The state of Rajasthan is blessed with a rich variety
of metallic as well as industrial (non-metallic) minerals (including
rocks). Many of theses are geologically unique deposits formed by
varied genetic processes. Most of its Precambrian deposits have
explicit metamorphic imprints on them. Sedimentation and secondary
processes are dominant in younger deposits. These mineral resources
play an important role in economic sustenance of the people of the
sate and the country.
Metamorphism is, however, dominant process of mineral formation
and “Ore-Body Creator” for metallic as well as non-metallic
minerals. These resources have been mined for centuries, rather
millennia. Lead-zinc mining and smelting in Rajasthan is the oldest
in and the Makrana marble, as also bronze and steatite possibly
from Rajasthan, have been used during the pre-historic Indus Valley
Civilization (Mohanjo-daro). Extensive utilization of these resources
has, however, commenced in this century, essentially to meet the
demands of modern-day life and owing to development of mechanization
and infrastructure facility. Climatically, Rajasthan has a vast
stretch of desert and a fairly large area of rocky/hilly tract,
ravines etc., which are classified as “wasteland”. These
areas are not suitable for agriculture and forest activities. Minerals
sector activity has therefore been playing significant role in sustenance
of its populace. The state government has therefore laid priority
and trust in exploration and development of its fairly vast mineral
wealth for the “IXth Plan which will usher into the 21st century”
and for the Xth Plan.
Features of the Non-Metallic Mineral Resources
The geo-episodic history of Rajasthan is fairly
well understood because of the exhaustive studies on the ore genesis,
stratigraphy, geochronology, structure, tectonics metamorphism and
sedimentation for the rocks of the state. These rocks represent
varied lithologies–arenaceous, calcareous, argillaceous sediments,
acid to ultramafic and alkaline plutonic to volcanic igneous and
metamorphic rock, representing a fairly long period of geological
history spanning ~ 3500 million years. The pre-Vindhyan rocks have
undergone polyphase deformation and low to high-grade metamorphism.
All these varied episode have generated a unique and rich variety
of mineral resources that have attracted attention of researchers
and entrepreneurs the world over.
Broadly, the mineral resources can be grouped into
(% represents the share of national production): High-grade metamorphogenic
deposits: Medium to low-grade metamorphogenic deposits: Medium to
low-grade metamorphogenic deposits (marble 90%, talc, pyrophyllite
87%, asbestos 90%); Metasomatic; Skarn (wollastonite, 100%); Igneous:
Pegmatitic; Sedimentary (limestone; sandstones 70%); Biogenic (rock
phosphate 75%); Hydrothermal; Residual Concentration (clays 71%);
Evaporation (gypsum 93%). Many of the deposits have polygenetic
imprint on them.
The state of Rajasthan is endowed with geologically
and economically unique industrial minerals and rocks. The uniqueness
is global as well as national.
- The minerals of international importance are:
stromatolitic rock phosphate, serpentinite, talc and wollastonite.
- While those of national significance are:
amphibole asbestos, clays (ball -, bentonite, china-, fire-,
fuller’s earth), calcite, dolomite, feldspar, fluorspar,
garnet, gypsum, ocher, pyrophyllite, quartz salts, sandstones,
limestones (cement-grade, chemical-grade, flaggy-, SMS-grade),
granites, marble (white, pink, green, gray), slate.
- Minor quantities of barite, brick earth, emerald, epidote
garnet (semi-precious), graphite mica, and vermiculite are also
The deposits of stromatolitic phosphorite, belonging to Aravalli
Supergroup, are of greatest significant and attained international
status. These deposits are located at Jhamarkotra, Kanpur, Kabaria-Ka-Guda,
Dakankotra, Maton, Badgaon, Manoharpura, Siserma and Neemchmata
around Udaipur, are hosted by dolomitic limestone which at times
become cherty and silicified towards the top (Srivastava, 1983).
