Mining in India and Andhra Pradesh

Mining in India and Andhra Pradesh

Mining in india

During the last decade, India had witnessed a consistent high growth above 6% mainly due to rapid urbanization that has increased demand for infrastructure and consumer goods. This demand led to more than two fold increase in crude steel production from 32.6 million tonnes (MT) in 2004 to 81 MT1  in 2013 and demand for metals and minerals in general.

The Geological Survey of India, State Directorates of Mining and Geology, Public Sector Units like NMDC, MEC, HCL, CMPDI, HZL, BGML etc are the agencies for surveying, mapping and exploration of new deposits and reassessment of older deposits / mines. Out of the total area of 3.29 million sq. kms. of the country, systematic geological mapping of 3.15 million sq. kms. have been carried out by GSI. As a result of the cumulative efforts of the various agencies involved, considerable inventory has been added to most of the mineral deposits in the country.

India, being the sixth largest country in the world, is well endowed with various mineral resources. Government of India has recently enacted amendments to Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR) and notified rules that would help in overcoming many challenges associated with the minerals and mining sector such as low level mineral exploration and exploitation, low technology deployment, fragmented and small concession areas etc. India is poised to witness great leaps of growth in minerals and mining sector with the adoption of transparent and nondiscretionary grant of mineral concessions through an auction process.

The Ministry of Mines (MoM), Government of India is responsible for the entire minerals and mining sector in the country that includes legislation, administration, policy formulation etc. in respect of all mines and minerals other than coal and lignite, natural gas and petroleum, but including offshore minerals. In India, the minerals are classified as minor minerals and major minerals. The power to frame policy and legislation relating to minor minerals is entirely delegated to the State Governments while policy and legislation relating to the major minerals is dealt by the MoM. All the mineral legislations in the country conform to the provisions of the MMDR Act, 1957. MoM through its attached office, Geological Survey of India (GSI) facilitates exploration, geological mapping and mineral resource assessment in the country. Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), a subordinate office of the MoM is mainly responsible for regulation of mining in the country. Mineral concessions in India are granted to Indian nationals or entities incorporated in India only.

India is a mineral rich country and has favourable geological milieu which is yet to be fully explored, assessed and exploited. Its geological setup is similar in many ways to that of resource rich countries like Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Chile and Mexico etc. Exploration activities in India are mostly carried out by GSI, MECL, various State DGMs, public sector undertakings (PSU) and private sector entities both domestic and subsidiaries of many global companies.

GSI, established in 1851, is the principal agency for geological mapping and regional mineral resource assessment in India. India has a total land area of 3.2875 million sq. km. spread across 5,065 topo sheets and an area of 3.146 million sq. km. is mappable and GSI has covered 3.09611 million sq. km. (98.41%) on 1:50,000 scale till March 31, 2013. GSI has identified 0.571 million sq. km. as Obvious Geological Potential (OGP) area for minerals. A major part of this OGP area is yet to be fully explored.

Most of the exploration activities in the country are of conventional type with restricted input from geochemistry, geophysics and remote sensing. The finds so far, are located near the surface (mostly up to a vertical depth of 100 m). Therefore, with fast depletion of easily accessible and shallow or near surface ore bodies and decline in the rate of locating new mineral deposits within shallow depths, the challenge lies in identifying new area for locating near surface deposits and “deep seated” and “concealed/ hidden” ore bodies through modern and sophisticated exploration methods/ techniques on the basis of conceptual studies.

India has more than 7,500 km. long coastline and the territorial waters cover more than 0.15 million sq. km. Seabed resources of these areas and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covering about 1.87 million sq. km. have also come to light in recent years. If legal continent shelf is taken into account, total offshore area would become about 3.09 million sq. km. This may also require exploration of resources.

In the off-shore area, Marine and Coastal Survey Division of GSI and National Institute of Oceanography are the main institutes which are carrying out preliminary offshore exploration for economic minerals. The explorations were mainly carried out for economic heavy minerals (HM), construction sand, phosphatic nodules/sand, lime mud and polymetallic nodules.

To boost mineral exploration in the country, GSI has initiated the National Geochemical Mapping Programme (NGCM) in 2001. Stream sediment samples are collected on a 1 km × 1 km grid and analysed for 68 elements and the resultant geochemical values are plotted on a 1:50,000 scale base map. GSI also initiated National Geophysical Mapping Programme (NGPM) to generate basic and derived maps of Bouguer Anomaly and International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) corrected magnetic total field maps of the country on 1:50,000 scale at an observation density of one station per 2.50 sq. km. GSI initiatives also include National Geomorphological and Lineament Mapping Programme, Hyperspectral Mapping, Airborne Survey, Heli-borne Survey, Aeromagnetic Survey, Polar Studies and Marine and Coastal Surveys.

India has significantly large resources of iron ore, bauxite, chromium, manganese ore, baryte, rare earths and mineral salts. In India, minerals are broadly classified into minor minerals and major minerals (non-minor). At present, there are more than 3,700 active major mines in India employing over 5 lakh people. India produced 90 minerals that included 4 fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non-metallic and 23 minor minerals in 2012-13. The value of mineral production in 2012-13 was Rs. 2,85,761 crore (approx. USD 44.65 billion), which is about 2.4% of the GDP. Fuel minerals account for 64% of production, metallic minerals 15%, non-metallic minerals 3% and minor minerals 18%.

