There are about 1,600 minerals found in t earth’s crust of which about 200 are useful f commercial production and industrial consumption There are about 80 such minerals which are considered vital for modern industrial economy. Depending upon their characteristics and usefulness min also are grouped under three main categories-(metallic minerals, (b) non-metallic minerals, and (mineral fuels.
(a) Metallic Minerals are classified on t basis of predominant metal. These include (i) ferrous minerals including various types of iron ores like hematite, magnetite, limonite, siderite etc; (ii Ferro-alloys like chromium, cobalt, manganese” molybdenum, nickel, tungsten, vanadium, titanium, etc.; (iii) precious metals like gold, silver and platinum, etc; (iv) semi-precious metals like copper, aluminum, zinc, lead and tin etc; (v) light metals like bauxite, titanium and magnesium etc; and elect Ironic metals like cadmium and mercury etc.
(b) Non-metallic Minerals-these minerals arc not metalliferous and are also called industrial minerals. This group includes such minerals like mica, asbestos, pyrite, salt, gypsum, diamond, barytes, bentonite, steatite, silica, fertilisers (nitrates, potash and phosphates) and clay.
(c) Mineral Fuels-this group includes energy resources like coal, petroleum, natural gas and atomic minerals.
17.7.1. Metallic Minerals
Metallic minerals constitute the second important group of minerals after the fuel minerals. These minerals provide a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries and thereby help the process of industrialisation and economic development. India has a substantial reserve of these minerals and some of these are surplus enough to be exported to foreign countries.: Distribution of (A) Manganese, (B) Mica and Copper, (C) Bauxite, (D) Irone Ore.
(1) Iron Ore
Iron is the backbone of modern civilization. It is used in the manufacture of tiny safety pins to giant machines, automobiles, ships, aero planes, rails, bridges and tanks etc. It is a durable and cheap metal which can be molded in different form and can be mixed with other metals to form many alloys.
Loss of this metal would lead to closure of factories and retard the pace of development. Iron ore is not found in the earth’s crust in pure form; instead it is often found mixed with lime, magnesium, phosphorus, silica, sculpture and copper etc.