Roy et al. (1988), have established tectonostratigraphy for this
region. Super imposition of F2 and F4 folds on the limbs of a large
F1 isoclinal fold and formation of domes and basins due to interference
of F1 and F2 folds are important structural features of the Jhamarkotra
deposits. The Phosphorite ore extends for about 16 km with an average
width of 15 meters and exposed in blocks A to K. The stromatolitic
phosphorite occurs as columnar, brecciated, stratiform, lenticular,
and in minor quantities as secondary colloidal deposit (Pandya,
1984). The high-grade ore Jhamarkotra phosphorite contain P2O5 content
between 30 to 35% are directly usable, however, low-grade ores are
needed to be beneficiated before use. Besides rock phosphate deposits,
apatite occurrence of Nawania, Kikawas (Udaipur district), Kerpura
and Salwari (Sikar district), phosphorite of Birmania and Fatehgarh
(Jaisalmer district), Achrol (Jaipur district), Aduka and Avani
(Alwar district), Sallopat and Ram-Ka-Munna (Banswara district)
and Jaoda (Chittaurgarh district), occur in different lithological
formations varying in age from Precambrian to Tertiary. The phosphate
ore reserves in Rajasthan are estimated to be around 74 million
Talc and Soapstone:
Talc, steatite, soapstone deposits of Rajasthan
are located in Udaipur, Bhilwara, Dungarpur, Banswara, Sawaimadhopur,
Pali and Jaipur districts of Rajasthan. They are associated with
either dolomites or ultramafic rocks. Those associated with dolomites
are of better quality and larger in size. The talc-soapstone deposits
of Udaipur-Dungarpur- Rajsamand districts occurring both in dolomites
and ultramafic rocks, occurs as thin bands, lenses or pockets. Major
deposits are associated with dolomites belonging to Aravalli Supergroup
in the four belts namely- (1) Oda-Devpura-Dangri-Natharia-Ki-Pal
belt, (2) Ushan-Kagamdar-Jagat-Rabcha-Oden Patli belt, (3) Salumbar-Band-Sanjela-Lolagarh-Padla-Devla-Jagpura
belt and (4) Kavita-Lakhawali-Parava-Rama Patli belt. Talc-Soapstone
deposits of Undithal-Udarlotala-Khakar-Jharol-Dhandawali belt and
Rishabadev-Kagdar-Bicchiwara-Sabla-Sisso-Kalayanpur belt are associated
with metamorphosed ultramafic rocks of Jharol group of Aravalli
Soapstone deposits of Bhilwara district constitute
talc deposits of Ghevria, Chainpura, Vagwara and Jahazpur region
belong to dolomitic limestones of Bhilwara Supergroup. Talc-Soapstone
deposits of Jaipur-Dausa districts extend for about 35 km in length.
These deposits occur as thin bands, lenses and pocket in dolomite
of Delhi Supergroup. Pyrophyllite deposits of Karoli – Sawaimadhopur
districts occur in quartzite of Delhi Supergroup. They are located
at Douta, Kamalpura, Ranjeli, Garni, Pura and Marsh villages along
a belt of about 10km. Pyrophyllite deposits also occur in Udaipur
and Rajsamand districts in two belts, Debari- Gudali- Negaria-Nathuwas
belt and Bari – Madar – Rama belt. The first belt that
runs fro 40 km and second for 10-12 km in length are located at
the contact of the Archean and Aravalli Supergroup rocks. The host
rocks for pyrophyllite are quartzites and granitic gneisses.
deposits of wollastonite are found in Sirohi, Udaipur, Dungarpur
and Ajmer districts of Rajasthan. A rich wollastonite deposit has
formed in calcic exoskarn of Belka and Khera Tarla Pahar (N24°
46’: E 73° 10’) in Sirohi and Udaipur district.
