Minerals are known as non-renewable resources. This is because the mineral can be extracted only once from the earth’s crust. Minerals are defined as homogenous substance, which has a specific chemical composition and is produced by natural inorganic processes. Minerals, being the vital raw material for many basic industries, play an important role in the industrialization and overall developments of nation.
Minerals are the definite chemically bounded substances, created through chemical processes between organic and inorganic matters present in the earth’s crust. They may be solid or liquid. Since the prosperity of a nation depend upon the proper use of minerals, hence, they should be conserved and should not be misused. Got should promote the research in this field of mining minerals.
India is fairly rich in mineral resources. The two main mineral resources are the followings:
1. Terrestrial Mineral Resources:
A great variety of inorganic materials for industrial technological growth are obtained from the earths’ crust e.g., iron, aluminum, copper, silver, gold, platinum. In addition there are some such elements, which are, needed in large quantities, but are very useful for modern industrial processes. These are vanadium, tungsten and molybdenum used primarily as catalysts and hardeners. Besides this, there are some non-metals which are also useful for industrialized nation and these are sand, and gravel, cement, clay, salt, sculpture phosphorus, diamond as well as the chemical by products of petroleum refining.
2. Marine Mineral Resources:
These are those minerals which are dissolved in water sediments on the sea bed at various depths and these present at some depth below the floor of the sea. The most common elements, which can be extracted, are strontium, boron, silicon, fluorine, argon, nitrogen, lithium, rubidium and phosphorus. The deep sea basin contains enormous quantities of minerals such as nickel, magnesium, cobalt and copper.
As a result of number of agrochemical processes and biological activity large deposits of different minerals are found in different parts of the world. Iron minerals like hematite, magnetite and sedative are the most abundant minerals. Next to Iron is Aluminum which occurs as Bauxite, Manganese which occurs as pyrolusite, chromium as chromate, copper as chalcopyrite, zinc as sphalerite, lead as galena etc which occur in order of decreasing. These minerals deposits are developed as a result of slow and gradual process of concentration, which takes million of years to form economically viable mineral deposits.
Minerals play an important role to support human life. Due to wide range of their uses, the stock of minerals is considerably receiving minerals are very useful for welfare of health and development of civilization. Modern farming is considerably dependent upon the use of minerals like potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen etc. It is from health view point that rock and common salt play an important role to protect human beings and animals.
Although gold and silver were known as rare elements but not available in the amount required to be used by humans, copper was the first metal, which was used. The widespread availability of iron minerals made it like used in a number of ways. As steel production expanded, for much of the forests had to be turned into coal required for the manufacturers of steel.
Consumption of metals other than iron such as copper, zinc and lead etc has remained constant over the last few decades while the consumption of metal like tin has decreased in relations to total steel consumption. But the consumption of light metal like aluminum has increased.
There exists a different gap between the uses of metals by developed and non- developed countries of the world. It is well known that major portion of numeral resources of the world is being used by rich people and developed countries. It has been estimated that about 80% of the world population lives in under developed countries. As the undeveloped countries develop per capita demand of material/ minerals will go up rapidly, this placing tremendous strain on the mineral resources of the world.
It is expected that exploitation of mineral wealth at a rapid rate will deplete good quality deposits.
The ever increasing demands will lead to carry on extraction from lower and lower grade of deposits which will have a poorer percentage of the metal. In addition, it may also involve a large amount of expenditure of energy followed by a large quantity of water material production.
Most of the mineral deposits occur as a complex number of minerals. After removal of the top portion and rocks, the remaining portion is left as waste material. Extraction of one element usually leads to waste of water of other elements. Such a kind of waste increases as more and more ones are extracted and processed.