India annually exports about 15 per cent of ill total production of manganese ore. However, there has been gradual decline in the quantity of export since 1971 on ward. In 1960-61 India exported 11.661 lakh tones of manganese ore valued at Rs. 221 million.
This reached the record high of 16.36 lakh tones valued at Rs. 140 million but fell down to 2.65 lakh tones and valued at Rs. 595 million in9 2000-01. Table I7.XIII gives some idea about the trends of manganese ore export from India.
Bulk of this export goes to Japan (60 per cent). France, Czech, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United States, Belgium,Germany,Canada and South Korea. Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, Maragos, Chennai and Mumbai are the main ports which handle the export? The declining trend in export is mainly attributed to stiff competition from the South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Australia etc; lack of demand, low price, increasing domestic consumption and restriction imposed on the export of high grade ores. Emphasis on the export of ferro-manganese instead of raw ore would fetch higher prices in the international market.
(3) Copper Ore
Copper was one of the earliest known metals to mankind. It was used as an alloy or pure form by the primitive man. Mixed with tin it formed bronze which was utilised by the ancients in the manufacture of knives, swords, shields, etc. Gun metal contains 85-92 percent of copper and the rest as tin. With 10-27 percent zinc the alloy is called brass which is used in the manufacture of cases for cartridges and shells.
Copper is largely used in electrical industry-electric wires, cables, electrical apparatus, telephones, radio, television, refrigerators, air conditioners. Copper is also used to manufacture stainless steel, rolled-gold, morel metal, Dura-lumin, coins and domestic utensils. Copper with 5 per cent of arsenic is used for plates, strips and tubes employed in engineering. Copper sulphate or blue vitriol is used in calico printing, dying etc. Copper chloride is a strong disinfectant.
In India the copper ores usually occur as veins or as disseminations in the Dharwar schist’s and Phillies. The most common ore is the supplied, chalcopyrite, which by surface-alteration passes into malachite, azurite, cuprites, etc. The origin has resulted from the met somatic replacement of the country rock by copper-bearing solutions derived from granitic and other intrusions in the Dharwars. The copper content of these rocks is low being less than one per cent in about two-thirds of the total reserves and 1-3 per cent in the remaining.
The total recoverable reserves of copper ore in the country are 537.86 million tones equivalent to 5.3 million tones of metal content. The all-India conditional resources of copper are 72 million tons (3.16 million tones or copper metal) and prospective resources are 0.6 million tons of copper ore (India, 2003, p.558). According to the Indian Minerals Yearbook the total estimated reserves of copper ore in India are about 495 million tones which is less than 1 per cent of the world’s reserves. Bihar (including Jharkhand) occupies first place in respect of copper ore reserves (44.24 per cent of India) followed by Rajasthan (20.81%), and Madhya Pradesh (20.2%).
These four states together provide 85 per cent of die copper ore reserves of the country. Major and important copper ore deposits are located in Singhbhum district of Jharkhand; Jhunjliunu and Alwar districts of Rajasthan; and Balaghat (Malanjkhand area) district of Madhya Pradesh. In addition, small copper ore deposits are found in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Sikkim, Orissa, Uttaranchal, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
India produced 3.75 lakh tones of copper ore in 1951 which increased to 6.66 lakh tones in 1971 (77.6 per cent increase). The production was tripled during the next 10 years. The production touched the record output of 52.55 lakh tones in 1990-91. Thence onward there has been gradual decline in the production of the copper ore which has fallen down to 34.83 lakh tones in 2000-01. During 1997-98 die production again increased up to 44.99 lakh tones.
Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), incorporated on 9 November, 1967 as a public sector enterprise, is the leading producer of primary copper in the country. It took over the Indian Copper Corporation in 1972. At present the company has four main units: (i) Khetri Copper Complex in Rajasthan, (ii) Indian Copper Complex in Bihar, (iii) Malanjkhand Copper Project in Madhya Pradesh, and (iv) Taloja Copper Project in Maharashtra.
Other smaller units of the company include Rakha Copper Project, Dariba Copper Project (Rajasthan), Agnigundala Copper- Lead Project (Andhra Pradesh), Chandmari Copper Project (Rajasthan), and Lapso Kyamte Mines at Lapsoburu in Singhbhum district (Jharkhand). HCL produces primary copper in the form of cathodes, wire bars, and wire rods.