Mineral and Metal Scenario
Minerals are valuable natural resources being finite and non-renewable. They constitute the vital raw materials for many basic industries and are a major resource for development. The wide availability of the minerals in the form of abundant rich reserves made it very conducive for the growth and development of the mining sector in India.
The country is endowed with huge resources of many metallic and non-metallic minerals. Mining sector is an important segment of the Indian economy. Since independence, there has been a pronounced growth in the mineral production both in terms of quantity and value. India produces as many as 87 minerals, which include 4 fuel, 10 metallic, 47 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 23 minor minerals (including building and other materials).
Contribution and Rank of India in World Production of Principal Minerals and Metals
|Commodity||Unit of Quantity||Production||Contribution (per cent)||India's Rank in Order of Quantum of Production|
|Coal and Lignite||million tonnes||6938||566||8.1||3rd|
|Petroleum (crude)||million tonnes||3714||33.6||0.9||25th|
|Iron Ore||million tonnes||2248||213||9.5||4th|
|Manganese Ore||'000 tonnes||33400||2396||7.2||5th|
|Rock phosphate||'000 tonnes||159000||1450||0.9||14th|
|Copper (refined)||'000 tonnes||18300||500||2.7||10th|
|Steel (crude)||million tonnes||1224||63||5.1||3rd|
|Lead (refined)||'000 tonnes||8900||197||2.2||10th|
|Zinc (slab)||'000 tonnes||11400||658||5.7||3rd|
Source: World Mineral Production 2005-2009, British Geological Survey
*- Figures related to 2009.
The index of mineral production of mining and quarrying sector in the month of October 2011 was higher by 10.54 per cent compared to that of the preceding month. The mineral sector has shown a negative growth of 7.19 per cent during October 2011 as compared to that of the corresponding month of previous year.
The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during October 2011 was US$ 2.73 billion . The contribution of petroleum (crude) was the highest at US$ 1.09 billion (40 per cent). Next in the order of importance were: coal US$ 0.70 billion , iron ore US$ 0.43 billion , natural gas (utilized) US$ 0.27 billion, lignite US$ 0.05 billion and limestone US$ 0.05 billion. These six minerals together contributed about 96 per cent of the total value of mineral production in October 2011.
Production level of important minerals in October 2011 were: coal 400 lakh tonnes, lignite 2.7 million tonnes, natural gas (utilized) 3932 million cu. m., petroleum (crude) 3.2 million tonnes, bauxite 958 thousand tonnes, chromite 256 thousand tonnes, copper conc. 10 thousand tonnes, gold 104 kg., iron ore 10.5 million tonnes, lead conc. 13 thousand tonnes, manganese ore 170 thousand tonnes, zinc conc. 111 thousand tonnes, apatite & phosphorite 178 thousand tonnes, dolomite 388 thousand tonnes, limestone 19.9 million tonnes, magnesite 14 thousand tonnes and diamond 1481 carat.
In the month of October 2011 the output of chromite increased by 47.18 per cent, magnetite 34.90 per cent, coal 33.88 per cent, limestone 5.90 per cent, manganese ore 5.20 per cent, petroleum (crude) 3.21 per cent, natural gas (utilized) 1.37 percent. The production of lignite remains at the level of previous month. However the production of iron ore decreased by 1.24 per cent, dolomite 2.17 per cent, copper conc. 2.48 per cent, lead conc. 2.61 per cent, zinc conc. 2.71 per cent, apatite & phosphorite 9.80 per cent, bauxite 11.06 per cent, diamond 28.14 per cent and gold 29.25 percent.
Government in the Mining Sector
Survey and exploration
Regulation and conservation
Mining and processing
Hindustan Copper Limited
National Aluminium Company Ltd
Indian mining industry is characterized by a large number of small operational mines. The number of mines which reported mineral production (excluding minor minerals, petroleum (crude), natural gas and atomic minerals) in India was 2628 in 2010-11 as against 2999 in the previous year.
Out of 2628 reporting mines, 377 were located in Gujarat followed by Andhra Pradesh (372), Jharkhand (288), Madhya Pradesh (251), Rajasthan (215), Karnataka (211), Orissa (159), Tamil Nadu (156), Maharashtra (142), Chhattisgarh (135) and West Bengal (111). These 11 States together accounted for 91.97% of total number of mines in the country in 2010-11. The number of reporting mines are given below:
Number of Reporting Mines
|Coal (including Lignite)||574||574||574|
*Excluding atomic minerals, petroleum (crude), natural gas (utilized) and minor minerals.
