, Vadodara, Panchmahal and Surat
Meghalaya and Sikkim also have Lead and Zinc reserves.
Gold Distribution: 1. The entire production of Kolar gold fields in karnataka is sold to Reserve Bank of India 2. Hutti gold fields in Raichur (Karnataka) is used for industrial purpose through State Bank of India 3. Ramagiri gold fields in Anantpur (Andhra Pradesh) .
Coal: In India, coal is the most abundantly available fossil fuel. It provides a substantial part of the nation’s energy needs. It is used for power generation, to supply energy to industry as well as for domestic needs. India is highly dependent on coal for meeting its commercial energy requirements.Lignite is a low grade brown coal, which is soft with high moisture content. The principal lignite reserves are in Neyveli in Tamil Nadu and are used for generation of electricity. Coal that has been buried deep and subjected to increased temperatures is bituminous coal. It is the most popular coal in commercial use. Metallurgical coal is high grade bituminous coal which has a special value for smelting iron in blast furnaces. Anthracite is the highest quality hard coal. In India coal occurs in rock series of two main geological ages, namely Gondwana, a little over 200 million years in age and in tertiary deposits which are only about 55 million years old. The major resources of Gondwana coal, which are metallurgical coal, are located in Damodar valley (West Bengal-Jharkhand). Jharia, Raniganj, Bokaro are important coalfields. The Godavari, Mahanadi, Son and Wardha valleys also contain coal deposits. Tertiary coals occur in the north eastern states of Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
India is the 4th largest coal producer in the world.
Bokaro, Giridih, Karanpura
Singrauli, Pench valley
Namchik Namphuk, Makum , Najira, Janji
Petroleum: Petroleum or mineral oil is the next major energy source in India after coal. It provides fuel for heat and lighting, lubricants for machinery and raw materials for a number of manufacturing industries. Petroleum refineries act as a “nodal industry” for synthetic textile, fertiliser and numerous chemical industries. Ankeleshwar is the most important field of Gujarat. Assam is the oldest oil producing state of India. Digboi, Naharkatiya and Moran-Hugrijan are the important oil fields in the state.
Major oil fields in India:
Upper Assam or Naharkatia – Moran region : Major oil wells in this region are Digboi, Naharkatia, Moran, Lakwa , Sibsagar and Rudrasagar.
Bombay High : An offshore source lying 167 km to the North West of Mumbai.
Cambay Basin : This basin lies in the state of Gujarat and Major oil wells are Ankhaleshwar, Kosamba ,Kalol, Dhalka , Mahasena, Nawagam and Sobhasan
Digboi, Nunmati (smallest) and Bongaigaon
Koyali(largest in India)
Madras and Panangudi
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Natural Gas: Large reserves of natural gas have been discovered in the Krishna- Godavari basin. Along the west coast the reserves of the Mumbai High and allied fields are supplemented by finds in the Gulf of Cambay. Andaman and Nicobar islands are also important areas having large reserves of natural gas. The 1700 km long Hazira-Bijaipur - Jagdishpur cross country gas pipeline links Mumbai High and Bassien with the fertilizer, power and industrial complexes in western and northern India.
Electricity: Elecctricity is generated mainly in two ways: by running water which drives hydro turbines to generate hydro electricity; and by burning other fuels such as coal, petroleum and natural gas to drive turbines to produce thermal power.
Hydro electricity is generated by fast flowing water, which is a renewable resource. India has a number of multi-purpose projects like the Bhakra Nangal, Damodar Valley corporation, the Kopili Hydel Project etc. producing hydroelectric power. Thermal electricity is generated by using coal, petroleum and natural gas. The thermal power stations use non-renewable fossil fuels for generating electricity. There are over 310 thermal power plants in India.
Nuclear or Atomic Energy is obtained by altering the structure of atoms. When such an alteration is made, much energy is released in the form of heat and this is used to generate electric power. Uranium and thorium, which are available in Jharkhand and the Aravalli ranges of Rajasthan are used for generating atomic or nuclear power. The Monazite sands of Kerala is also rich in thorium.