Minerals And Energy Resources: UPSC / HCS
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GEOGRAPHY

Minerals And Energy Resources: UPSC / HCS

A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties. Minerals are found in varied forms in nature, ranging from the hardest diamond to the softest talc. There are different types of minerals present in nature that are obtained from rocks or other sources. The formation of the particular mineral depends upon the physical and chemical condition of the material. Inverse relationship in quality and quantity of minerals i.e. good quality minerals are less in quantity as compared to low-quality minerals. Minerals are exhaustible over time, these take longer to develop geologically and cannot be replenished immediately.

Minerals And Energy Resources

In this article, you will learn about minerals and energy resources, the types of minerals, etc. It will help you to understand some of the very important concepts of Geography which will help in all the UPSC / HCS exams. It has the following contents:-

CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION 
2. MODE OF OCCURRENCE OF MINERALS
3. DISTRIBUTION OF MINERALS 
4. CLASSIFICATION OF MINERALS
5. METALLIC MINERALS
6. NON-METALLIC MINERALS

How to prepare for the approaching exams?

Introduction

  • A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties.
  • Minerals are found in varied forms in nature, ranging from the hardest diamond to the softest talc.
  • Inverse relationship in quality and quantity of minerals i.e. good quality minerals are less in quantity as compared to low-quality minerals.
  • Minerals are exhaustible over time, these take longer to develop geologically and cannot be replenished immediately.

Mode Of Occurrence Of Minerals

  • Generally found in “ores (an accumulation of any mineral mixed with other elements).
  • Minerals generally occur in these forms:

 In Igneous and Metamorphic rocks

  • Found in the cracks, crevices, faults, or joints. 
  • The smaller occurrences are called veins and the larger is called lodes. 
  • Veins and lodes are formed when minerals in liquid/molten and gaseous forms are forced upward through cavities towards the earth’s surface. 
  • Example: Tin, copper, zinc, and lead, etc. are obtained from veins and lodes.

In sedimentary rocks

  • Minerals occur in beds or layers.
  • They have been formed as a result of deposition, accumulation, and concentration in horizontal strata. 
  • Coal and some forms of iron ore have been concentrated as a result of long periods under great heat and pressure.
  • Example: Gypsum, potash salt, and sodium salt. 

By the decomposition of surface rocks

  • By the decomposition of surface rocks and the removal of soluble constituents, leaving a residual mass of weathered material containing ores.
  • Example: Bauxite 

As alluvial deposits

  • In sands of valley floors and the base of hills. 
  • These deposits are called ‘placer deposits’ and generally contain minerals, which are not corroded by water.
  • Example: Gold, silver, tin, and platinum

From ocean waters

  • Ocean waters contain vast quantities of minerals, but most of these are too widely diffused to be of economic significance.
  • Example: Common salt, magnesium, and Bromine 

  Distribution of minerals in India

  • Minerals are generally concentrated in three broad belts in India. These belts are :
  1. The North-Eastern Plateau Region
  2. The South-Western Plateau Region
  3. The North-Western Region

The North-Eastern Plateau Region

  • Extension: Chotanagpur (Jharkhand), Odisha Plateau, West Bengal, and parts of Chhattisgarh. 
  • Major minerals: iron ore coal, manganese, bauxite, mica.

The South-Western Plateau Region

  • Extension:  Karnataka, Goa, and contiguous Tamil Nadu uplands and Kerala.
  • Major minerals: Contains high-grade iron ore, manganese, and limestone. 
  • This belt does not have as diversified mineral deposits as the northeastern belt.
  • Kerala: Monazite and thorium,bauxite clay. 
  • Goa: Iron ore deposits.

The North-Western Region

  • Extension: Along Aravali in Rajasthan and part of Gujarat.
  • Major minerals: Copper, zinc have been major minerals.
  • Rajasthan: Sandstone, granite, marble, Gypsum, salt deposits
  • Gujarat: petroleum deposits, salt

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Classification of minerals

  • On the basis of composition, minerals are classified mainly as metallic, non-metallic, and energy minerals.

1. Metallic mineral

  • Contain metal (hard substances that conduct heat and electricity and have a characteristic luster or shine) in raw form. 
  • Metallic minerals can be further classified as ferrous or non-ferrous. 
  • Ferrous minerals contain iron like iron ore, manganese, and chromites. 
  •  Non-ferrous minerals do not contain iron but may contain some other metal such as gold, silver, copper, or lead.

