Non-Metallic Minerals in India

Non-metallic minerals are either organic in origin such as fossil fuels, derived from the buried animal and plant life such as coal and petroleum or inorganic in origin such as mica, limestone and graphite, etc.

Among the non-metallic minerals produced in India, mica is the important one. The other minerals extracted for local consumption are limestone, dolomite and phosphate.

India presently produces a total of 47 non-metallic minerals. These are buy-and-large characterized as low value and high volume minerals and are basic inputs for a number of industries like fertilizers, glass & ceramics, refractory, asbestos-cement and chemical products. In India, this sector largely consists of small mines owned by individuals or private firms.

The resource base of industrial / non-metallic minerals in India is adequate except for Rock Phosphate, Magnesite and Ball Clay, for which the estimates show decreasing reserves.

Mica

  • Mica is widely distributed and occurs in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary regimes. It is commonly found in igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • It has a unique combination of elasticity, toughness, flexibility and transparency.
  • It possesses resistance to heat and sudden change in temperature and high dielectric strength.
  • It is chemically inert, stable and does not absorb water.
  • It possesses highly perfect basal cleavage due to which it can easily and accurately split into very thin sheets which are tough and flexible.
  • Mica is mainly used in the electrical and electronic industries.

Distribution of Mica in India

Mica is widely distributed in India, the minerals bearing Mica is found in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan etc.

State wise total resource distribution of Mica is as follows:-

  1. Andhra Pradesh leads with 41% share in country's total resources followed by
  2. Rajasthan (21%)
  3. Odisha (20%)
  4. Maharashtra (15%)
  5. Bihar (2%) and
  6. The remaining 1% is in Jharkhand and Telangana together.

Occurrence

Jharkhand: 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. The main centres of mica production in this belt are Kodarma, Dhorhakola, Domchanch, Dhab, Gawan, Tisri, Chakai and Chakapathal.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh is the largest mica producing state of India. In Andhra Pradesh. Nellore district produces the best quality mica.

Rajasthan: In Rajasthan mica belt extends for about 320 kms from Jaipur to Bhilwara and around Udaipur

Karnataka: Mica deposits occur in Mysuru and Hasan districts of Karanataka

Tamil Nadu: in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai and Kanniyakumari districts

Kerala: in Kerala, Mica deposits are found in Alleppey district.

Maharashtra: Ratnagiri in Maharashtra has rich mica deposits

West Bengal: Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal are known for mica deposits.

Limestone

  • The term limestone is applied to any calcareous sedimentary rock consisting essentially of carbonates.
  • The two most important constituents are calcite and dolomite.
  • Limestones altered by dynamic or contact metamorphism become coarsely crystalline and are referred to as 'marbles' and 'crystalline limestones'.
  • There are various common varieties of limestones such as 'marl', 'oolite' (oolitic limestone), shelly limestone, algal limestone, coral limestone etc.
  • However, the limestone which is used by industries in bulk quantity is a bedded type sedimentary limestone.
  • Other calcareous material used by industry are 'chalk', a white, extremely fine-grained, usually soft and friable variety of limestone
  • Limestone is the primary constituent for the manufacture of cement.
  • Other important uses of limestone are as in Glass, Ceramic, Paper, Textile, fertilizer, chemical and sugar industry.

Distribution in India

Limestone occupies the top position in India, among non-fuel solid mineral deposits as per volume of annual extraction. Given India s rapid urbanization and the demand for housing as well as infrastructure, demand for limestone is likely to increase further.

State wise total resource distribution of limestone is as following:-

  1. Karnataka is the leading state having 28% of the total resources followed by
  2. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan (11% each),
  3. Telangana (9%),
  4. Chhattisgarh (5%),
  5. Madhya Pradesh (4%) and
  6. remaining 21% by other states.

Occurrence:

As per 2014-15 data, State wise production of limestone:-

Rajasthan: as per 2014-15 data, Rajasthan was the leading producing state accounting for (21%) of the total production of limestone. Jhunjhunu, Banswara, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Dungarpur, Kota, Tonk, Alwar, Sawai Madhopur, Nagaur etc. are the major limestone producing districts in Rajasthan.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh accounts for about 13% limestone production in India. Jabalpur, Satna, Betul, Sagar, Damoh and Rewa are the major limestone producing districts in MP.

Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh accounts for about 12% Limestone production in India. Cuddapah, Kumool, Guntur, Krishna are among the major deposits of limestone in Andhra Pradesh.

Gujarat: Gujarat accounts for about 9% Limestone production in India. Major limestone producing districts in Guajarat are Amreli, Kachchh, Surat, Junagadh, Kheda and Panchmahals.

Chhattisgarh: Chhattisgarh accounts for about 8% limestone production in India. Major deposits of limestone occur in Bastar, Bilaspur, Raigarh, Raipur and Durg districts.

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu also accounts for about 8% limestone production in India. Ramnathapuram, Tirunelveli, Tiruchchirappalli, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai, and Thanjavur are the major limestone producing districts in Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka: Karnataka accounts for about 8% limestone production in India. The major limestone producing districts in Karnataka are Gulbarga, Chitradurg, Tumkur, Belgaum, Bijapur, Mysore and Shimoga.

Telangana: Telangana accounts for about 8% limestone production in India. Nalgonda, Adilabad, Warangal, Mahabubnagar and Karimnagar are among the major deposits of limestone in Telangana.

Other states: The remaining 5% was contributed by Meghalaya, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Kerala, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir.

Other Important Non - Metallic Minerals

Fertilizer Minerals

  1. Rock Phosphate
  2. Potash
  3. Sulphur and Pyrites

Flux and Construction Minerals

  1. Asbestos
  2. Dolomite
  3. Fluorspar
  4. Gypsum
  5. Wollastonite
  6. Non-cement grade limestone

Ceramics and Refractory Minerals

  1. Quartz and other silica minerals
  2. Fireclay
  3. China clay and Ball clay
  4. Magnesite
  5. Graphite
  6. Pyrophyllite
  7. Kyanite
  8. Sillimanite
  9. Vermiculite
  10. Non-metallurgical bauxite

Export Potential Minerals

  1. Barytes
  2. Bentonite
  3. Fuller s Earth
  4. Mica
  5. Talc, Soapstone and Steatite

Rock Phosphate

  • Rock phosphates or phosphorites are sedimentary phosphatic deposits comprising fine-grained mixture of various calcium phosphates.

Resource distribution: The total resources of rock phosphate in India, till April 2013 are placed at 314.51 million tonnes. Of the total resources, 34% are in Jharkhand, 31% in Rajasthan, 18% in Madhya Pradesh, 8% in Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand each, respectively. Meagre quantities of resources are also located in Gujarat and Meghalaya.

Production: India is deficient in Rock Phosphate's availability. In case of Rock Phosphate, production is only from two states namely Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Potash

  • Potash is a common name of the fertilizer form of mineral potassium (K) which is abundantly available in nature.

Resource distribution: Rajasthan alone contributes 94% to the total resources, followed by Madhya Pradesh (5%) and Uttar Pradesh (1%)

Production: Indian reported occurrences are not commercially exploitable, and hence no production of potash is reported from India. The entire requirement of potash to be utilised as fertilizer is therefore met by imports.

Occurrences: As far as India is concerned, few deposits of potash mineral are reported from Satna & Sidhi districts of Madhya Pradesh, Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh and Jaisalmer, Chittorgarh and Kota districts of Rajasthan.

Sulphur

  • In India, there are no mineable elemental sulphur reserves.
  • Pyrites were used as a substitute for sulphur in the manufacture of sulphuric acid. However, there was no production of pyrites since 2003.
  • The domestic production of elemental sulphur is limited to by-product recoveries from petroleum refineries and fuel oil used as feedstock for manufacturing fertilizer.

