Mineral Resources in Bihar

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Undivided Bihar was very rich in mineral resources such as coal iron, pyrite etc. But after it's division most of the minerals went to Jharkhand. But still Bihar has significant amount of mineral resources.

Distribution of Mineral Resources in Bihar

Mineral resources in Bihar are localised in Southern boundary districts such as Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui, Banka, Munger and Bhagalpur and  other districts along the boundaries of these districts.

In these districts extension of either Chhotanagpur Plateau or Rajmahal Hills are found. The rock system in these districts belong to Vindhyan Rock System(which is second most oldest in terms of age in India) and Dharwad Rock System, hence most of the minerals are found in this region. 

Important Minerals Found in Bihar

1. Pyrite 

It is Sulphide of iron (FeS), which is used to manufacture sulphuric acid. Sulphuric Acid is one of the most important chemical in industries like, fertilizer, petroleum, steel, Chemical etc.

In Bihar it is mainly found in the Son Valley region of Rohtas district. Bihar has monopoly in terms of production of pyrite ore. About 95% of total pyrite ore production comes from Bihar, which is around 9539 tonnes/year.

In Bihar Pyrite is used mainly to produce fertilizers. For optimum utilisation of Pyrite, Pyrite Phosphate and Chemicals Limited(PPCL) (a PSU) was established in Amjhor (Rohtas), but this company is not in operation.

2. Steatite

It is also known as Soapstone or Talc. Basically it is powdered Schist. It is used mainly in cosmetics and paint industry. It is rich in magnesium. 

The major producer of steatite in Bihar are Munger and Shankarpur (Jamui). Steatite production in the state is about 945 tonne per year.

3. Limestone (CaCo3) 

Limestone is one of the most important heavy raw material for Cement industries.

Limestone in Bihar are found mainly in Kaimur, Rohtas and Munger districts. Annual production of limestone is about 4,78,000 tonne/year.

4. Mica

There are three main types of mica i.e. (I). Muscovite  (II). Phlogopite and (III). Biotite. Out of these the best quality mica is Muscovite, which is produced in Bihar. Muscovite in Bihar is produced in Nawada, which is a part of mica producing 145 Km long and 32 Km wide strip from Nawada to Giridih. Other than Nawada, mica is also extracted in Jamui and Gaya (Bijaur and Vishnupur).

  • Basically undivided Bihar's 15% mica was used to be produced in Nawada itself.

5. Quartz/Silica Sand 

It is basically a Silica based mineral, which is used in the manufacturing of glass. But Quartz is also important for cement , electric and electrical industries. 

In Bihar Quartz is mainly extracted in Munger, Lakhisarai and Nalanda districts.

6. Feldspar

Feldspar is used to enamel utensils, in insulating purposes and in making of artificial teeth.

In Bihar Feldspar is extracted from Gaya, Jamui and Munger.

7. Quartzite

Quartzite is mainly used for building and construction purposes . While in industries, it is used as heat insulators. 

In Bihar Quartzite is mainly extracted from Munger (Khadagpur Hills), Lakhisarai, Nalanda and Jamui districts.

8. Bauxite 

Bauxite is an ore of aluminium, which is used to manufacture aluminium metal. 

In Bihar Bauxite is found mainly n Munger (Khadagpur Hills) and Rohtas districts. It is found that Munger has about 1.5 Million tonnes of Bauxite reserve of very high quality Aluminium ore.

However these ores are characterized as reserve status hence currently no Bauxite ore is extracted in Bihar. But these can be extracted in future.

9. Saltpetre 

It is basically Sodium Nitrate, which is used to manufacture explosives, fertilizers and other chemicals.

Saltpetre is the ore which attracted East India Company to Bihar.

In Bihar it is found mainly in Begusarai, Samastipur, Saran, Muzaffarpur, and East Champaran.

10. China Clay

It is used in pottery making industries. 

In Bihar it is found mainly in Bhagalpur, Banka and Munger.

11. Fire Clay

Fire clay is used to manufacture fire bricks and crockery items.

In Bihar, it is found in Bhagalpur and Purnea districts.

12. Granite

Granites are used in building, construction as well as for decorative purposes.

In Bihar black and other colourful granites are found in Bhagalpur, Banka, Munger and Nawada districts.

13. Gold

In Bihar gold reserve is found in Karmatia region of Jamui district.

Geological Survey of India (GSI) has investigated Kowadih and Jhajhia areas of Jamui district and find out the possibility of exploration and production of gold in 2011-12. GSI has found the gold reserve of about 128.88 million tonne with concentration fo 0.167 g/tonne. 

West Champaran has also expected to have gold in form of placer deposits. But nowhere the actual production is started in Bihar.

14. Iron Ore

Limited reserves of Iron Ore are found in Bhagalpur (Haematite) and Magnetite Ore (in Jamui and Gaya districts). But not extracted from anywhere in Bihar.

15. Copper/Tin/Tungsten

Ores of these minerals are found in Dhanras and Chakbandha region of Aurangabad district. 

 16. Lead and Zinc

These are found in Banka and Rohtas.

17. Coal

  • It is not found anywhere in Bihar.