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Metallic Minerals in India


India with diverse and significant mineral resources is the leading producer of some of the minerals. Of the 89 minerals produced in India, 4 are fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non-metallic and 22 minor minerals. The share of the mineral sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country is around 3.5 per cent while accounting for 10 per cent share in the index of industrial production. Though 80 % of the mines are in the private sector, yet 91% of the production in terms of size comes from the government owned mining ventures. Mining employs over 8,00,000 persons.

India is the largest producer of mica blocks and mica splitting; ranks third in the production of barites and chromites; 4th in iron ore, 6th in bauxite and manganese ore, 10th in aluminum and 11th in crude steel. Iron- ore, copper-ore, chromites, zinc concentrates, gold, manganese ore, bauxite, lead concentrates and silver account for the entire metallic production. Limestone, magnesite, dolomite, barites, kaolin, gypsum,apatite and phosphorite, stealite and fluorite account for 92 per cent of non-metallic minerals.

India's principal metallic minerals and their estimated reserves are:

IRON ORE: The total recoverable reserves of iron ore in the country are about 9,602 million tones of haematite and 3,408 million tones of magnetite. Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu are the principal producers of iron ore in the country.

LEAD AND ZINC: Total recoverable deposits of lead and zinc ores are around 199 million tonnes, including 2,390 thousand tones of lead metal and 9,866 thousand tones of zinc metal. Lead- zinc resources are located in Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim.

COPPER: The total recoverable reserves of copper in the country are 416.8 million tones equivalent to 4.37 million tones of metal content. Major and important copper deposits are located in Singhbhum district ( Bihar ), Balaghat (Madhya Pradesh) and Jhunjunu and Alwar, (Rajasthan).

BAUXITE: The total recoverable reserves of bauxite in the country are placed at 2,525 million tones. Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Bihar are the principal states where bauxites deposits are located.

MANGANESE: The total recoverable reserves of manganese ore 167 million tonnes out of which 40 millions are proved, 49 million tones probable 78 million tonnes of possible category. Main reserves are in Karnataka followed by Orissa , Madhya Pradesh, Maharshtra and Goa.

GOLD: There are three important gold fields in the country, namely, Kolar Gold Field, Kolar district, Hutti Gold Field in Raichur district (both in Karnataka) and Ramagiri Gold Field in Anantapur district (Andhra Pradesh). Total gold metal ore reserves are estimated at 177.9 lakh tonnes, with 68 tonnes of metal.

COAL: The coal reserves of India upto the depth of 1200 m. have been estimated by the Geological Survey of India as 2,11,593.61 million tones as on 1.1 2000. AndhraPradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are the main producers of coal in India.

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