Minerals and Energy Resources I Notes

Minerals and Energy Resources I Notes

Minerals and Energy Resources


Minerals have become an important part of our lives. From the smallest articles such as pins to the biggest products such as aeroplanes and railways are made of minerals. Most minerals are found in the Earth’s crust.

Occurrence of Minerals


Minerals are naturally occurring, homogeneous substances with a definite chemical  composition.
Minerals occur in the following forms:

  1. In metamorphic and igneous rocks, minerals are obtained from cracks, faults and joints. The smaller cracks where minerals occur are called veins, while bigger fissures, crevices or joints are called lodes. When minerals in liquid and gaseous forms are forced upwards through cracks and fissures of the rocks, they cool and solidify. Examples: Copper, zinc, tin, lead
  2. Minerals occur in the layers of sedimentary rocks. They are formed as a result of deposition and concentration in horizontal layers under extreme heat and pressure. Examples: Coal and iron ore.
    Minerals such as sodium salt and gypsum are formed as a result of evaporation in dry regions.
  3. When the surface of the rocks decomposes, weathered materials are left behind resulting in the formation of minerals. Example: Bauxite
  4. Some minerals occur as alluvial deposits at the base of hills or on the valley floor. Examples: Gold, silver, platinum
  5. Many minerals are found in the oceans. Examples: Magnesium, bromine, common salt.

India is rich in minerals, and varieties of minerals are found here.

Types of Minerals

There are ferrous, non-ferrous, metallic and non-metallic minerals. Ferrous minerals contain iron and have a tendency to corrode. Non-ferrous minerals do not contain iron, are not magnetic and are resistant to corrosion.

Differences between metallic and non-metallic minerals:

Metallic Minerals Non-metallic Minerals
Metallic minerals contain metal in raw form. Non-metallic minerals do not contain metals.
These metals are associated with igneous rocks. These metals are associated with sedimentary rocks.
They are usually hard and have a shine of their own. They are not usually hard and have no shine of their own.
Examples: Iron, copper, bauxite, tin Examples: Salt, coal, mica, clay

Major Minerals and their Occurrence in India

  • Iron Ore
    • Properties
      Ferrous, heavy metal
    • Importance
      Magnetite is of the finest quality. It is used in electrical industries.
      Hematite ore is the most important industrial iron ore.
    • Occurrence
      Odisha–Jharkhand Belt
      Durg–Bastar–Chandrapur belt in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra
      Bellary–Chitradurga– Chikmaglur–Tumkur belt in Karnataka
  • Manganese
    • Properties
      Ferrous mineral
    • Importance
      It is used in the manufacturing of steel and ferro-manganese alloy. It is also used in the manufacturing of bleaching powder, insecticides and paints.
    • Occurrence
      Odisha is the largest producer of manganese ore in India.
  • Copper
    • Properties
      Non-ferrous mineral, ductile and good conductor of electricity
    • Importance
      It is used in electrical cables, electronics and chemical industries.
    • Occurrence
      Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh, Khetri Mines in Rajasthan and Singbhum district of Jharkhand
  • Bauxite
    • Properties
      Non-ferrous mineral; aluminium is obtained from it.
    • Importance
      Aluminium obtained from bauxite is used largely in the aviation industry and automobile industry.
    • Occurrence
      Odisha is the largest producer of bauxite in India. Panchpatmali deposits are the most important bauxite deposits in the state.
  • Mica
    • Properties
      Non-metallicmineral;
      resistant to highvoltage.
    • Importance
      It is used in the electric and electronic industry.
    • Occurrence
      Koderma–Gaya–Hazaribagh belt of Jharkhand, Northern Chota Nagpur Plateau, areas around Ajmer, Nellore in Andhra Pradesh

Energy Resources - Conventional and Non-Conventional


Energy resources are divided into conventional and non-conventional resources. Major conventional sources of energy are

Coal

  • Coal is a major source of energy in India. It is formed as a result of compression of plant material over millions of years.
  • Anthracite is the finest quality of coal. Bituminous coal is used for commercial purposes. High-quality bituminous coal is used in blast furnaces for smelting iron. Lignite is an inferior quality of coal which has high moisture content.
  • In India, coal occurs in the Damodar Valley in West Bengal and Jharkhand, Jharia, Raniganj and Bokaro. Godavari, Mahanadi, Son and Wardha valleys also contain coal deposits. Because coal loses weight, heavy industries and thermal power stations are located close to coal fields.


