Mineral Resources of India

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A mineral is a natural essence of organic or inorganic origin with substantial chemical and physical properties. India is supported by a rich diversity of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure. The bulk of the precious minerals is the product of the Pre-Palaeolithic age. Mineral resources provide the necessary base for the industrial development of the country. In this chapter, we will discuss the availability of different types of mineral and energy resources in the country.

Types of Mineral Resources

  1. Metallic Mineral 
    1. Ferrous (e.g- Iron, Manganese, etc)
    2. Non Ferrous (e.g- Copper, Bauxite, etc)
  2. Non-Metallic Mineral
    1. Fuel Mineral (e.g- Coal, Petroleum, Natural Gas, etc)
    2. Other Non- Metallic Mineral (e.g-Mica, Limestone, Graphite, etc)

Major Minerals in India UPSC

Different minerals embedded in rocks make up the earth’s crust. After adequate refining, metals are extracted from these minerals. Minerals are made up of homogeneous components. But rocks are usually made up of numerous minerals in various proportions. Only some rocks, such as limestone, are made up entirely of a single mineral.
Minerals can be found in the cracks, fissures, faults, and joints of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Veins are the lesser occurrences, whereas lodes are the bigger ones. To know more about minerals in India for IAS Exam, keep reading.

List of Major Minerals in India

Below mentioned are some major minerals of India important for UPSC 2022:

  • Uranium
  • Coal
  • Gold
  • Iron ore
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Tungsten
  • Diamond
  • Feldspar
  • Quartz
  • Mica

The major Mineral Producing States in India According to the Mineral Belts

In India, the majority of metallic minerals are found in ancient crystalline rocks on the peninsular plateau. Over 97% of coal deposits are found in the Damodar, Sone, Mahanadi, and Godavari basins. Petroleum deposits are found in the Assam, Gujarat, and Mumbai High sedimentary basins (located offshore in the Arabian Sea). In the Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basins, new deposits have been discovered. In India, minerals are concentrated in three large areas. There may be a few solitary occasional deposits here and there.

  • Plateau Region, North-Eastern India: Chhotanagpur (Jharkhand), the Odisha Plateau, West Bengal, and sections of Chhattisgarh are included in this region. It has a wide range of minerals, including iron ore, coal, manganese, bauxite, and mica.
  • The South-Western Plateau: This belt runs across Karnataka, Goa, and the uplands of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Bauxite and ferrous metals are abundant in this zone. However, there’s also high-grade iron ore, manganese, and limestone in there. Except for Neyveli lignite, this area is densely packed with coal reserves. The mineral deposits in this area are not as diverse as those in the north-eastern belt. Kerala possesses monazite and thorium resources, as well as bauxite clay. Iron ore reserves are found in Goa.
  • The North-Western Region: Minerals related to the Dharwar system of rocks are found along the Aravali mountains. Copper and zinc have always been important minerals. Rajasthan is abundant in construction materials such as sandstone, granite, and marble. There are also large reserves of gypsum and fuller earth. The cement industry uses dolomite and limestone found in this region as raw materials. Gujarat is well-known for its oil and gas reserves. Both Gujarat and Rajasthan have huge salt reserves.
  • The Himalayan belt is known to have copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, and tungsten reserves. Mineral oil resources can be found in the Assam valley. Offshore locations along the Mumbai coast are also rich in oil resources (Mumbai High).

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