Published on: 11/22/2020 11:22:12 PM

India is endowed with a rich variety of mineral resources due to its varied geological structure. Bulks of the valuable minerals are products of pre-Palaeozoic age. For instance- reserves of iron ore and manganese are found in the pre-Cambrian structure (the Dharwar rocks of the country. Copper, Lead and Zinc are found in the Dharwar structure of the Aravalis. Metallic minerals are found in the Dharwar and the Cuddapah rocks. Limestone, dolomite, gypsum etc. are found in the Cuddapah and the Vidhyan rocks. Petroleum is found in the tertiary structure.


A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties. Minerals are classified into two categories on the basis of chemical and physical properties.

1. Metallic Mineral: Iron ore, manganese, tungsten, copper, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, tin, Ilmenite etc. comes under it. It is further classified into two parts- Ferrous minerals and Non-ferrous minerals. Iron ore, manganese, chromium, nickel, tungsten, cobalt etc. are ferrous metal because some part of iron is found in them. Copper, aluminium, tin, lead, silver, platinum, zinc etc. are non-ferrous metals.

2. Non-Metallic Mineral: (Fuel Mineral- Coal, Petroleum, natural Gas etc.; other non-metallic- Mica, Limestone, Graphite etc.)



Most of the metallic minerals in India occur in the peninsular plateau region in the old crystalline rocks. Over 97 per cent of coal reserves occur in the valleys of Damodar, Sone, Mahanadi and Godavari. Petroleum reserves are located in the sedimentary basins of Assam, Gujarat and Mumbai High i.e. off-shore region in the Arabian Sea. New reserves have been located in the Krishna-Godavari and Kaveri basins. Most of the major mineral resources occur to the east of a line linking Mangaluru and Kanpur.

Minerals are generally concentrated in three broad belts in India. There may be some sporadic occurrences here and there in isolated pockets. These belts are:

1. The North-Eastern Plateau Region

This belt extends over Chhotanagpur (Jharkhand), Odisha Plateau, West Bengal and parts of Chhattisgarh. It has variety of minerals viz. iron ore coal, manganese, bauxite, mica.

2. The South-Western Plateau Region

This belt extends over Karnataka, Goa and contiguous Tamil Nadu uplands and Kerala. This belt is rich in ferrous metals and bauxite. It also contains high grade iron ore, manganese and limestone. This belt packs in coal deposits except Neyveli lignite. This belt does not have as diversified mineral deposits as the north-eastern belt. Kerala has deposits of monazite and thorium, bauxite clay. Goa has iron ore deposits.

3. The North-Western Region 

This belt extends along Aravali in Rajasthan and part of Gujarat and minerals are associated with Dharwar system of rocks. Copper, zinc have been major minerals. Rajasthan is rich in building stones i.e. sandstone, granite, marble. Gypsum and Fuller’s earth deposits are also extensive. Dolomite and limestone provide raw materials for cement industry. Gujarat is known for its petroleum deposits.

The Himalayan belt is another mineral belt where copper, lead, zinc, cobalt and tungsten are known to occur. They occur on both the eastern and western parts. Assam valley has mineral oil deposits. Besides oil resources are also found in off-shore-areas near Mumbai Coast (Mumbai High).