Map of India showing coal fields and coal mines

Petroleum

  • It is another major source of energy in India. It is used for heat and lighting, lubricants for machinery and as raw material for many manufacturing industries.
  • Petroleum is found in the fault traps between porous and non-porous rocks. Gas occurs above the oil.
  • Mumbai High, Gujarat and Assam are important petroleum-producing regions in the country. Ankleshwar in Gujarat, and Digboi and Naharkatiya are important oil fields in Assam.

Natural Gas

  • It is an environment-friendly source as it emits carbon dioxide in low quantities. It may occur with or without petroleum. It is used as raw material in petrochemical industries and as a source of energy.
  • The Krishna-Godavari Basin has large reserves of natural gas. Mumbai High, Gulf of Khambhat and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands also have large reserves of natural gas.

Electricity produced by using coal, petroleum and natural gas is known as thermal electricity.
Electricity produced by using fast-flowing water is known as hydroelectricity.

Non-conventional Sources of Energy

Nuclear Energy

  • It is produced by altering the atoms in an atomic reactor.
  • Uranium and thorium used for the production of nuclear energy are found in Jharkhand, Aravalli ranges of Rajasthan and Monazite sands of Kerala.

Solar Energy

  • Because India is a tropical country, there are immense possibilities to harness solar energy. Solar plants are being set up in various parts of the country.
  • Various residential apartments have also installed solar cell panels on their roofs for generating electricity.

Wind Power

  • Windmills are used for generating electricity. India has a great potential of becoming a wind power.
  • Windmills are located from Nagercoil to Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Lakshadweep Islands have important wind farms.
  • Nagercoil and Jaisalmer have made effective use of wind energy.

Biogas

  • Farm wastes, shrubs and animal wastes are used to produce biogas. Biogas is used for the production of electricity.
  • Many biogas plants have been set up at municipal and village levels. Many plants use cattle dung to produce electricity.

Tidal Energy

  • When energy of the oceanic tides is used for the generation of electricity, it is known as tidal energy.
  • Floodgates are built across inlets. When water flows in during high tides, it gets trapped. After the gated are closed, this water goes back to the sea through pipes passing through power-generating turbines.
  • Gulf of Khambhat and Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat and the Gangetic delta in the Sundarban region in West Bengal can be used for the generation of electricity.

Geo-thermal Energy

  • When heat emanating from the interior of the Earth is used for the generation of electricity, it is called geo-thermal energy.
  • When groundwater under the surface of the Earth becomes hot because of the existence of high temperature, hot water rises on the surface of the Earth in the form of steam. This steam is then used to generate electricity.
  • Two geothermal projects have been started in India—one in Manikarn in Himachal Pradesh and the other in Puga Valley in Ladakh.

Differences between Conventional and Non-conventional Sources of energy

Conventional Sources Non-conventional Sources
Conventional sources of energy such as coal, petroleum and natural gas are nonrenewable sources of energy. Non-conventional sources of energy such as solar and wind energy are renewable sources of energy.
They have been in use since a long time. Examples: Firewood, coal These sources have been recently developed and are still developing. Example: Technology for producing electricity from solar panels
Most of these energy sources cause pollution when used. Examples: Firewood, coal, petrol They do not cause any pollution. Examples: Solar energy, geothermal energy
They are common and widely used sources. Example: Thermal power They are comparatively new sources of energy and hence are not widely used. Examples: Solar panels, windmills

Conservation of Minerals


Conservation of mineral resources is essential because they are a country’s valuable possession. They are used as raw materials in many industries and help in the economic development of a nation.

Some methods by which we can conserve minerals are

  • Minerals should be used in a planned and sustainable manner.
  • Technology should be upgraded to allow the use of low-grade ore at low costs.
  • Recycling of metals also results in the conservation of mineral resources.
  • Non-conventional sources of energy should be harnessed for the generation of electricity.
  • Small steps should be taken by every individual such as using public transport, car pooling and switching off lights and fans when not in use. Using power-saving devices also go a long way in conserving minerals and energy resources.