Minerals are non-renewable resources. They cannot be replenished and their new reserves created once these are depleted. Also these are earthly treasure which belongs to entire mankind of present and future generations.
They have decisive role cultural, social and economic development of' mankind. We have moral and social obligations conserve them, avoid their misuse and wastage a: preserve them for use in future.
This could only' possible through the adoption of conservation techniques. In India conservation strategy is more important because of the scarcity of certain important minerals which need conservation and new technological revolution currently going on in the count' which will evolve better mining and processing technology in future for judicious exploitation mineral resources.
According to an estimate in will be depleted of coking coal in 13 years, now coking coal in 116 years, copper in 36 years, and high medium and low grades of iron ores in 32 years, 18! years and 68 years respectively, bauxite in 30 ye lead in 38 years, manganese in 31 years, zinc in years, gold in 10 years and limestone in 446 yean Our position is already critical in respect of energy resources like petroleum. This is an alarming signal which needs judicious conservation policy. Somehow the suggested measures are as follows:-
1. New researches should be undertaken it find out and develop 'replacement minerals' for us in place of scarce minerals which are in short supp| and are going to be depleted soon.
2. Researches should also be carried on td develop new technology which should avoid west age and promote maximum utilisation of by-products.
3. There should be curbing on wasteful minim methods. Miners should be imparted training to adopt new techniques of mining, use latest technology and machines and take maximum precaution' cause little damage to the environment.
4. There should be proper development of infrastructural facilities in mining areas, suite location for processing plants and refineries and encouragement to private sectors to establish re] search units and adequate provision for financial support and loans.
5. Processing plants should invariably be coated in mining areas to reduce transport cost. In case of weighty materials like coal it is better to convert it into coking coal or in electricity near the pit heads.
6. There is a great scope for the expansion of several mineral-based industries which open new vista for economic development.
7. New explorations should be carried on to find out locations and new areas of minerals using latest technology. In case of India sea floor exploration and mining may yield good dividend.
8. In conservation policy emphasis should be placed on sustainable mining. Similarly more reliance should be placed on the exploitation and utilisation of such mineral resources which are renewable and are in plenty.