Mining - coal and other
||Mineral production in
India dates to as far back as 6,000 years or so, as remains of a few
mines have proven. Geological and metallogenic history of India is similar to mineral rich
Australia, South Africa, South America and Antarctica, as they formed a contiguous
landmass prior to the breaking up of Gondwanaland. India was world's leading
mineral producer at 200,000 tons per annum back in late 18th century.
Possessing a rich wealth of mineral resources and a flourishing mining industry
producing 84 minerals out of which 4 are fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 49 non metallic and
20 minor minerals.
In India, 80% of mining is coal and the
rest is iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite, chromite, limestone, asbestos,
fluorite, gypsum, ochre, phosphorite and silica sand.
Coal mining in India dates back to
the 18th century, however the regulatory framework for this industry was
conceived in 1923. In 1972-73, the Indian government nationalized the coal
industry. India has a good reserve of coal and lignite. As on March 2011,
the estimated reserves of coal was around 286 billion tones and the
estimated reserve of lignite was 41 billion tonnes, of which 80% was in the
southern State of Tamil Nadu.
coal and lignite production
Central Statistics Office of India
||Coal production (million
Coal Industry highlights:
- As on March 2011, a total of 52
washeries, both PSUs and Private, were operating in the country. The
total installed washing capacity was 131 million tonnes (MT) per annum
considering, both Coking (29.69 MTY) and Non-Coking Coal (101.55 MTY).
- India is the third largest producer of coal in the world, after USA and China.
- Coal is one of the primary sources of
energy in India. 70% of power generation is coal-based.
- India has the fourth largest
reserves of coal in the world.
- Coal deposits in India occur mostly in
thick seams and at shallow depths.
- Non-coking coal reserves aggregate 85 per cent,
while coking coal reserves are the remaining 15 per cent.
- Indian coal has high ash content (15-45%) and low calorific value.
Energy and Environment
27 November 2006, Forbes magazine
million short tonnes)
Recoverable Coal Reserves
Mining of other minerals:
to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source for
diamonds to the world.
- The GDP contribution of the mining
industry varies from 2.2% to 2.5%. Indian Mining Industry provides job
opportunities to around 700,000 individuals.
- According to the 2008 Ministry of
Mines estimates, India has the third rank among the chromite producers
of the world.
- India is the world's largest producer
and exporter of mica, accounting for almost 60 percent of the net mica
production in the world, which it exports to the United Kingdom, Japan,
United States of America etc.
- India ranks third in production of coal
& lignite, third in barites, fourth in iron ore, sixth in bauxite
and manganese ore, eleventh in crude
steel, and tenth in aluminium.
- India accounts for 12% of the world's
known and economically available thorium.
- As one of the largest producers and
exporters of iron ore in the world, its majority exports go to Japan,
Korea, Europe and the Middle East.
- India also has one of the largest
deposits of manganese in the world, and is a third leading producer as
well as exporter of manganese ore, which it exports to Japan, Europe
(Sweden, Belgium, Norway, among other countries), and the United States
of America. Its estimated reserves are 180 million tons.
- Iron ore deposits are estimated at 19.2
billion tons (world's largest) and Bauxite (Aluminum ore) deposits are
estimated at 2.7 billion tons (8% of world's total). Copper reserves of India are estimated at
422 million tons.
- An estimated 85 billion tonnes of mineral reserves remain to be
exploited. Besides coal, oil and gas reserves, the mineral inventory in India includes
13,000 deposits/ prospects of 61 non-fuel minerals.
- India is wholly or largely self-sufficient in about
minerals constituting primary raw-materials for thermal power generation, iron and steel,
aluminum, cement, refractories, ceramics, glass and inorganic chemicals.
||Contribution of other governmental organizations:|
High quality geological database has been generated by national agencies like the
Geological Survey of India, Mineral Exploration Corporation, National Remote Sensing
Agency, National Geophysical Research Institute and Indian Bureau of Mines. This database
is accessible on a commercial basis and makes investment in mining exploration in India a
low-risk investment proposition.
The recent discovery of high value minerals like gold, diamond and tungsten in certain
areas has enhanced the possibility of further exploration and exploitation of such