Asbestos

  • Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring fibrous silicate minerals.
  • It is a commercially important mineral due to its fibrous character, infusibility, low heat conductivity and high resistance to electricity & sound as also to corrosion by acids.
  • It is widely used for making fire-proof cloth, rope, paper, millboard, sheeting, belt, paint, etc. and for manufacturing fireproof safes, insulators, felts, etc.
  • Asbestos cement products like sheets, slates, pipes and tiles are used in the construction of buildings

Resource distribution: the total resources of asbestos in India, till April 2010 are placed at 22.17 million tonnes. Out of the total resources, Rajasthan accounts for 13.6 million tonnes (61%) and Karnataka 8.28 million tonnes (37%). The remaining two per cent resources are estimated in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.

Occurrence: asbestos deposits in India can be found in Cuddapah district in Andhra Pradesh, Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Mandya, Mysuru, Shivamogga districts in Karnataka, Kendujhar district in Odisha, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Dungarpur, Pali, Rajsamand, Udaipur districts in Rajasthan, Chamoli district in Uttarakhand.

Dolomite

  • In commercial parlance, the rock containing 40-45% MgCO3 is usually called dolomite.
  • Dolomite is used mainly in Iron and steel Industry as a fluxing agent and also used in construction Industry.

Resource distribution: Dolomite occurrences are widespread in the country. Till April 2013 total reserves/resources of dolomite are placed at 8,085 million tonnes. Major share of about 89% resources were distributed in eight states, namely, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Production: Chhattisgarh, the leading producing state of dolomite accounted for 39% of total production in 2014-15, followed by Andhra Pradesh (11%), Karnataka (10%) Madhya Pradesh (9%), Telangana (8%), Odisha (7%), Gujarat and Rajasthan (6% each). The remaining 4% was jointly shared by Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.

Occurrence: The major deposits of dolomite in India occur in Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Koraput districts in Odisha, Bastar, Bilaspur, Durg and Raigarh districts in Chhattisgarh, Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Rajsamand districts in Rajasthan, Belgaum, Bagalkot, Tumkuru, Mysore districts in Karnataka, Balaghat, Chhindwara, Jabalpur, Katni, Seoni, Sagar districts in Madhya Pradesh, Anantapur, Cuddapah, Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh, Bhavnagar, Vadodara districts in Gujarat, Chandrapur, Nagpur, Yavatmal districts in Maharashtra and Khammam, Warangal districts in Telangana etc.

Fluorspar

  • Fluorspar, also called fluorite is the mineral form of calcium fluoride, CaF2.
  • Fluorspar is an indispensable flux material to aluminium metallurgy and has a variety of applications.
  • Fluorspar is mainly used in chemical industry.

Resource distribution: The total resources of fluorspar in India are estimated at 18 million tonnes. By states, Gujarat and Rajasthan account for 69% and 26% of the resources respectively.

Production: The resources of fluorspar in India are limited and grades produced do not meet the specification of the chemical industry which is the bulk consumer of fluorspar.

Maharashtra State Mining Corporation (MSMC) operates Dongargaon fluorite mines in district Chandrapur, Maharashtra. GMDC mine in Gujarat is the only source of acid grade fluorspar but has high phosphorous content. Hence, requirements of domestic chemical industry are met largely by imports.

Gypsum

  • It is a hydrated calcium sulphate which is used widely in the industry like portland cement, paper, paints and textile goods.
  • Gypsum that occurs in nature is called mineral gypsum.
  • In addition to mineral gypsum, seawater and some chemical and fertilizer plants are sources of by-product marine gypsum and by-product chemical gypsum, respectively.

Resource distribution: the total resources of mineral gypsum in India till April 2010 were estimated at 1,286 million tonnes. By States, Rajasthan alone accounts for 82% resources and Jammu & Kashmir 14% resources. The remaining 4% resources are in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Production: Rajasthan continues to be the leading producer, contributing about 99% of the total output. The remaining 1% is contributed by Jammu & Kashmir.

Occurrence: major deposits of gypsum are located in Bikaner, Sri Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Nagaur, districts in Rajasthan, Doda, Ramban, Baramula, Uri districts in Jammu & Kashmir, Coimbatore, Erode districts in Tamilnadu, Tehri Garhwal, Dehra Dun, Mussoorie districts in Uttarakhand, and Bhavnagar, Junagarh Kachchh districts in Gujarat.

Some gypsum is also produced in Andhra Pradesh, (Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam), Himachal Pradesh (Spiti, Sirmur, Chamba), Karnataka (Gulbarga) and Madhya Pradesh (Shahdol).

