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Minerals and Energy Resources of India- NCERT Notes UPSC
Jun 07, 2022
India is endowed with a rich variety of minerals and energy resources due to its varied geological structure. The vast alluvial plain tract of north India is devoid of minerals of economic use. The mineral resources provide the country with the necessary base for industrial development.
Read this detailed article and get yourself acquainted minerals and energy resources with the important terms and concepts to ace your civils Preparation.
A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties.
Types of Mineral Resources
On the basis of Chemical and Physical Properties: Minerals may be grouped under metallics and non-metallics:
Classification of Minerals
Characteristics of Minerals
Metallic Minerals: They are the sources of metals. It includes Iron ore, copper, gold produce metal. Metallic minerals are further divided into:
Ferrous: All those minerals which have iron content are ferrous such as iron ore itself.
Non-Ferrous: Those which do not have iron content such as copper, bauxite, etc.
They are either organic in origin such as fossil fuels also known as mineral fuels which are derived from the buried animal and plant life such as coal and petroleum.
Other type of non-metallic minerals is inorganic in origin such as mica, limestone and graphite, etc.
These are unevenly distributed over space.
There is inverse relationship in quality and quantity of minerals i.e., good quality minerals are less in quantity as compared to low quality minerals.
All minerals are exhaustible over time as these take long to develop geologically, and they cannot be replenished immediately at the time of need.
Distribution of Minerals Resources in India
Most of the metallic minerals in India occur in the Peninsular Plateau region in the old crystalline rocks.
Over 97 per cent of coal reserves occur in the valleys of Damodar, Sone, Mahanadi, and Godavari.
Petroleum reserves are located in the sedimentary basins of Assam, Gujarat and Mumbai High i.e., offshore region in the Arabian Sea. New reserves have been located in the Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basins.
Most of the major mineral resources occur to the east of a line linking Mangalore and Kanpur.
Concentration of Minerals in three Broad Belts in India
The North- Eastern Plateau Region
It covers Chotanagpur (Jharkhand), Odisha Plateau, West Bengal, and parts of Chhattisgarh.
It has variety of minerals viz. iron ore coal, manganese, bauxite, mica.
The Southern-Western Plateau Region
This belt extends over Karnataka, Goa and contiguous Tamil Nadu uplands and Kerala.
This belt is rich in ferrous metals and bauxite and also contains high grade iron ore, manganese, and limestone.
This belt lacks in coal deposits except Neyveli lignite.
This belt does not have as diversified mineral deposits as the north-eastern belt.
Kerala has deposits of monazite and thorium, bauxite clay and Goa has iron ore deposits.
The North-Western Region
This belt extends along Aravali in Rajasthan and part of Gujarat and minerals are associated with Dharwar system of rocks.
Major Minerals: Copper, zinc.
Rajasthan is rich in building stones i.e., sandstone, granite, marble.
Gypsum and Fuller’s earth deposits are also extensive.
Dolomite and limestone provide raw materials for cement industry.
Gujarat is known for its petroleum deposits.
Gujarat and Rajasthan both have rich sources of salt.
The Himalayan belt is another mineral belt where copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, and tungsten are known to occur. They occur on both the eastern and western parts. Assam valley has mineral oil deposits. Besides oil resources are also found in off-shore-areas near Mumbai Coast (Mumbai High).
Ferrous minerals such as iron ore, manganese, chromite, etc., provide a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries.
India has the largest reserve of iron ore in Asia.
The two main types of ore found in India are haematite and magnetite which has great demand in international market due to its superior quality.
The iron ore mines occur in close proximity to the coal fields in the North-Eastern plateau region of India which adds to their advantage.
About 95 per cent of total reserves of iron ore is located in the States of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Iron ore occurs in a series of hill ranges in Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj and Jhar.
Important Mines: Gurumahisani, Sulaipet, Badampahar (Mayurbhaj), Kiruburu (Kendujhar) and Bonai (Sundergarh).
It has some of the oldest iron ore mines and most of the iron and steel plants are located around them.
Important Mines: Noamundi and Gua are located in Poorbi and Pashchimi Singhbhum districts. This belt further extends to Durg, Dantewara and Bailadila.
Dalli, and Rajhara in Durg are the important mines of iron ore in India.
The iron ore deposits occur in Sandur -Hospet area of Ballari district, Baba Budan hills and Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district and parts of Shivamogga, Chitradurg and Tumakuru districts.
Iron Mining Regions: The districts of Chandrapur, Bhandara and Ratnagiri.
Iron Mining Region: Karimnagar and Warangal district of Telangana,
In Andhra Pradesh:
Iron Mining Region: Kurnool, Cuddapah and Anantapur districts.
In Tamil Nadu:
Iron Mining Region: Salem and Nilgiris districts.
Manganese is an important raw material for smelting of iron ore and also used for manufacturing ferro alloys.
Manganese deposits are found in almost all geological formations and it is mainly associated with Dharwar system.
Odisha is the leading producer of Manganese.
Major mines are located in the central part of the iron ore belt of India, particularly in Bonai, Kendujhar, Sundergarh, Gangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi and Bolangir.
