Although there is evidence of mining processing of minerals like iron, gold, copper, I zinc and silver etc in ancient days, their comment production started during the second part of the I] I century. The volume of production remained sin and confined only to the export up to 1947.
There, the production picked up with increasing internal demand for minerals in industries and there’ became faster after 195I. Table 17.II exhibits I trend in the production of minerals in terms of Val between 1951 and 2002-03. During these 52 years India’s mineral production has risen from 832, million rupees (in 1951) to Rs. 635,403.5 I million (J 2002-03) recording an overall increase of 763 times Source : Statistical Abstract India, 1997 and 2003.
(a) Minerals with large exportable surplus- these include iron ore, titanium, thorium ore, rate metals and earth.
(b) Minerals with exportable surplus-this category includes minerals like manganese ore, bauxite, mica, magnesite, refractory minerals, granite, silica, berryllium, steatite, corrundum, monazite, kyanite, sillimanite and natural abrasives.
(c) Minerals with self-sufficiency level-This group includes such minerals like coal, chrome ore, dolomite, gypsum, pyrites, borax, nitrate, felspar, vanadium, zircon, barytes, arsenic, antimony, uranium, fluoride, fire clay, china clay, industrial clays, sodium salts and alkalies, glass sand, building stones, copper, marble, slate, limestone, precious and semiprecious stones.
(d) Deficient minerals requiring import-It includes minerals and metals like silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, zinc, lead, tin, mercury, gold, tungsten, platinum, graphite, asphalt, potash, sculpture, cadmium, bismuth, molybdenum and petroleum.
Minerals and metals form essential items of the country’s foreign trade. The growth in the values of the export and import of menerals and metals (including petroleum) has been shown in table 17.V. The total value of export of ores, metals and mineral fules has increased from Rs. 59 crores in 1960-61 to Rs. 53,643 crores in 2004-05 exhibiting an overall 909 times increase during last 44 years.
The important items of export include diamond (mostly cut), iron ore, mica, manganese, chromite, kaolin, mineral fuels and lubricants. The value of imports of minerals and metals has witnessed 1895 times in- crease from Rs. 122 crores in 1960-61 to Rs. 231,256 crores in 2004-05.
Principal items of import include petroleum, lubricants, pearls, gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones, tin, lead, mercury etc. Petroleum and petroleum products at present form essential items of the country’s import and is largely responsible for misbalancing the country’s trade.