Quartz and other Silica Minerals

  • The term 'quartz' is often referred to as a synonym for silica.
  • Silica (SiO2 ) is one of the ubiquitous materials in the earth's crust.
  • Quartz, quartz crystals, quartzite, silica sand, and (others) and moulding sand are all joined together in one generic name 'silica minerals'.

Resource distribution: till April 2010, the total resources of quartz and silica sand in the country are estimated at 3,499 million tones. State-wise Haryana alone accounts for (52%) resources, followed by Rajasthan (9.5%), Tamil Nadu (6.53%), Maharashtra (5.05%), Jharkhand (4.4%), Andhra Pradesh (4%), Kerala (3.36%), Uttar Pradesh (3.02%), Karnataka (2.87%) and Gujarat (2.88%).

Occurrence: Khasi Hills in Meghalaya, Bundi in Rajasthan, Bankura in West Bengal, Barmer, Alwar and Nagaur in Rajasthan are major deposits of Silica Sand in India. Kurnool, Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, Koppal in Karnataka, Tonk in Rajasthan etc. are the major deposits of Quartz.

Magnesite

  • Magnesite is a carbonate of magnesium.
  • It is usually found as irregular veins as an alteration product of serpentine ultramafic rocks and other magnesium-rich rock types.

Resource distribution: The total reserves/resources of magnesite till April 2013 was about 328 million tones. Substantial quantities of resources are established in Uttarakhand (71%), followed by Rajasthan (16%) and Tamil Nadu (10%). Resources are also located in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka and Kerala.

Production: Tamil Nadu continued to be the major producing state with a maximum share of 78% in total output during 2014-15 followed by Uttarakhand (19% ), and the remaining 3% was contributed by Karnataka.

Occurrence: Tamil Nadu has one of the largest deposits of magnesite in the world, and the largest in India are found at Chalk Hills near Salem town. Some other deposits occur in Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Nilgiri, North Arcot Ambedkar, Periyar and Tirunelveli.

Almora, Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, Hassan, Mysore and Kodagu districts in Karnataka, Ajmer, Udaipur and Pali districts in Rajasthan, Chamba in Himachal Pradesh and Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir also produce some magnesite.

Kyanite

  • Kyanite occurs as a metamorphic aluminous rocks
  • It is primarily used in metallurgical, ceramic, refractory, electrical, glass, cement and a number of other industries due to its ability to stand high temperatures.
  • It is also used in making sparking plugs in automobiles.

Resource distribution: State-wise, share of Telangana is 47% of total resources followed by Andhra Pradesh 31%, Karnataka 13% and Jharkhand 6%. Remaining 3% resources are in Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Occurrence: India has the largest deposits of kyanite in the world. Major Kyanite deposits are located in Saraikela in Jharkhand, Bhandara and Nagpur districts in Maharashtra, Chickmaglur, Chitradurga, Mandya, Mysore, Dakshin Kannad and Shimoga districts in Karnataka.

Sillimanite

  • The occurrence and uses of sillimanite are almost the same as those of kyanite.
  • Australia, China and India are the major producers of sillimanite.

Resource distribution: The resources are located mainly in Tamil Nadu (26%), Odisha (20%), Uttar Pradesh (17%), Andhra Pradesh (14%), Kerala (11%) and Assam (7%). Remaining 5% resources are in Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

Occurrence: major deposits of sillimanite in India are located in Ganjam district in Odisha, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts in Kerala, Bhandara district in Maharashtra, Udaipur district in Rajasthan and Hassan, Mysore and Dakshin Kannada districts in Karnataka.

Barytes

  • Barytes is a high specific gravity mineral which finds its use largely in the oil and gas well drilling.
  • The largest producer is China followed by India.

Resource distribution: Among the states of Andhra Pradesh alone accounts for 94% of the country's baryte resources. Other major deposits of barytes are found in Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

Occurrence: major deposits of Barytes in India are located in Cuddapah, Nellore districts in Andhra Pradesh, Khammam district in Telangana and Udaipur district in Rajasthan etc.

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