India is a mineral rich country with more than 20,000 mineral deposits. The Indian mining industry is at par with the world's. India is the second largest producer of chromite, barytes and talc, third largest producer of coal and lignite and fourth largest producer of iron ore and kyanite, andalusite and sillimanite.
Minerals are classified into fuel minerals (coal, lignite, oil and gas), major minerals, minor minerals and atomic minerals in India. Major mineral can in turn be classified into metallic (iron ore, chromite, lead and zinc), non-metallic minerals (limestone, dolomite, phosphorite, garnet, silica, etc.) and precious metals and stones (diamond, gold, silver, etc.). Minor minerals are stone, sand, marble, sandstone, etc. India produces about 90 minerals which are four fuel, 10 metallic, 50 non-metallic, three atomic and 23 minor minerals.
The country produced 842 minerals in 2010-11, valued at `2,00,609 crore3. This is about twelve per cent increase from the value of minerals produced in the country in 2009-10 at `1,79,384 crore (see Graph 1.1: Value of mineral production in India). Fuel minerals contributed 68 per cent of the total value of minerals produced (see Graph 1.2: Contribution of minerals to value). Metallic minerals contributed about 21 per cent while minor minerals contributed a little over nine per cent. Non-metallic and precious minerals together contributed the remaining two per cent.
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