Source:Ministry of Mines,Government of India
Major Players in the Mining Sector
|Mining Sector||Mining Sector|
|Exploration and Production of Coal/Lignite||
|Exploration of Metals||
|Iron Ore Sector||
|Bauxite Mining and Aluminium Production||
|Copper Ore Mining||
Global Mining Companies Operating in India
Regulation and Conservation
The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM)
IBM is a subordinate office under the Ministry of Mines. It is engaged in the promotion and conservation of minerals, protection of mines environment and scientific development of mineral resource of the country, other than coal, petroleum and natural gas, atomic mineral and minor minerals.
Mining and Processing
Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL)
HCL was incorporated on 9th November 1967, under the Companies Act, 1956. It was established as a Government of India enterprise to take over all plants, projects, schemes and studies pertaining to the exploration and exploitation of copper deposits, including smelting and refining from National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd.
National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO)
NALCO was incorporated in 1981 and is Asia's largest integrated alumina- aluminium complex, comprising bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port facilities. NALCO enjoys the status of a Star Export House and a Miniratna company.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Mining Sector
Foreign equity holding is allowed upto 100 per cent on the automatic route for all non-fuel and non-atomic minerals including diamonds and precious stones.
FDI up to 100 per cent is allowed with prior Government approval in mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals & ores, its value addition and integrated activities subject to sectoral regulations and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act 1957).
FDI for separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores will be subject to the following additional conditions,viz.:
(a) FDI up to 100 per cent shall be allowed for mineral separation only if value addition facilities are set up within India along with transfer of technology.
(b) Disposal of tailings during the mineral separation shall be carried out in accordance with regulations framed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board such as Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004, and the Atomic Energy (Safe Disposal of Radioactive Wastes) Rules, 1987.
As per Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP),the FDI in the mining sector during the current year (2011-12) has been reported to USD 103.03 million upto September 2011.
India-Canada Geosciences Working Group
Ministry of Mines and the Department of Natural Resources, Canada entered into a cooperation programme in field of geosciences by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in April, 2003. A Joint Working Group (JWG) was formed to implement the MoU and five meetings have so far been held. The fifth meeting was held on 27th May, 2008 in Canada. The main projects are study on Arsenic Toxicity in the ground water of West Bengal and monitoring of landslides at selected sites in India, etc. With a view to enhance the cooperation programme between the two countries a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Canada on 27th June, 2010, for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources during the visit of Hon'ble Prime Minister of India to Canada.
MOU with Chile
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between India and the Republic of Chile on 17th March, 2009, for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources during the visit of President of Chile to India.
MOU with Nambia
Ministry of Mines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Namibia on cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources, in New Delhi on 31st August, 2009. The MoU was signed by then Hon'ble Minister of Mines and Development of North Eastern Region on behalf of the Government of India and the Minister of Mines and Energy, on behalf of the Republic of Namibia.
MOU with Ontario
The Province of Ontario in Canada is considered very advanced in the mining sector. The mining tenement system and laws/procedures of the provincial Government of Ontario for grant of prospecting licences and mining leases, are among the most modern and transparent in the world. These can be useful for India for an exposure and for considering adopting good practices .Keeping the above in mind,Ministry of Mines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, Province of Ontario, Canada, for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 8th July, 2010.The MoU will provide an umbrella framework for development of mutual cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources between India and Ontario Province, Canada. It will facilitate exchange of information on research and development, training and human resources development in geology and mineral resources, promote investment in mining and mining related activities and encourage transfer of technology between the two countries.
MOU with Mozambique
Mozambique's mining sector has been opened up to private initiative and international investors. The mineral potential of Mozambique includes gold, base metals, mineral sands, diamonds, graphite, coal, etc. Mozambique has extensive mineralized middle to late orogenic belts, divided by younger basins and major shear zones which host gold, copper, iron, chromites, beryl-tantalite-graphite, asbestos etc. To facilitate cooperation between the two countries, Ministry of Mines entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 30th September, 2010, with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy of the Republic of Mozambique for cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources, during the visit of the President of Mozambique to India.
