Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Area reports: international 1971
Year 1971, Volume 3 (1971)
Taylor, Harold A., Jr.; Sweetwood, Charles W.
India, pp. 377-391 ff. PDF (1.8 MB)
377The Mineral Industry of India By Harold A. Taylor, Jr.,1 and Charles W. Sweetwood2 The mineral industry of India was fundamentally unchanged in 1971, according to most measures. Crude mineral output was valued at $622 million 3 in 1971, compared with $609 million (revised) in 1970. The increase was almost exclusively dependent on the increase in value of petroleum from $1.45 per barrel in 1970 to $1.85 in 1971. Exports of minerals, metals, and ores were worth $377 million in 1971, compared with $416 million in 1970. Imports of minerals, metals, ores and crude petroleum were valued at $667 million in 1971, compared with $541 million (revised) in 1970. Mining contributed less than 1.0 percent to India's gross national product (GNP) of $57.4 billion for the year ending March 31, 1972. (If mineral processing had been included along with mining, the total contribution would probably be several times mining's small share). Detailed mine employment data for the current year (1971) are not yet available. Mineral industry employment in 1971 was about the same as it was in 1970 and in 1969, both in aggregate and broken down by category. Similarly, the Indian petroleum industry had the same employment as in 1970. It is reported that the coal mining industry lost 603,786 man-days in 1971, compared with 346,674 in 1970. Nothing significant resulted from mineral exploration in 1971, although there was considerable interest in a platinum discovery that later proved to be insignificant. New occurrences of molybdenum, mercury, emeralds, and diamond were also announced. The amount of drilling for oil and gas was the lowest since 1962, and there were no major discoveries. The involvement of the Government of India in mineral production and trade increased in 1971. Major nationalizations took place in coking coal and copper (early 1972), and more seem likely. On March 31, 1971, the Government's public sector investment totaled $6.3 billion for all projects in all industries, of which $2.1 billion was in the steel industry and $1.4 billion was in other metals, minerals, and petroleum. Prospects for improvement of the transportation system were looking better in 1971 than they have for some time. In late 1971, the Government accelerated its previously-announced port facility expansion program. In addition to expanding the volume of ore (mostly iron ore) that the ports can handle, the new facilities will also allow loading of 60,000- to 70,000-ton ore carriers; presently only 30,000-ton carriers can be accommodated. While port facilities are the greater part of the problem, the railways are most of the rest. The railways are important to the mineral industry. In 1971, they moved 87 percent of all coal, 70 percent of the iron ore, 75 percent of all petroleum and petroleum products, almost 100 percent of the manganese ore, and 71 percent of all other ores. There was less progress made in improving the railways. Rail car fabrication programs for constructing double-axle, 40ton bogie units seemed to be going well. However, the existing multiplicity of rail gauges continued to cause inefficiency. Also the railways and the mineral industry still do not cooperate very closely. 1 Physical scientist, Division of Ferrous Metals. 2 Minerals attache, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, India. Where necessary, values have been converted from Indian Rupees (Rs) to U.S. dollars at the rate of Rsl = US$O.133.
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