The estimated reserve of 9887000 tonnes is being mined by M/s Wolkem
Industries limited. The open cast mine produced 134763 tonnes of
wollastonite in the year 2001-2002. This makes it the largest wollastonite
resource production centre in India and second in the World i.e.
next to China. About 90% production is utilized in India and rest
is exported (57071 t in 2001-2002). Additionally, a large producction
of calcite is also obtained from this area
Minor occurrences of Wollastonite are found in
Ajmer and Dungarpur districts that produce 200-300 tonnes of wollastonite
Wollastonite Bearing Skarn Deposits of
Besides Rajasthan there are deposit of wollastonite
in Godha Taluka (Palampur district) and Chhota Udaipur Taluka (Baroda
district) in Gujarat. The estimated possible reserve is around 1.5
Both the above deposits of Rajasthan and Gujarat
fall in the South Delhi Fold Belt (SDFB) and have been included
in Sirohi belt. Geological Survey of India (Gupta et.al.,1981) have
placed them at top of the Delhi Supergroup and the syntectonic intrusion
of Erinpura granite resulted in the formation of skarn deposits.
The crustal deformation and associated thermal
regime caused large-scale anatexis and emplacement of a number of
granite plutons (Erinpura Granite and its equivalents) along and
adjacent to the SDFB at about 900 m. a. Some of these plutons are
responsible for skarn mineral deposits as well as for Sn-W-Mo mineralization.
Near the southern extremity of the SDFB the regional
metamorphism has been over printed by thermal metamorphism (syntectonic
to Erinpura granite). Siliceous marble developed diopside- forsterite
assemblages and amphibole developed Hb + Labradorite + diopside
assemblages. The late phase enriched the Sn and W is represented
by the Balda Granite in Sirohi district.
Bearing Skarn Deposits Of South India:
Two small deposits of wollastonite are reported
in Dharmapuri and Tirunelvelli districts in Tamilnadu.
The occurrence of amphibole asbestos is of great
significance in national context due to very limited reserves of
chrysotile asbestos in India, the latter is commercially procured
in limited quantities from Andhra Pradesh with known occurrences
in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Asbestos deposits
of Rajasthan are located in Ajmer, Udaipur, Rajsamand, Pali, Dungarpur
and Alwar districts. They as metamorphosed products of ultramafic
rocks, hich are intrusive in the rocks of Aravalli and Delhi Supergroups,
along the prominent lineaments.
- Kaoline and ball clay: These resources are
mainly confined to sediments of Precambrian, Jurrassic and Eocene
period, and are located in Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Sawaimadhopur,
Nagaur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Pali, Kota, Jaipur and Sikar districts.
- Fire Clay: The fire clay deposits of Rajasthan
mainly occur in Bikaner, Alwar, Sawaimadhopur, Jhunjhunu and
Barmer districts in rocks of Delhi Supergroup and Tertiary period.
Due to high temperature resistant character these clays are
used in manufacture of high temperature resistance bricks for
steel industry, ceramic industry cement industry and thermal
- Fuller’s Earth: The fuller’s
earth deposits of Rajasthan occur in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner
and Nagaur districts. Its beds up to 13 meters thick occur below
the Kapurdi formations. It also occurs above and below the lignite
seams. In Jaisalmer district the fuller’s earth occurs
below the limestone beds. This mineral is known in the industry
as bleaching clay of non-swelling type that absorbs oily substances
and is used in several industries including purification of
vegetable oils and petroleum.
- Bentonite: The bentonite deposits of Rajasthan
are located in Barmer, Jaisalmer, Sawaimadhopur and Jhalawar
districts. The high quality deposits occur in Barmer district
only. The bentonite deposits lie above the Lathi Sandstone and
Barmer Sandstone of Jurrassic and cretaceous age respectively.
The bentonite deposits are also associated with Kapurdi formation
of Eocene age and as an alteration product of Malani volcanics.
It is bleaching clay of both swelling and non- swelling type
constituted of montmorillonite. Its major uses are for grouting
work in dams and other foundation works, petroleum drilling,
cosmetics, insecticides, paint and pharmaceutical industries,
bleaching of oils, sugar and petroleum.
The calcite deposit of Rajasthan mainly occur Sirohi,
Udaipur, Pali, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Jaipur and Ajmer districts.
The largest deposits are those of Sirohi district where it occurs
in association with the wollastonite in skarns of Belka Pahar region.
