Development of Mineral and Energy Resources Non-Ferrous Metallic Minerals, Bauxite, Mica – Distribution Part 5

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Non-Ferrous Metallic Minerals, Bauxite, Mica

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Non-Ferrous Metallic Minerals

Non-ferrous minerals are those which do not contain iron. They include gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, and zinc. These metallic minerals are highly important in day to day life. However, India is very poor and deficient in all of these minerals.

Bauxite

Bauxite is a non-ferrous metallic mineral. It is the ore from which aluminium metal is produced. India’s reserves of bauxite are sufficient to keep the country self-reliant. Aluminium extracted from the ore is used in making aeroplanes, electrical appliances and goods, household fittings, utensils etc. Bauxite is also used for manufacturing of white colour cement and certain chemicals. India’s reserves of bauxite of all grades have been estimated at 3037 million tonnes.

Production of Bauxite in India

Production of Bauxite in India
Title: Production of Bauxite in India

Year

Production (in thousand tonnes)

1951

68.1

1961

475.9

1971

1,517.1

1981

1,954.6

1991

4,977.0

2004-2005

11598.0

Source: India 2006: A Reference Annual p.570

Distribution

Bauxite has a wide occurrence in the country. Major reserves occur in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Uttar Pradesh.

Jharkhand accounts for 13 % of India’s total reserves and 37 % of the country’s total production. The important deposits are located in Palamau, Ranchi, and Lohardaga districts.

Gujarat contributes 12 % to the total production and equal percentage to the total reserves of the country. The deposits are found in the Bhavnagar, Junagadh, and Amreli districts.

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh accounts for 22 % of the total reserves of the country and 25 % of the total production. The three important bauxite ore regions in these states are Sarguja, Raigarh, and Bilaspur districts in the Amarkantak Plateau; Maikala range in Bilaspur and Durg in Chhattisgarh, Mandla, Shahdole, Balaghat, and Katni districts in Madhya Pradesh.

Maharashtra accounts for a relatively small production of the country, 18 % of the total, but possesses the second largest bauxite reserves consisting of 22 % of the country’s total reserves. Bauxite occurs in Kolhapur, Raigarh, Thana, Satara, and Ratnagiri districts.

In Karnataka the reserves of bauxite occur in the north-western parts of Belgaum district. Huge deposits of bauxite have been discovered in the Eastern Ghats in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, Salem, Nilgiri and Madurai district of Tamil Nadu, and Banda district of Uttar Pradesh also have workable deposits of bauxite.

India exports bauxite to a number of countries. The leading importer of Indian bauxite is Italy, followed by the U.K., West Germany, and Japan.

Non-Metallic Minerals

A large number of non-metallic minerals are found in India but only a few of these are commercially important. They are limestone, dolomite, mica, kyanite, sillimanite, gypsum, and phosphate. These minerals are used in a variety of industries such as cement, fertilizers, refractories, and electrical goods.

Mica

India is the leading producer in sheet mica. It was one of the indispensable minerals used in electrical and electronic industries till recently. However, its synthetic substitute has reduced our exports as well as production considerably.

Distribution

Although mica is widely distributed but workable deposits occur in three principle belts. They are in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Bihar and Jharkhand produce the high-quality ruby mica. The mica belt in Bihar and Jharkhand extends from Gaya district in the west through Hazaribagh and Munger district to Bhagalpur district in the east. Outside this main belt, mica occurs in Dhanbad, Palamau, Ranchi, and Singhbhum district. The state supplies more than 80% of the India’s output.

In Andhra Pradesh mica is found in a belt in Nellore district.

Rajasthan is the third largest mica producing state. The mica bearing zone, covers the districts of Jaipur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Ajmer, and Kishangarh. The quality of mica is inferior.

Besides these three belts, some deposits occur in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.

Mica mining in India was mainly done for export. The principal importing country was the U.S.A. which took about 50 % of the exports.

Limestone

Limestone is used in a wide range of industries. 76 % of the country’s total consumption is used in cement industry, 16 % in iron and steel industry, and 4 % in chemical industries. The remaining 4 % is used by sugar, paper, fertilisers, and ferro-manganese industries. Limestone with high silica content is preferred in cement industry.

Distribution

Madhya Pradesh possesses 36 % of the total reserves. Other major producing states are Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The remaining part comes from Assam, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Meghalaya. Karnataka contributes about 10 % of the total reserves. They are found in Bijapur, Belgaum, and Shimoga districts. In Andhra Pradesh the deposits are found in Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Krishna, Karimnagar, and Adilabad districts. Sundargarh district of Orissa, Rohtas district of Bihar, and Palamau district of Jharkhand also have limestone deposits.

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