Mineral-based industries use minerals as raw materials for production. They contribute significantly to the domestic and global economies, and they employ thousands of people in both the rural and the urban sectors. These industries rely on minerals like iron, copper, zinc, lead, and others. These heavy industries support the nation's infrastructure, growth, and development.
This article will provide information on what are mineral-based industries in the country, their types, importance, and other related information.
Did you know?
The Iron and Steel industries are the country's main/ major mineral-based industries. The TISCO plant at Jamshedpur is the oldest Iron and Steel plant in the country.
Types of Mineral-Based Industries
The main mineral-based industries of the country are:
- Iron and steel
- Copper smelting industry
- Aluminium industry
- Lead and zinc smelting industry
- Cement industry
- Fertiliser industry
These industries use metallic and non-metallic minerals as raw materials for their production.
Iron and Steel Industry
Iron and steel are the backbone of the industrial development of the country. It is a mineral-based industry, and these primary industries use mineral ores as raw materials. Other industries further use these products as raw materials to manufacture several other products like building materials, railway coaches, heavy machinery, and others. SAIL is the major public sector company, and TISCO is the major private sector company in the country.
Some of the Iron and Steel Industries in India are:
- Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam
- Chhattisgarh - Bhilai
- Jharkhand - Jamshedpur (TISCO), Bokaro
- Karnataka - Vishveshwarya
- Odisha - Rourkela
- Tamil Nadu - Salem
- West Bengal - Durgapur, Burnpur
Copper Smelting Industry
Copper smelting plants use the technique of multiple sulphide oxidising stages to separate copper from copper concentrates. HCL is the sole copper-producing industry in the country.
Some of the Copper Refineries in India are:
- BALCO - Korba, Chhattisgarh
- Hindalco (Birla) - Dahej, Bharuch district of Gujarat
- Hindustan Copper - Khetri, Jhunjhunu district, Rajasthan
- Sterlite Industries - Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu
Aluminium Smelting is the second largest industry in India after Iron and steel, and it is used as a substitute for steel, copper, and lead in various businesses. These industries are located in Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, and Kerala. Aluminium is a good conductor of heat and is used to produce and distribute electricity, manufacture household utensils, electric appliances, rail coaches, aeroplanes, and nuclear and defence accessories. It is a rapidly growing industry and comprises two basic segments - the upstream and the downstream. The former produces primary aluminium, while the downstream segment processes the aluminium into semi-finished goods.
Some of the Aluminium Industries in India are:
- BALCO - Ratnagiri, Maharashtra
- Chhattisgarh - Korba (Vedanta)
- MALCO - Mettur, TN
- NALCO - Koratpur, Odisha
- Odisha - Hirakund (Birla), Jharsuguda (Vedanta)
- UP - Hindalco (Birla)
Lead and Zinc Smelting Industry
Lead, and zinc production depends on the type of ore used as a charge. In pyrometallurgical, the ore concentrate, which has lead/ zinc or both, is fed into the smelter. They can also be produced hydrometallurgically. Modena smelting processes are Kivcet, TBRC, QSL, and AUSMELT. The Zawar deposits of Rajasthan are the main lead and zinc ore sources for the smelting industry. The lead and zinc smelting industry are slow in developing due to the erratic supply of ore.
HZL is the only producer of primary lead and primary zinc in India. These are mostly extracted from the ores found in the mines in Rajasthan. Binani Zinc Ltd (BZL) (another zinc producer) produces it from imported material.
The cement industry uses sedimentary rocks, silicon dioxide, and minerals for production. The finished product is used to construct homes, spans, plants, streets, dams, terminals, and others.
Some of the Cement industries in India are mentioned below:
- ACC Ltd
- Ambuja Cements Ltd
- Birla Corporation Limited
- Dalmia Bharat Ltd
- India Cements Ltd
- Shree Cement Ltd
India ranks third in the production of element fertilisers. These are a combination of elements (N), phosphate (P), and potassium hydroxide (K). India lacks the presence of Potassium hydroxide since there are no stores of potash or metallic element compounds in the country. Gujarat, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu state geographic regions produce fifty per cent of the total fertiliser output in the country.
Some of the fertiliser industries in India are:
- Fertilisers & Chemicals Travancore Limited.
- Madras Fertilizers Limited, and national Fertilizers Limited.
- Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited.
- Paradeep Phosphates Limited.
- Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited.
- Steel Authority of India Limited.
The industry is its own largest buyer. Essential artificial substances are used to manufacture synthetics, which are then used for industrial applications, buyer markets, or farming. The chemical business in the country is growing by leaps and bounds. Artificial substances are used to produce fertilisers, plastics, factory-made filaments, and others.
Some of the chemical companies in India are:
- Aarti Industries Ltd
- GHCL Ltd
- BASF India Ltd
- Atul Ltd
- Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals Ltd
- Pidilite Industries Ltd
- TATA Chemicals Ltd
Importance of Mineral-Based Industries
Mineral-based industries are very crucial for a country’s economy. They play a major role in bolstering it. These industries rely on minerals like iron, zinc, copper, lead, and others. These heavy industries are responsible for the nation's strong infrastructure, growth, and rapid development. Industries based on minerals are capital-intensive setups as they require significant investment. The Iron and steel industry and the automobile industries are examples of mineral-based industry.
Major Minerals Found in India
Following are the minerals available in India
- Iron ore
In India, the mineral industries are rapidly growing and developing. These industries provide employment to a large number of people both in urban and rural areas. It is expected that by 2025 around 6 million individuals will be working in this sector. These industries contribute to the Indian economy. The government, too, lays special emphasis on this sector. It has included this sector in its Make in India policy program too. We hope this article has been of help in providing information about mineral-based industries.
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