The calcite occurs in center part of the lenses spread over 300
meters long and 45 meters wide deposits. The calcite also occurs
as lenses in crystalline limestones and calc- silicate rocks of
Delhi Supergroup in Udaipur and Sirohi districts. The calcite is
mainly used in rubber, textile, plastic paint and ceramic industries.
Feldspars, quartz, mica beryl and associated minerals
occur in complex pegmatites. Simple pegmatites contain only quartz
and feldspar with or without mica and it is these pegmatites which
produce the maximum quantity of feldspars. Feldspar deposits of
Rajasthan occur in Ajmer, Rajsamansd, Jaipur, Tonk, Udaipur, Bhilwara,
Pali, Sirohi, Alwar, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts. The mineral
has its maximum use in ceramic industry, and also used in glass
industry, high temperature resistant refractory, abrasives and electrode
The deposits of fluorspar are found in Dungarpur
and Jalore districts with minor occurrences in Sirohi, Alwar, Bhilwara,
Banswara, Jaipur, Barmer and Sikar districts. The mineral is hosted
in different rocks of the Precambrian BGC formations viz., mylonites,
granite gneisses and quartzites and Malani pyroclastic rocks. The
fluorspar mineralization is outcome of hydrothermal fluids of varied
physico-chemical parameters. The mineral has its major use in steel
metallurgy, manufacture of artificial cryolite, production of hydrofluoric
acid, as a flux in and opalescent glasses, melting of metals, aluminum
industry and as chloro-fluoro-carbon refrigerant.
Garnets are mainly used as an abrasive and also
as semiprecious gem mineral. It is product of regional and contact
metamorphism and also found to occur in the form of placer deposits.
Garnet deposits of Rajasthan occur in Tonk, Ajmer and Bhilwara districts
in pegmatites and schist of Aravallii and Delhi Supergroups.
In Rajasthan gypsum deposits occur in rocks or tertiary period,
and are considered to have by evaporation process . About 80% of
Indian gypsum deposits are located in Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner,
Jodhpur, Nagur, Churu and Ganganagar districts of Rajasthan. Gypsum
has its major use in the manufacture of cement, ammonium sulfate
(fertilizer) and plaster of Paris. It is also used insecticides,
paper and paint industries.
It is mainly composed of silica and looks like
clay and chalk. The composition of siliceous earth in Rajasthan
varies between 69-81 % silica, 4-12% alumina and 3-10% water with
low contents of CaO, MgO and FeO and found to occur in rocks of
cretaceous tertiary periods. It is mainly used as filler and filter,
heat and sound resistant material and in ceramic industry. Filtration
and cleaning of vegetable oils and animal fats and manufactures
of medicines are other uses of this mineral. Rajasthan is the only
state of India that produces this mineral.
The Ochres are oxides of iron found in rocks of
all the geological time period. The ocherous clays are formed as
residual concentration due to alteration if igneous, sedimentary
and metamorphic rocks. Commercially they are known as red ochre,
yellow ochre, green ochre, and amber-brown- yellow ochre. Ochres
are used in the colour, paper industry, paint industry, manufacture
of red oxide paint, cement industry, fertilizer and foundry industry.
The ochre deposits are found in Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bhilwara,
Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan.
Quartz is main raw material for ceramic, pottery,
foundry and glass industry. Quartz occurs either in sample pegmatite
along with feldspar or in complex pegmatites with feldspar, mica,
beryl, tourmaline, apatite, lithium mica, fluorite and other minerals.
It also occurs as veins in different rocks types of varying ages,
resulting from late hydrothermal crystallization.
Halite is used in several chemical industries besides
its use in our daily meals. Manufacture of soda caustic soda, metal
smelting, cleaning of leather, manufacture of medicines, ceramic
industry and acid industry. Rajasthan produces common salt (halite)
from lakes of Sambhar, Didwana and Kuchaman in Nagaur district,
Pachbhadra Lake of Barmer district and Nanwa Lake of Bikaner district.
The potash salt minerals occur at the Nanwa Lake of Bikaner district.
