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Mineral Resources in India

Mineral Resources in India are of great varieties and are found in abundance in almost all the parts of the country. Bauxite, limonite, and iron ore are some of the common mineral resources in India.

Mineral Resource

Mineral resources in India are widespread and of huge varieties. The most important mineral resources that India possesses include manganese ore, coal, bauxite, mica, iron, monazite, and salt. Further, there other varieties too that are not found in abundance. Like for instance, petroleum, chromites, gypsum, tin, mercury, copper, nickel, lead and zinc are not found in sufficient amount.

India is mostly rich in iron resources. Iron and coal, actually forms the basis of the machine age. As per estimation, India possesses virtually world’s one fourth of iron ore resources. Its capital is rich not only quantitatively but also qualitatively. A further significant mineral required by the ferrous industries is manganese, and it is also found in abundance in India. It is used to manufacture steel alloys. The country’s coal reserves are substantial.

Coal is abundantly available in West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. But unfortunately the quality coal that is required for raising coke as an essential input in steel industries is rather inadequate. However, the closeness of coal and the iron deposits has resulted in this shortcoming to certain extent. Limestone, another input in steel industry, is also abundant and prevalent.

India is affluent in bauxite - the ore for aluminium and mica used for electrical industries. India, on the other hand, is poor in non-ferric minerals like zinc, lead, copper and gold. It is also lacking in sulphur, which forms the foundation of modern chemical industry.

At certain point of time, India was insufficient in the manufacture of mineral oil and natural gas. However, persistent efforts, supported by modern technology, have helped everybody to trace considerable reserves that may last for at least another thirty to forty years. The water power resources and atomic minerals, however, can be depended upon. Iron, Manganese, Bauxite, Mica, Copper and Gold are some of the important mineral resources in India.

India has only one Diamond producing area, the Panna diamond belt, which spreads across the regions of Panna district, Satna, Chatarpur in Madhya Pradesh. Banda, Uttar Pradesh is also covered under this area.

Mineral resources in India can be categorised into two groups, namely metallic minerals and non-metallic minerals. Metallic mineral resources are the ones, which have the properties of lustre, solidity and hardness. These metals can be melted, drawn into wires and rolled into sheets. Usually metals exist as compounds in chemical combination with other minerals. Only few of these minerals occur in a pure state.

Gold, silver and copper are examples of such minerals. Metallic minerals are extracted from the earth in raw state, called as mineral ore. The major metallic minerals found in India are iron, copper, lead, zinc, tin, silver and gold. On the other hand, there are some minerals that do not have any metal in them and are used for the extraction of non-metals like sulphur, phosphorous, carbonate and so on.

Limestone, antimony, mica and gypsum salts are some of the significant non metallic minerals that are found in abundance in India. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are the major producers of iron ore in India.

The coal deposits in India mostly belong to the Gondwana age. Nearly three-fourths of the coal deposits in the country are situated in the Damodar River Valley. The places that are well connected with coal deposits are Jharia, Giridih, Raniganj, Bokaro and Karanpura. Minerals are basically exhaustible sources and thus they need to be preserved. The proficient utilisation, recycling as well as application of enhanced technology for withdrawal and refinement will help in preserving minerals.

The other river valleys in India that are connected with coal deposits are Godavari, Mahanadi River, Son River and Wardha River. Other significant coal mining areas of the country are in the Satpura mountain range and in Chhattisgarh plains of Madhya Pradesh. The coalfields of Singreni in Andhra Pradesh, Chanda in Maharashtra and Talcher in Orissa are also very large.

In India, Petroleum is found in Gujarat, Assam and Bombay High. Other areas like Manipur, West Bengal, Kutch, the Andamans, Tamil Nadu and Punjab are also considered as potential oil bearing regions. In Assam the major oil producing areas are Digboi, Sibsagar, Naharkatiya, Rudrasagar, Badarpur, Masinpur and Pallharia. Ankleshwar, Kheda, Vadodara, Khambat, Broach and Kalol are the chief areas in Gujarat. Moreover, oil has recently been unearthed in Godavary and Krishna basin, Khambat basin, Cauvery basin, etc.

Petroleum is transported from the field areas to other parts by various methods. There are many pipe lines through which oil flows from the oil fields to the refineries. In recent years, a number of pipelines have been lately constructed to connect the vital oil fields with refineries. Road tankers are also used for transporting oil to the local places. Coastal tanks and large freight are used to transport oil across the seawater. Mineral resources in India are considered as some of the crucial elements that are required for the country`s growth and development.

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