|*Rajasthan Mineral Map showing metallic and non metallic minerals found in the state.|
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Mining sector in Rajasthan is another pre-eminent sector next to Agriculture. There are about 42 major and 28 minor minerals found in the region. This sector provides employment to about two million mine workers throughout the state.
The huge sandy expanse of Rajasthan is rich in the white and bright Wollastonite (used primarily in ceramics, plastics and as a paint filler), lead, zinc, calcite (basically used as a construction material), gypsum, rock phosphate (to make organic manure), silver, marble, sandstone and serpentine (green marble), dolomite, emeralds and garnets.
Large deposits of hydrocarbons have been found in Western Rajasthan and an estimated reserve of 1000 million tonnes of crude oil equivalents in Barmer. In the Jaisalmer basin region in Manohar Tiba, Tanot, Dandewala and Shahgarh 25-30 billion cubic metre natural gas reserves have been discovered. The Bikaner-Nagaur Basin also has rich heavy oil reserves.
Rajasthan is the second largest mineral producing state in India and houses about 90% of the total mineral reserves of the country.
It shares 24% of the aggregate national production of non-metallic minerals.
The following table shows the share of Rajasthan in terms of reserve and production of the principal minerals-
Minerals Reserve(million tones) Production (million tones)
Lead and Zinc Ore752.64
In India, Rajasthan is the greatest producer of non-ferric metals such as copper and zinc and accounts for 40% of the country's copper production and 100% of zinc production. The state also accounts for 85% of lead production, 94% of gypsum, 76% of silver ore, 68% of feldspar, 84% of asbestos and 12% mica.
The dry terrain of Rajasthan is also repository of colossal slabs of stone and accounts for 65% of India's stone production. The state accounts for 90 % of the marble, slate and sandstone production. In 2000-01, the stone exports from Rajasthan were estimated at around 2324 million rupees.
Thus the mineral and mining sector of Rajasthan is a very important revenue earner for the state. From this sector Rajasthan earns (as mineral royalty) an annual income of more than US$ 100 Million.
Some Mining Areas and Estates
Rajasthan houses rich salt deposits at Sambhar, which is India's largest inland salt lake. There are large copper mines in the.Khetri region. Khetri Copper Complex (KCC) has copper smelting and refining facilities developed and maintained by Hindustan Copper Limited.
Hindustan Zinc Limited manages the large zinc mines at Dariba. Markana near Jodhpur is the site where white marble is mined. It is said that Markana marble was used in the making of the Taj Mahal.
Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Limited (RSMML) is one of the significant Government undertakings of Rajasthan that is involved in the mining and marketing of non metallic minerals such as Limestone, Rock Phosphate, Lignite and Gypsum.
The Sanu Limestone Unit in Jaislamer is the largest producer and supplier of steel grade limestone in the country. This kind low silica and hard compact limestone is best suited for Steel Industry. This region houses about 167 million tonnes of S.M.S grade limestone and 2153 million tonnes of cement grade limestone. Steel Authority of India Ltd, Tata Iron & steel Company Ltd, Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, Indian Iron & steel company and Jindal Iron & Steel Ltd form the prestigious list of clients of the Sanu Limestone Unit.
Limestone Unit, Gotan near Jodhpur contains very low silica, high calcium limestone. Shree Ram Vinyl & Chemicals, J. K. White Cement Works, and ACC Ltd etc are their esteemed clients. Fluorspar Unit, Bhinmal near Jodhpur has mineral Fluorspar deposits in the volcanic rocks. Fluorspar is an essential mineral in steel and aluminium industry.