Opportunities in Mining & Mineral Sector
Mineral based Industries
The availability of abundant mineral resources has led to the setting up of a number of industries in the State which include - Inter Alia, Iron & Steel, Cement, Coke Ovens, Washeries, Refractories, Alumina, Sponge Iron, Ceramic, Graphite Processing, Granite Cutting and Polishing, etc.
The State Industrial Policy (SIP) has categorized the mineral based industries as a thrust area. The SIP also lays down the policy instruments, strategy and infrastructural support for establishment of such projects.
The State of Jharkhand is endowed with 72.2 Billion Tonnes of coal of all categories. This is distributed in 12 Major Coalfields. The maturity of coal varies from meta lignitous coal of low rank to Semi anthracitic coal. Jharkhand is the only State which is having prime coking coal which with or without washing can be directly fed to Coke oven for making metallurgical coke. Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Ltd., (JSMDC Ltd.), and four major Companies of Coal India Ltd., viz Central Coalfields Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Ltd., Eastern Coalfields Limited and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd. are contributing to the production of coal. Other entrepreneurs like Tata Steel, Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd. and Damodar Valley Corporation are also having their captive mines in the State. As is well known, the major resources of coal in the country are with high ash contents. As per the guidelines of MOEF, the coal to be transported beyond 1000 Km has to be washed to 34% ash. The State supplies about 70 MT of coal for Thermal Power Stations located in various parts of the country. There is a vast scope for establishing washeries both for the Coking coal and Non-coking coal in the State. For this, JSMDC is being geared up for entering into a joint venture with private entrepreneur. The washing of the coal is also required for supply of 24-25% ash coal to Sponge Iron Plants, which are being set up on large scale in the State. The State has vast resources of deep-seated coal deposits which are being tapped for Coal Bed Methane. The future lies in the underground gasification of coals which are difficult to reach physically. The technologies like coal liquefaction are also on anvil and there is a scope to develop it.
Iron & Steel
Iron Ore: The state is endowed with deposits of Iron Ores of both, Hematite & Magnetite. The Hematite deposits are mainly located in the West Singhbhum District and have a resource base exceeding 3700 Million Tonnes. These have been explored only in pockets by large industry houses in their lease hold. There is a very good scope of enlarging this resource base by further exploration. The Magnetite Deposits are located in the East Singhbhum, Latehar & Palamu districts. They comprise lenticular ore bodies as well as Schist rocks with 80 to 36% magnetic. The exploration of these bodies is yet to be taken up. The existing steel mills are sourcing their iron ore (Hematite) from West Singhbhum. The Magnetite ore is being used in heavy media coal washeries & paints.
Alumina & Aluminium
Jharkhand holds a very large potential of bauxite amounting to a reserve of 68.1 MT. Though most of the mined bauxite is targeted for metallurgical purposes for the extraction of metal aluminium, it has variety of uses in other industries, such as, abrasive, alloy-steel, aluminium, cement, ceramic, chemical, ferro-alloys, iron and steel, petroleum refining, refractory and vanaspati products, creating opportunities for various industries in small, medium and large scale.
Limestone mining in India takes its place next to coal mining. It is mainly utilized for the manufacture of cement. Next to cement industry, its potential consumers are the chemical and Iron & Steel industries. Total reserve of Limestone in Jharkhand is 511.104 MT. The deposits occur in Hazaribagh, Singhbhum, Pakur, Garhwa, Ranchi, Giridih and Bokaro districts. Production of Limestone during 2001-02 in Jharkhand was 2.13 million tonnes.
There is good scope for setting up a number of gem based industries in the State.
There is scope for value addition activities in respect of minor minerals, such as stone crushing, brick making, etc. in SSI sector.
Status of other Minerals in the State that create several opportunities
Barytes occurs in the shape of narrow veins and lenticular patches in Singhbhum and Ranchi Districts. It also occurs as thin veinlets in Palamau district within silicified shale of Lower Vindhyans. Jharkhand has a total known resources of 15 thousand tonnes of Barytes. Barytes production In Jharkhand is only 0.2% of total production in India. So, there is ample potentiality of small scale mining in Jharkhand.
- China clay: Jharkhand is an important china clay producer in India and it has great potential with total reserve of 45.335 MT.
- Fire clay: Fireclay beds are associated with coal seams in Gondwana rocks of Chhotanagpur terrain. The fireclays of Jharia coalfield are of good refractory quality. Fireclay is also reported from Dhanbad, Dumka, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Palamu, Singhbhum and Ranchi districts. Total reserve of fireclay in Jharkhand is 03.45 MT.
Felspar occurs as abundant mineral in pegmetites of Bihar-Jharkhand mica belt. Total reserve of feldspar in Jharkhand is 2.19 MT. The major feldspar reserve in Jharkhand are Hazaribagh, Palamau, Kodarma, Deoghar, Giridih and Dhanbad districts. Production of Felspar can be boosted through small-scale mining and industries developed locally.
Occurrences of major massive garnet (granitite) rock at isolated localities in Chhotanagpur granite gneiss terrain were earlier reported. Massive garnet rock occurs in concentrated clusters at several places to the east of Hazaribagh. Total reserve of garnet in Jharkhand is 72 thousand tonnes and entirely confined in Hazaribagh district.
Graphite, is a soft crystalline form of naturally occurring carbon. Occurrences of Graphite in Jharkhand are entirely confined to Palamu, Garhwa & Latehar district. Its grade few places interms of fixed carbon varies from 20% to 75%. In most of the occurrences, it occurs as dissemination in graphite schist and its content in the rock varies from 15% to 30%. Jharkhand has a reserve of 6.39 MT of graphite ore.
Kyanite occurs in Jharkhand in East Singhbhum and Kharsawan- Saraikela districts and its reserve in this region is 0.90 MT. It occurs either in massive form or as Quartz-Kyanite rock.
The reserve of Dolomite in Jharkhand has been estimated at 29.86 MT. This deposit is confined in Garhwa and Palamau districts.
Kodarma Mica Belt is the biggest mica track in the country and occupies about 145.74 Sq Km of area and lies nearly north of Kodarma Railway Station. The major area of mica deposits is in Kodarma, Giridih and Hazaribagh districts. The production during the year 1999-2000 was 267 tonnes of mica crude and 222 tonnes of mica waste & scrape.
Quartz and Silica Sand
Jharkhand has got a reserve of 0.96 MT of quartz and silica sand. It occurs in Dhanbad, Ranchi, Deoghar, Palamau, Dumka, Giridih, Kodarma and Hazaribagh districts.
The entire quartzite deposit is confined in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) and Seraikella-Kharsawan districts. Total reserve of quartzite is 37.22 MT. Total production of quartzite during the year 1999-2000 was 11,725 tonnes which is 18.72% of total quartzite production in India.