Mineral is defined as a “homogenous, naturally occurring substance with a definable internal structure.” Minerals are found in varied forms in nature, ranging from the hardest diamond to the softest talc. Rocks are combinations of homogeneous substances called minerals.
Mode of Occurrence of Minerals
Minerals are usually found in “ores”. The term ore is used to describe an accumulation of any mineral mixed with other elements. Minerals generally occur in the following forms:
- In igneous and metamorphic rocks, minerals may occur in the cracks, crevices, faults or joints.
- In sedimentary rocks, a number of minerals occur in beds or layers.
- The decomposition of surface rocks and the removal of soluble constituents also forms the minerals.
- Minerals also occur as alluvial deposits in sands of valley floors and the base of hills.
- The ocean waters contain vast quantities of minerals.
Classification of Minerals
Minerals can be classified into three types:
- Metallic Minerals
- Non-Metallic Minerals
- Energy Minerals
1. Metallic Minerals: These minerals contain metals.
These are of three types:
(i) Ferrous minerals
- These minerals contain iron.
- It accounts for about three- fourths of the total value of the production of metallic minerals.
- They provide a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries.
(a) Iron Ore
- It is the basic mineral and the backbone of industrial development.
- Magnetite is the finest iron ore with a very high content of iron up to 70 percent.
- 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).
- India is rich in good quality iron ores.
- The major iron ore belts in India are:
- Odisha-Jharkhand belt
- Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra
- Bellary-Chitradurga-Chikmaglur-Tumkur belt in Karnataka
- Maharashtra-Goa belt in Goa and Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
- It is mainly used in the manufacturing of steel and ferro-manganese alloy.
- It is also used in manufacturing bleaching powder, insecticides and paints.
- Orissa is the largest producer of manganese ores in India.
(ii) Non-Ferrous Minerals
- These minerals do not contain iron.
- They play role in a number of metallurgical, engineering and electrical industries.
- Example of Non-ferrous minerals includes copper, bauxite, lead, zinc and gold.
- It is malleable, ductile and a good conductor, therefore, copper is mainly used in electrical cables, electronics and chemical industries.
- The Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh, Khetri mines in Rajasthan and Singhbhum district of Jharkhand are leading producers of copper.
- It is a clay-like substance from which alumina and later aluminium is obtained.
- Aluminium is an important metal because it combines the strength of metals such as iron, with extreme lightness and also with good conductivity and great malleability.
- In India, mainly found in the Amarkantak plateau, Maikal hills and the plateau region of Bilaspur-Katni.
2. Non-Metallic Minerals: These minerals do not contain metal.
- It is a mineral made up of a series of plates or leaves.
- It can be clear, black, green, red yellow or brown.
- Mica is one of the most indispensable minerals used in electric and electronic industries due to its excellent di-electric strength, low power loss factor, insulating properties and resistance to high voltage,
- Leading producer are northern edge of the Chota Nagpur plateau. Koderma Gaya – Hazaribagh belt of Jharkhand.
- Also produce in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Nellore mica belt of Andhra Pradesh.
- Limestone is found in association with rocks composed of calcium carbonates or calcium and magnesium carbonates.
- It is the basic raw material for the cement industry and essential for smelting iron ore in the blast furnace.
Agencies involved in the exploration of minerals
- Geological survey of India
- Oil and natural gas commission
- Mineral exploration corporation ltd
- National mineral development corporation
- Indian bureau of mines
- Bharat gold mines
- Hindustan copper ltd
- National aluminum ltd
- Dept. Of mining and geology
Distribution of minerals
- Metallic minerals occur in peninsular region
- Coal reserves are found in valleys of Mahanadi, Godavari, Sone, Damodar
- Petroleum occur in sedimentary deposits of Assam And Gujarat
- New reserves are discovered in Krishna Godavari Cauvery basins
- Most of the minerals occur in east of line linking Mangalore an Kanpur
- There are located in three broad belts
North eastern Plateau Region
- Cover WB,ORI ,CHH
- Minerals are iron coal manganese, bauxite, mica
South eastern Plateau Region
- Covers KK ,GOA, KER &TN
- Minerals are ferrous metals, lime stone, bauxite iron ore, manganese coal deposits monazite in KERALA iron ore in GOA
North western Region
- Covers RAJ, GUJ
- Minerals are copper zinc, sandstone granite marble, gypsum fullers earth dolomite and lime stone. Petroleum in GUJ.