Karnataka is another major producer.
The mines are located in Dharwar, Ballari, Belagavi, North Canara, Chikkmagaluru, Shivamogga, Chitradurg and Tumakuru.
Maharashtra is also an important producer of manganese.
They are mined in Nagpur, Bhandara and Ratnagiri districts.
The disadvantage to these mines is that they are located far from steel plants.
The manganese belt of Madhya Pradesh extends in a belt in Balaghat-Chhindwara-Nimar-Mandla and Jhabua districts.
Telangana, Goa, and Jharkhand are other minor producers of manganese.
India – Metallic Minerals (Ferrous)
Non- Ferrous Minerals
India is poorly endowed with non-ferrous metallic minerals except bauxite.
Uses: Bauxite is the ore used in manufacturing of aluminium.
It is found mainly in tertiary deposits and is associated with laterite rocks occurring extensively either on the plateau or hill ranges of peninsular India and also in the coastal tracts of India.
Odisha happens to be the largest producer of Bauxite.
Kalahandi and Sambalpur are the leading producers. The other two areas which have been increasing their production are Bolangir and Koraput.
The patlands of Lohardaga in Jharkhand have rich deposits.
Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (M.P.) and Maharashtra are other major producers.
Bhavanagar, and Jamnagar in Gujarat have the major deposits.
Chhattisgarh has bauxite deposits in Amarkantak plateau.
Katni-Jabalpur area and Balaghat in M.P. have important deposits of bauxite.
Kolaba, Thane, Ratnagiri, Satara, Pune and Kolhapur in Maharashtra are important producers.
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa are minor producers of bauxite.
Copper is an indispensable metal in the electrical industry for making wires, electric motors, transformers, and generators.
It is alloyable, malleable and ductile.
It is also mixed with gold to provide strength to jewellery.
Copper Deposits: It occur in Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh and Jhunjhunu and Alwar districts in Rajasthan.
Minor Producers of Copper: Agnigundala in Guntur District (Andhra Pradesh), Chitradurg and Hasan districts (Karnataka) and South Arcot district (Tamil Nadu).
Mica is the important non-metallic minerals produced in India. The other minerals extracted for local consumption are limestone, dolomite and phosphate.
It is mainly used in the electrical and electronic industries.
Properties: It can be split into very thin sheets which are tough and flexible.
Producing Areas: Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Rajasthan followed by Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh.
In Jharkhand, high quality mica is obtained in a belt extending over a distance of about 150 km, in length and about 22 km, in width in lower Hazaribagh plateau.
In Andhra Pradesh, Nellore district produces the best quality mica.
In Rajasthan, mica belt extends for about 320 kms from Jaipur to Bhilwara and around Udaipur.
Mica deposits also occur in Mysuru and Hasan districts of Karanataka, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai and Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu, Alleppey in Kerala, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal.
Energy Resources in India
Mineral fuels are essential for generation of power, required by agriculture, industry, transport, and other sectors of the economy.
Mineral fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gas (known as fossil fuels), nuclear energy minerals, are the conventional sources of energy.
These conventional sources are exhaustible resources.
Uses: Coal is a one of the important minerals which is mainly used in the generation of thermal power and smelting of iron ore.
Coal occurs in rock sequences mainly of two geological ages, namely Gondwana and tertiary deposits.
About 80 per cent of the coal deposits in India is of bituminous type and is of non-coking grade.
The most important Gondwana coal fields of India are located in Damodar Valley.
They lie in Jharkhand-Bengal coal belt and the important coal fields in this region are Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro, Giridih, Karanpura.
Jharia is the largest coal field followed by Raniganj.
The other river valleys associated with coal are Godavari, Mahanadi, and Sone.
Important Coal Mining Centres: Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh (part of Singrauli coal field lies in Uttar Pradesh), Korba in Chhattisgarh, Talcher and Rampur in Odisha, Chanda–Wardha, Kamptee and Bander in Maharashtra and Singareni in Telangana and Pandur in Andhra Pradesh.
Tertiary coals occur in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.
It is extracted from Darangiri, Cherrapunji, Mewlong and Langrin (Meghalaya); Makum, Jaipur and Nazira in upper Assam, Namchik – Namphuk (Arunachal Pradesh) and Kalakot (Jammu and Kashmir).
The brown coal or lignite occur in the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
Crude petroleum consists of hydrocarbons of liquid and gaseous states varying in chemical composition, colour, and specific gravity.
It is an essential source of energy for all internal combustion engines in automobiles, railways, and aircraft.
Its numerous by-products are processed in petrochemical industries, such as fertiliser, synthetic rubber, synthetic fibre, medicines, Vaseline, lubricants, wax, soap, and cosmetics.
Crude petroleum occurs in sedimentary rocks of the tertiary period.
Oil exploration and production was systematically taken up after the Oil and Natural Gas Commission was set up in 1956.
Till then, Digboi in Assam was the only oil producing region.
In recent years, new oil deposits have been found at the extreme western and eastern parts of India.