Mining in andhra pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is the sole holder of country’s resources of shale & slate and is the leading producer of apatite, barytes, ball clay, dolomite, garnet, laterite, mica, limestone and vermiculite. The state is the sole producer of asbestos. The State accounts for 94% barytes, 78% kyanite, 70% corundum, 61% ball clay, 21% limestone, 41% mica and 33% garnet resources of the country. The State is endowed with the internationally known black, pink, blue and multicoloured varieties of granites. Krishna-Godavari basin areas of the State have emerged as new promising areas for hydrocarbons, especially natural gas.

Important minerals occurring in the State are apatite in Visakhapatnam district; asbestos in Cuddapah district; ball clay in West Godavari district; barytes in Anantapur, Cuddapah, Khammam, Krishna, Kurnool, Nellore and Prakasam districts; calcite in Anantapur, Cuddapah, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam districts; china clay in Adilabad, Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah, East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Nellore, Rangareddi, Visakhapatnam and Warangal districts; coal in Adilabad, East and West Godavari, Karimnagar, Khammam and Warangal districts; corundum in Anantapur and Khammam districts; dolomite in Anantapur, Khammam, Kurnool and Warangal districts; felspar in Anantapur, Cuddapah, West Godavari, Hyderabad, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nellore, Rangareddi and Vizianagaram districts; fireclay in Adilabad, Chittoor, Cuddapah, East Godavari, West Godavari, Kurnool, Nalgonda and Srikakulam districts; garnet in East Godavari, Khammam and Nellore districts; granite in Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Guntur, Karimnagar, Khammam, Krishna, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nellore, Prakasam, Rangareddi; Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Warangal districts; iron ore (hematite) in Anantapur, Cuddapah, Guntur, Khammam, Krishna, Kurnool and Nellore districts; iron ore (magnetite) in Adilabad, Prakasam and Warangal districts; lead-zinc in Cuddapah, Guntur and Prakasam districts; limestone in Adilabad, Anantapur, Cuddapah, East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur, Hyderabad, Karimnagar, Krishna Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Nellore, Rangareddi, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts; manganese ore in Adilabad, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts; mica in Khammam and Nellore districts; ochre in Cuddapah, West Godavari, Guntur, Kurnool and Visakhapatnam districts; pyrophyllite in Anantapur district; quartz/ silica sand in Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah, West Godavari, Guntur, Hyderabad, Khammam, Krishna, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nellore, Prakasam, Rangareddi, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Warangal districts; quartzite in Kurnool, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts; talc/soapstone/steatite in Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Khammam and Kurnool districts and vermiculite in Nellore and Visakhapatnam districts. Petroleum & natural gas deposits of importance are located in the onshore and offshore areas of Krishna-Godavari basin of the State.

Other minerals that occur in the State are bauxite in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts; chromite in Khammam and Krishna districts; copper in Guntur, Khammam, Kurnool and Prakasam districts; diamond in Anantapur, Krishna and Kurnool districts; fuller’s earth in Medak and Rangareddi districts; gold in Anantapur, Chittoor and Kurnool districts; graphite in East Godavari, West Godavari, Khammam, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts; gypsum in Guntur, Nellore and Prakasam districts; kyanite in Khammam, Nellore and Prakasam districts; magnesite in Cuddapah district; marble in Khammam district; pyrite in Kurnool district; sillimanite in West Godavari district; silver in Guntur district; titanium minerals in East Godavari, Krishna, Nellore, Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts; and tungsten in East Godavari district.

Exploration & Development

ONGC continued its seismic survey and drilling for exploration of petroleum & natural gas in KG onland basin. In 2011-12, two new oil and three gas prospects were discovered in East Godavari, West Godavari & Krishna districts.


The value of mineral production in Andhra Pradesh at L 22,657 crore in 2011-12 was 4% higher as compared to that in the previous year. Almost all important minerals are produced in Andhra Pradesh. The principal minerals produced in the State were coal, natural gas (utilised), limestone, petroleum (crude), barytes and iron ore which together accounted for 50% of total value of mineral production in the State during 2011-12. Coal alone contributed about 40% and minor minerals accounted for about 49% of the total value of mineral production in the State.

Andhra Pradesh claims the third position among the States in the country with a contribution of 9% to the total value of the mineral production. It is the sole producer of asbestos in India and also contributes almost entire out put of apatite, barytes and mica (crude). In addition, it is the leading producer of vermiculite, sand (others), laterite, sillimanite , quartz, quartzite and limestone contributing 85%, 82%, 61%, 55%, 46%, 34% and 21% in the total production of the country of respective minerals. It is the second leading producer in the country and accounts for 30% in felspar, 29% in silica sand and 16% in ball clay.

Among the important minerals produced in the State, the output of quartzite and kaolin increased manifolds and that of sillimanite increase 79%, laterite by 62%, sand (others) and mica (crude) 29% each, steatite 28%, ochre 20% , quartz 12% and manganese ore 11 percent. However, a decline in production was observed in felspar 6%, dolomite 19%, shale 21%, barytes 26%, vermiculite 52% and garnet (abrasive) 59% as compared to the output of previous year.

The production value of minor minerals was estimated at L 11,079 crore for the year 2011-12. The number of reporting mines in the state was 492 in 2011-12 as against 456 in the previous year. The index of mineral production in Andhra Pradesh (base 2004-05=100) was 138.63 in 2011-12 as compared to 137.36 in the previous year.


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