The potash salt minerals occur at the depth varying from 385 to
965 in Nagaur, Churu, Ganganagar and Bikaner districts. Major potash
minerals sylvite (KCI) and langbeinite [K2 Mg2
(SiO4)] are used in fertilizer industry. They are also
used in chemical industries and manufacture of explosives. The generally
accepted views on the origin of salt deposits is by evaporation
process, however considers their formation due to prolonged aridity
in tectonically controlled depressions.
The deposits of barite are located in Alwar, Udaipur,
Ajmer, Bahratpur, Sikar, Chittaurgarh, Jalore, Rajsamand, Bundi
and Pali districts in rocks belonging to Bhilwar, Aravalli, Delhi,
Vindhyan Supergroups as well asin Malalni Suite of igneous. Barite
occurs in a variety of host rocks in the form of fracture filling,
breccia filling, replacement and residual concentration type. It
is also used in paints, and chemical industry, manufacture of barium
and as filler in rubber, textile, leather, glass and paper industries.
It occurs sporadically in altered ultramafic rocks
in close association of biotite schist, actinolite schist, talc-schist.
Emerald develops wherever pegmatites intrude at the contact of schist
and altered ultramafic rocks. Well-known occurrences are at Rajgarh,
Bubani in Ajmer district and Kaliguman, Gamgurha and Tikhi areas
in Rajsamand district. The emerald belt strikes NNE-SSW and runs
for about 200km. and was important source of valuable gem for centuries.
At present, however, these localities do not produce any emerald.
The graphite occurs in minor quantities in Precambrian
rocks of Banswara, Ajmer, Udaipur and Alwar districts. Geologically,
graphite occurs in rocks of Aravalli and Delhi Supergroups. Graphite
has its application in foundry works and manufacture of crucibles
because of its high temperature melting and resistant character.
The limestone deposition takes place both by organic
and inorganic processes. Major limestone deposits of Rajasthan have
formed during the Precambrian (Aravalli, Delhi, Vindhyan, Marwar
Supergroups) and Jurassic as well as in Eocene periods. It has application
in iron and steel industry, construction works, cement, paper, glass,
sugar, textile, chemical and leather industry. It is also utilized
as a flux in copper and lead smelters. The limestone deposits occur
in Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara, Rajsamand, Sirohi, Pali, Ajmer,
Jaipur, Sikar, Jhunjhunu and Alwar districts. The limestone of Bhilwara
and Aravalli Supergroups are of cement and chemical grade. The Vindhyan
Supergroup has large deposits of cement grade limestones, which
support cement plants in Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Kota, Bundi, Sawaimadhopur
and Karauli districts The Marwar Supergroup has occurrences of steel,
cement and flux grade limestones in addition, chemical grade limestone
is also present. The Jurassic and Eocene limestones of western Rajasthan
are of steel grade.
Dolomite is both sedimentary as well as metamorphic
in origin. It is mainly utilized as a flux, cement, fertilizers,
rubber and paint industries. The dolomite deposits occur in Ajmer,
Bhilwara, Rajsamand, Banswara, Alwar, Jodhpur and Jaipur districts
of Rajasthan. Geologically, dolomite occurs in Bhilwara, Aravalli,
Delhi and Vindhyan Supergroups in Rajasthan.
The sandstone deposits of Rajasthan belong to Vindhyan
Supergroup and Marwar Supergroup. At places the sandstone deposits
of Tertiary period are also present. They are shallow water sedimentary
rocks. The vindhyan sandstone deposits are located in Chittorgarh,
Bhilwara, kota, Bundi, Sawaimdhopur, Karauli and Dholpur districts
while those of Marwar Supergroup occur in Jodhpur, Nagaur and Bikaner
district. Acid proof sandstone deposits of Khimach located in Jhalawar
district are used in chemical industries. Cream colored sandstone
of Khatu is popular for carving works.
There are huge deposits of granites in Rajasthan
in the Aravalli Mountain Range as well as in western Rajasthan.