In Assam, Digboi, Naharkatiya and Moran are important oil producing areas.
The major oilfields of Gujarat are Ankaleshwar, Kalol, Mehsana, Nawagam, Kosamba and Lunej.
Mumbai High which lies 160 km off Mumbai was discovered in 1973 and production commenced in 1976.
Oil and natural gas have been found in exploratory wells in Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basin on the east coast.
Oil extracted from the wells is crude oil and contains many impurities. It cannot be used directly. It needs to be refined. There are two types of refineries in India:
Field-based: For example – Digboi.
Market-based: For example – Barauni.
The Gas Authority of India Limited was set up in 1984 to transport and market natural gas.
It is obtained along-with oil in all the oilfields, but exclusive reserves have been located along the eastern coast as well as (Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh), Tripura, Rajasthan and off-shore wells in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Non-Conventional Energy Sources
Fossil fuel sources, such as coal, petroleum, natural gas and nuclear energy use exhaustible raw materials.
Sustainable energy resources are only the renewable energy sources like solar, wind, hydro-geothermal and biomass.
These energy sources are more equitably distributed and environment friendly.
These will provide more sustained, eco-friendly cheaper energy after the initial cost is taken care of.
Nuclear Energy Resources
Nuclear energy has emerged as a viable source in recent times.
Important minerals used for the generation of nuclear energy are uranium and thorium.
They occur in the Dharwar rocks.
Geographically, uranium ores are known to occur in several locations along the Singbhum Copper belt.
It is also found in Udaipur, Alwar and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan, Durg district of Chhattisgarh, Bhandara district of Maharashtra and Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.
These are mainly obtained from monazite and ilmenite in the beach sands along the coast of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
World’s richest monazite deposits occur in Palakkad and Kollam districts of Kerala, near Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mahanadi river delta in Odisha.
Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1948 but the progress could be made only after the establishment of the Atomic Energy Institute at Trombay in 1954 which was renamed as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in 1967.
Important Nuclear Power Projects: Tarapur (Maharashtra), Rawatbhata near Kota (Rajasthan), Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu), Narora (Uttar Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Kakarapara (Gujarat).
Sun rays tapped in photovoltaic cells can be converted into energy, known as solar energy.
The two effective processes considered to be very effective to tap solar energy are photovoltaics and solar thermal technology.
Advantages of Solar thermal technology: It is cost competitive, environment friendly and easy to construct.
Solar energy is 7 per cent more effective than coal or oil-based plants and 10 per cent more effective than nuclear plants.
Uses: It is generally used more in appliances like heaters, crop dryers, cookers, etc.
The western part of India has greater potential for the development of solar energy in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Wind energy is absolutely pollution free, inexhaustible source of energy.
Mechanism of Energy Conversion from blowing Wind:
The kinetic energy of wind, through turbines is converted into electrical energy.
The permanent wind systems such the trade winds, westerlies and seasonal wind like monsoon have been used as source of energy.
The local winds, land, and sea breezes can also be used to produce electricity.
In Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, favourable conditions for wind energy exist.
Tidal and Wave Energy
Ocean currents are the storehouse of infinite energy. The ceaseless tidal waves and ocean current can be used to generate energy.
Large tidal waves are known to occur along the west coast of India. Hence, India has great potential for the development of tidal energy along the coasts.
When the magma from the interior of earth, comes out on the surface, tremendous heat is released. This heat energy can successfully be tapped and converted to electrical energy.
The hot water that gushes out through the geyser wells is also used in the generation of thermal energy.
It is popularly known as Geothermal energy.
In India, a geothermal energy plant has been commissioned at Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh.
Bio-energy refers to energy derived from biological products which includes agricultural residues, municipal, industrial, and other wastes.
Bioenergy is a potential source of energy conversion.
It can be converted into electrical energy, heat energy or gas for cooking.
It will also process the waste and garbage and produce energy.
Advantages: This will improve economic life of rural areas in developing countries, reduce environmental pollution, enhance self-reliance, and reduce pressure on fuel wood.
One such project converting municipal waste into energy is Okhla in Delhi.
Conservation of Mineral Resource
The challenge of sustainable development requires integration of quest for economic development with environmental concerns.
Traditional methods of resource use result into generating enormous quantity of waste as well as create other environmental problems.
There is an urgent need to conserve the resources.
The inexhaustible resources should be developed to replace the exhaustible resources.
In case of metallic minerals, use of scrap metals will enable recycling of metals.
Use of scrap is specially significant in metals like copper, lead and zinc in which India’s reserves are meagre.
Use of substitutes for scarce metals may also reduce their consumption.
Export of strategic and scarce minerals must be reduced, so that the existing reserve may be used for a longer period.
Petroleum is referred to as liquid gold because of its scarcity and diversified uses. According to a newspaper report (The Hindu, 05.09.2006) the Oil and Natural Gas Commission has found potential zones of natural gas reserves in Ramanathapuram district.
The first successful (1890) attempt to tap the underground heat was made in the city of Boise, Idaho (U.S.A.), where a hot water pipe network was built to give heat to the surrounding buildings. This plant is still working.
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