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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)

Page 377

  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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