MOU with Malawi
Malawi has mineral resources of coal, precious and semi precious stones, graphite, phosphate, nickel, copper, platinum group of elements etc. There exists a definite possibility of increasing India's involvement in the mining sector of Malawi. Indian mining companies can explore the possibilities of joint collaboration with their counterparts in Malawi to exploit Malawi's mineral resources. To facilitate cooperation activities, Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment of the Republic of Malawi signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 3rd November, 2010, during the visit of the President of Malawi to India.
Co-operation with Mongolia
Mongolia has undergone a rapid increase in mineral exploration. Mongolia has extensive and largely untapped mineral resources. Coal, copper, gold, fluorspar are the major mineral products that are produced in Mongolia. Silver and molybdenum are also being produced. Gold mining in Mongolia has also increased significantly. The Minerals Law has played an important role in attracting foreign exploration companies into Mongolia. One of the possible area for cooperation identified is in the field of copper mining, copper beneficiation and smelting. While the Minerals Law has played an important role in attracting foreign exploration companies into Mongolia, the rapid increase in the number of exploration licenses has been largely due to the abolition of the 10 percent gold tax. To enhance cooperation with mineral rich Mongolia a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Geology, Mines and Minerals was set up and the first meeting was held on 7-9 June, 2010.
Co-operation with Columbia
Colombia is endowed with varieties of minerals, which includes gold, coal, bauxite, copper, iron ore, lead, silver, zinc, nickel, platinum and other industrial minerals like salt, asbestos, clays, feldspar, gypsum, magnetite, mica, calcite, dolomite, limestone, etc. Historically, the country has been recognised as an important producer and leading exporter of emerald. In addition, the country Is an important producer of ferronickel and the only producer of platinum in Latin America. A delegation from Colombia led by H.E.Mr. Hernan Martinez Tores, Minister of Mines and Energy, Republic of Colombia had a meeting with Hon'ble Minister of State for Mines in September 2008. A Memorandum of Understanding between India and Colombia on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources has been finalized.
Co-operation with Afghanistan
India and Afghanistan bilateral relations which is underpinned by a long history of friendship and cultural affinity have attained new level of intensity and cooperation. India has undertaken, in partnership with the Afghan government, projects in virtually all parts of Afghanistan and a whole range of sectors including hydro-electricity, road construction, agriculture, industry, telecommunications, information & broadcasting, education and health. In the next phase of Indian assistance programme, focus would be on development of the infrastructure sector, including road construction, hydroelectricity and power transmission.Afghanistan has significant amounts of undiscovered non-fuel mineral resources.
Estimates for cooper and iron ore resources were found to have the most potential for extraction in Afghanistan. Scientists also found indication of abundant deposits of colored stones and gemstones, including emerald, ruby sapphire, peridot. Other examples of mineral resources available for extraction in Afghanistan include gold, mercury, sulphur, chromite, talc-magnesite, potash, graphite and sand & gravel. H.E. Mr. Waheedullah Shaharani, Minister of Mines, Afghanistan called on the Hon'ble Minister of Mines & DONER on 17th June, 2010 and emphasized the need of India's assistance in training of geosciences personnel of Afghanistan by India. He also invited Indian business fraternity to participate in Afghan mineral industry through value addition.
Co-operation with Quebec Province, Canada
His Excellency Mr. Clement Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Quebec Province, Canada met Hon'ble Minister of State for Mines (IC) Shri Dinsha Patel on 3rd February, 2011. The discussions were focused on possibility of entering into a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between India and Quebec province in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources.
National Mineral Policy, 2008 (For non-fuel and non-coal minerals)
Minerals are a valuable natural resource being the vital raw material for infrastructure,capital goods and basic industries. As a major resource for development the extraction and management of minerals has to be integrated into the overall strategy of the country’s economic development. The exploitation of minerals has to be guided by long-term national goals and perspectives. Just as these goals and perspectives are dynamic and responsive to the changing global economic scenario so also the national mineral policy has to be dynamic taking into consideration the changing needs of industry in the context of the domestic and global economic environment. It is, therefore, necessary to revisit the National Mineral Policy, 1993, and to spell out in a revised statement the different elements of policy, including elements newly evolved, for the development of the mineral resources of the country.
Useful Web link
Ministry of Mines,Government of India: www.mines.nic.in