Granites of varying ages (Precambrian) are of igneous and metamorphic
in origin; the former is generally used to make slabs and tiles
for decorative purposes in building constructions. The major deposits
of granite are located in Jalore, Sirohi, Barmer, Pali, Sikar, Tonk,
Jaipur, Ajmer, Jhunjhunu, Bhilwara, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Duingarpur
and Banswara districts. Well-known trade names of granites are Jalore
pink, Mokalsar green, Shivganj white, Chima pink, Bhilwara laharia
and black etc.
Marble (White, Pink, Green and Gray):
Marble, sensu strict, is a metamorphic carbonate
rock and compositionally classified as calcite, dolomitic, siliceous,
ferruginous and impure marble. Calcitic marble is the best quality
amongst the white marble. The term ‘marble’ is used
here in a loose sense, which includes relatively softer rocks capable
of taking good polish and suitable for decorative works. In this
context marble shows different compositions and belongs to age range
varying from the Precambrian to Jurassic. Marble occurrences in
Rajasthan are located in Nagaur, Jaipur, Alwar, Ajmer, Rajsamand,
Udaipur, Dungarpur, Banswara, Chittaugarh, Bhilwara, Sirohi, Pali,
Jaisalmer, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts, whose trade names are
based on colour such as Makrana-white and Adaga (variegated), Babarmal
pink, Kesariaji green, Rajsamand white, Bhainslana black, Selwara
white & Adanga, Abu- Ambaji green, Banswara pink, Jaisalmer
yellow, Andhipista, Mandlade brown etc. The state of Rajasthan contributes
more than 90% of India’s production of marble. Although Makrana
marble was known for its use in temples, palaces and historical
monuments for several centuries, its use for common men started
only when sawing, cutting and polishing techniques developed in
Serpentinite (the so-called green marble):
Serpentinite has deep green colour, and yields
slabs, which generally take good polish, therefore it is mostly
exported. Rajasthan contributes up to 90% of Indian production from
a belt called Rikhabdev ( Rishabhadev or Kesariaji)- Masaron-ki-ovari-Dakchi
belt in Udaipur and Dungarpur districts. The serpentinite is a product
of hydrothermal metamorphism of Precambrian ultramafic rocks.
Slates, Schists and Phyllite:
Rocks of this category are used in roofing and
decorative works. These are metamorphic argillaceous rocks belonging
to the Precambrian period. In Rajasthan, shales and slates are mainly
mined and processed into tiles in Mandon region of Alwar district
and also in Tonk district. Slates and schist of white, red, pink,
brown and other colours are mined in the above mentioned regions.
The Aravalli and Delhi Supergroups have vast potential of slates,
phyllites and schists rocks in Udaipur, Bhilwara, Pali, Rajsamand,
Banswara and Dungarpur districts.
RSOURCES UTILISATION AND ITS IMPACT
Humanity has utilized minerals for millennia and
dependence on them is now total, as one can not imagine living the
modern-day life with out the use of minerals. The mineral resource
utilization has several impacts, out of which few ones are:
- mineral resources are non-renewable, finite assets,
- the per capita consumption of minerals is increasing rapidly
- mechanization and development of infrastructure has added
to their rapid utilization
- micro-level environmental adjustments.
mineral resources are not uniformly distributed on the surface of
the earth; consequently, certain limited areas are blessed with
mineral riches. Evaluation of land use pattern for the state of
Rajasthan has revealed that the land use for mining, direct and
indirect, is less than 1% of its total surface area. The mining
activity has also resulted in certain environmental degradation,
but the problem was unfortunately highly exaggerated during past
decade and a panicky situation developed due to the biased attitude
of people who should have taken a more informed perspective. Every
human activity results in certain negative impacts. Mining of industrial
minerals and rocks in Rajasthan has also caused micro-level impacts
that can easily be handled. Because of the climatic handicap a very
large section of state’s population depended on livestock
rearing, a small section of the population had been migrating out
of the state for its livelihood. Mining is not only changing but
is reversing this pattern. Rajasthan is no longer a backward state
of the Union that it was few decades back- mining activity has added
considerably to this development. Therefore, the concern regarding
deforestation and environmental degradation due to mining activity