India is quite rich in minerals. Substances which are found in the rocks or are lying hidden under the ground are called minerals. These substances are mined out or pumped out of the earth. Mines are big holes dug out in the earth's surface to take out minerals. Sometimes these holes are quite big and long. Some /of the minerals like iron, copper, zinc, 7 aluminium, gold and silver are metals while some others like coal, petroleum, lime stone and salt are non-metals. The metals are found in their crude form known as ores. The metals have to be obtained from their ores by melting or by other process.
Iron is the most important of all the minerals. It is used for making heavy machinery, railways, motor-cars, buses, bridges', buildings, agricultural impli-ments and many other articles of house-hold use. In fact all the progress made by man could not be possible without the use of iron and steel. Iron is found in the earth's surface in its crude form known as iron-ore. India has huge deposits of iron-ore in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. We have one-fourth of the world's finest iron-ore deposits in India. Iron-ore is found in the mines at Singhbhum in Bihar and Mayurbhanj in Orissa. Steel is obtained by alloying iron with manganese. We have big steel plants at Jamshedpur, Bhilai, Bokaro, Durgapur, Rourkela and Bhadravati.
Coal is an equally important mineral. It is used for extracting iron and other metals from the ores. It is used as fuel and for generating thermal power. It is known as 'black diamond'. Products like nylon, chemicals, dyes, drugs and perfumes are obtained from the distillation of coal.
Coal is found in Bihar, West Bengal, Damodar Valley, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Jharia in Bihar and Raniganj in West Bengal are the largest coal mines in India. Other coal mines are located at Suhagpur (Madhya Pradesh) Dhanbad (Bihar) Neyveli (Tamil Nadu) and Singarani (Andhra Pradesh).
It is also called mineral oil or crude oil. It is dark, thick liquid found at a great depth under the rocks or the sea bed. Sometimes gas is also found where oetroleum is found. This gas is used as household fuel. A deep hole is made in the ground to take out petroleum. It is called drilling. Pipes are fitted in these holes to oump out petroleum.
Then it is piped to the refineries for purification. We get petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, heavy oil, mobile oil, wax, vaseline, neptha and tar when petroleum is refined. Many other products as dyes, paints, drugs and chemicals are the bye-products of petroleum. Petroleum is known as 'black gold'.
Petroleum is found at Digboi in Assam, Combo/, Ankaieshwar and Kalol in Sujarat and Bombay High off the shore of Bombay. The petroleum produced in India is not sufficient to meet our requirements. Petroleum refineries have been set up at many places in India.
Manganese is used in the manufacture of steel. It is also used in chemicals and glass industries. India is one of the largest producers of manganese in the world. Some manganese is exported \o other countries. It is found in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
It is a bad conductor of electricity. It is used as insulator in making electrical goods like radio sets and wireless sets. India is the largest producer of mica in the world. Its huge deposits are found in Gaya, Monghyr and Hazaribagh districts of Bihar. Mica is also found in large quantities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. A large quantity of mica is exported to other countries.
It is a light but hard metal. It is used for making household utensils, airplanes, ships, automobile bodies, electric wires and many other things. The ore from which aluminum is produced is known as bauxite. Huge deposits of bauxite are found in Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
It is a valuable metal. Being a good conductor of electricity, it is used for making electric wires and electrical appliances. It alloys with zinc to form brass and with tin to form bronze. It is also used for making household utensils. It occurs in small quantities in India. It is found at Khetri in Rajasthan. Some copper has been found in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
It is a very precious metal. It is used for making ornaments. It is the basis of international trade. Some gold is produced from the mines at Kolor and Hutti in Karnataka and Anantopuram in Andhra Pradesh.
It is a precious stone. Diamonds are found in the mines at Panno in Madhya Pradesh. Mineral deposits in the earth are limited. We should use them carefully. We should not exhaust all of our resources un-thoughtfully. We should find some alternative to minerals. We should use solar, wind and water energy as an alternative to coal and petrol.