Apatite is the principal mineral phosphate which is used in the manufacture of phosphatic fertilizers, elemental phosphorus and phosphoric acid. Apatite is found in different kinds of rocks such as granular limestone, gneiss, schist and senate. In India it is an important constituent of a rock called kodurite, consisting of orthoclase, manganese-garnet and apatite. Recoverable reserves of rock-phosphate are estimated at 146.95 million tones of all grades and of apatite at 13.64 million tones.
There have been wide fluctuations in the production of apatite in the country. The production was 423 tones valued at Rs. 6,000 in 1951. It rose to record high of 20,140 tones in 1961 but fell down to 11,307 tonnes in 1971. Since 1991-92 there has gradual decline in the output (7,150 tones in 1997- 98) which has shown some recovery in recent years (11,428 tonnes in 2002-03).
Source : Statistical Abstract India, 1997 and 2003.
The production of apatite in India is confined to only two states of West Bengal (65.17%) and Andhra Pradesh (34.83%).
West Hengal-Coal fields of the state.
Andhra Pradesh-Sitarampuram and Vizianagaram talukas of Vishakhapatnam district-:, phosphate content less than 35 per cent; estimated reserves 152,000 tonnes upto a depth of 30 m.
Jharkhand-Singhbhum district; three sectors (a) Namrup sector-Itagarth to Rajdah, (b) Palhargora sector-Rakha mines to Dhobani”.and (c) Sungri sector in Mosabani in Khejurdari. Estimated reserves are at 1.5 million tonnes with phosphate content between 10-25 per cent (up to a depth of 30 m). These deposits are utilised by the Iron and Steel Company at Burnpur.
Gujarat-Narukot area associated with manganese bearing rocks.
Tamil Nadu Kattagudi area near Bodinayakanur.
Rajasthan-Dungarpur, Ajmer and Jaisalmer districts; phosphate content 15-30 per cent.
Karnataka-near Rabbur, Arsikere and Hole Narispur.