Ferrous Mineral

  • Ferrous minerals account for about three-fourths of the total value of the production of metallic minerals.
  • Example: iron ore, manganese, chromite
  • India is well-placed in respect of ferrous minerals both in reserves and production and provides a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries.
  • India exports substantial quantities of ferrous minerals after meeting its internal demands.
(a) Iron ore
  • India has the largest reserve of iron ore in Asia.
  • The two main types of ore found in India are hematite and magnetite.
  • Magnetite is the finest iron ore with a very high content of iron up to 70 percent and has excellent magnetic qualities, valuable in the electrical industry. 
  • Hematite ore is the most important industrial iron ore in terms of the quantity used but has a slightly lower iron content than magnetite. (50-60 percent).
  • The major iron ore belts in India are:

    Odisha-Jharkhand belt: 

    • High-grade hematite ore
    • Odisha: In Badampahar mines  (Mayurbhanj district).
    • Jharkhand: Gua and Noamundi (Singhbhum district)

    Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt:

    • Very high-grade hematites 
    • Chhattisgarh: Bailadila range of hills (Bastar district)
    • Iron ore from these mines is exported to Japan and South Korea via Vishakhapatnam port.

    Ballari-Chitradurga-Chikmagalur-Tumkur belt

    • In Karnataka
    • has large reserves of iron ore. 
    • The Kudremukh mines (Western Ghats of Karnataka)are known to be one of the largest in the world and are a 100 percent export unit. 

    Maharashtra-Goa belt :

    • the ores are not of very high quality, includes the state of Goa and Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. 
    • Iron ore is exported through Mormugao port.
    (b) Manganese
  • It is an important raw material for smelting iron ore and also used for manufacturing ferroalloys. 
  • Mainly used in the manufacturing of steel and ferromanganese alloy. 
  • Nearly 10 kg of manganese is required to manufacture one tonne of steel. 
  • Also used in manufacturing bleaching powder, insecticides, and paints.

Distribution:

Largest producer-Odisha (major mines-in Bonai, Kendujhar, Sundergarh, Gangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi, and Bolangir.)

Other producers: 

Karnataka (Dharwar, Ballari, Belagavi, North Canara, Chikkamagaluru, Chitradurga, and Tumkur.)

Maharashtra(Nagpur, Bhandara, and Ratnagiri districts).

Madhya Pradesh (Balaghat- Chhindwara- Nimar-Mandla and Jhabua districts)

Telangana, Goa, and Jharkhand are other minor producers of manganese.

Non-Ferrous Minerals

  • India’s reserves and production of non-ferrous minerals are not very satisfactory. 
  • Examples: Copper, Bauxite, Lead, Zinc, and Gold 
  • Play a vital role in many metallurgical, engineering, and electrical industries.
(c) Copper
  • Copper is an important metal in the electrical industry for making wires, electric motors, transformers, and generators.
  • It is malleable and ductile.
  • Mixed with gold to provide strength to jewelry.

Distribution: 

Singhbhum district (Jharkhand), Balaghat district (Madhya Pradesh), and Khetri mines (Rajasthan).

Minor producers :

Agnigundala in Guntur District (Andhra Pradesh), Chitradurga and Hasan districts (Karnataka), and South Arcot district (Tamil Nadu).

(d) Bauxite
  • The ore is used in the manufacturing of aluminum. 
  • Bauxite deposits are formed by the decomposition of a wide variety of rocks rich in aluminum silicates.
  • Aluminum is an important metal as it combines the strength of metals such as iron, with extreme lightness and also with good conductivity and great malleability. 
  • Distribution:

Odisha (largest producer)--Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Panchpatmali deposits in Koraput district

Jharkhand -- Lohardaga

Gujarat--Bhavnagar, Jamnagar 

Chhattisgarh --Amarkantak plateau

Madhya Pradesh--Katni-Jabalpur area and Balaghat

Maharashtra--Kolaba, Thane, Ratnagiri, Satara, Pune, and Kolhapur

Minor Producer: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Goa 

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2. Non-metallic Minerals-Mica

  • Non-metallic minerals are those which does not contain metal like Mica, limestone, dolomite, and phosphate.
  • Non-metaalic minerlas industry is best known for the production of cement, ceramics. glass, and lime products.
  • These minerals do not contain any metal substances in them. 
  • Non-metallic minerals are basically good insulators of heat and electricity.
Mica:
  • Made up of a series of plates or leaves and splits easily into thin sheets.
  • These sheets can be so thin that a thousand can be layered into a mica sheet of a few centimeters high. 
  • Mica can be clear, black, green, red yellow, or brown.
  • It has  excellent dielectric strength, insulating properties, and resistance to high voltage
  • Used in electric and electronic industries.
  • Distribution:

    The northern edge of the Chota Nagpur plateau.

Jharkhand--Koderma-Gaya-Hazaribagh belt(leading producers)

Rajasthan-mica belt extends for about 320 km from Jaipur to Bhilwara and around Udaipur.

Andhra Pradesh -Nellore

Jharkhand - lower Hazaribagh plateau. 

Other producers:

Mysore and Hasan districts of Karanataka, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, Alleppey in Kerala, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal.

 

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