Himalayan belt minerals are copper lead, zinc, cobalt tungsten
Energy resources can be classified as
- Conventional Sources: It includes firewood, cattle dung cake, coal, petroleum, natural gas and electricity.
- Non-Conventional Sources: It includes solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, biogas and atomic energy
1. Conventional Sources of Energy
(i) Coal: There are three types of coal
- Anthracite: found in Himalayan region
- Bituminus : located in Gondwana field DVC, Godavari Valley Sone Valley Jharia, Raniganj, Mahanadi Valley Chanda Wardha Valley
- Nyvely lignites: found in TN
- Tertiary coal is found in Assam. ARP, MEG. NAG. J&K
- Used to make energy resource, petrochemical industries fertilizer , synthetic rubber, wax lubricants, soap cosmetics
- It is also called as liquid gold
- It is found in Digboi , Naharkatia Moran In Assam, Ankaleshwar , Kalol Mehasena Nawagam In Gujarat. Mumbai High
- Krishna Godavari Basin
- Oil refineries
- There are two types of oil refineries (i) field based (ii) market based
- There are 18 oil refineries
(iii) Natural Gas
- Found in guj, raj, tri. Krishna Godavari And Cauvery Basin
- Nuclear energy resources
- Uranium and thorium re important minerals
- Uranium is found in Dharwad rocks
- Found in Singhbhum in Bihar,Udipur Alwar, Jhunujhun of Raj. Durg of Chh .Bhandara of Ms
- Monazite sands of Kerala
- Atomic energy commission was established in 1948
- Nuclear power stations
- Tarapur of MS, Rawatbhata of RAJ, Kalpakkam of TN, Narora of UP Kaiga of KK Kakarapara of GUJ
2. Non-conventional resources: The renewable energy sources like solar energy, wind, tide, biomass and energy from waste material are called Non-Conventional Energy Sources.
(i) Nuclear or Atomic Energy: Nuclear Energy is obtained by altering the structure of atoms. Uranium and Thorium are used for generating atomic or nuclear power.
(ii) Solar Energy: Solar energy is produced by the Sun’s light. Photovoltaic technology converts sunlight directly into electricity.
(iii) Wind Power: Wind Energy or Power is the use of wind to generate electricity. Wind turbines are used for this purpose. The largest wind farm cluster is located in Tamil Nadu from Nagarcoil to Madurai.
(iv) Biogas: Biogas is a type of biofuel that is naturally produced from the decomposition of organic waste. Biogas is the most efficient use of cattle dung. It improves the quality of manure.
(v) Tidal Energy: Tidal energy is the form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity. In India, the Gulf of Khambhat, the Gulf of Kachchh in Gujarat on the western coast and Gangetic delta in Sunderban regions of West Bengal provide ideal conditions for utilising tidal energy.
(vi) Geo-Thermal Energy: When heat and electricity are produced by using the heat from the interior of the earth, it is known as Geo-Thermal Energy. In India, geothermal energy is harnessed from Parvati valley near Manikarn in Himachal Pradesh and from Puga Valley, Ladakh.
Conservation of Energy Resources
Every sector of the national economy – agriculture, industry, transport, commercial and domestic – needs inputs of energy. There is an urgent need to develop a sustainable path for energy development. Here are some ways that each one of us can contribute to save energy resources:
- Using public transport systems instead of individual vehicles
- Switching off electricity when not in use
- Using power-saving devices
- Using non-conventional sources of energy