Mineral Resources- Geography Guide for Class 8

Mineral Resources- Class 8 Geography Guide

Information about Mineral Resources


Mineral Resources


Class 8


Class 8 Geography

Topics Covered

  • Mineral Resources
  • Types of Minerals
  • Distribution of Mineral Resources
  • Distribution of Minerals in India

Mineral Resources

Mineral and energy resources provide the foundation for economic and industrial development. No country can think of improving its standard of living without utilising its mineral and energy resources. We have evidences to prove how the advent of different metals have helped in the progress of human civilisation during Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age.

In the previous class, you have already read about the layered structure of the earth, i.e. from the surface crust to the inner core. The earth's crust, the outermost solid shell of our planet, is composed of different kinds of rocks.

Obtaining Minerals

All rocks contain crystals of naturally occuring chemicals called minerals.
The rocks do not have a fixed or definite mineral composition. Each type of rock is made from one particular mineral or aggregation of more than one minerals. 
  • A mineral may be made of a single element or a combination of more than one elements, called compound.
Each mineral has its own special shape of a crystal. These mineral crystals give the rock its character of hardness, lustre and colours. Therefore, rocks may be hard or soft, and in varied colours. Sandstone, limestone, basalt and granite are some examples of rocks.
A rock having a large concentration of a particular metal mineral is called its ore.
For example, iron ore, manganese ore, copper ore, etc. The extraction of useful minerals from rocks under the earth's surface is called mining. Minerals are extracted from mines only if the concentration of a particular mineral is high, commercially viable and useful.

Minerals are extracted by the processes of mining, drilling and quarrying.

Types of Minerals

Minerals are of different types. Generally, minerals are classified on the basis of their properties.

1. Metallic Minerals

They are hard substances with a shine or lustre. Metal obtained from its ore can be moulded into any shape. Metallic minerals can be sub-divided into categories:
  • Ferrous Minerals: They include iron ore and manganese ore.
  • Non-ferrous Minerals: They contain metals other than iron. Ores of gold and silver are examples of non-ferrous minerals.
To improve the strength of a metal, sometimes two or more metals are mixed. This is called an alloy. For example, brass is an alloy obtained from the mixture of copper and zinc. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and steel is an alloy of iron and manganese.

2. Non-metallic Minerals

They do not contain metals and are lighter than metallic minerals. They cannot be moulded into different shapes. Generally, they include:
  • Building materials and stones: Sandstone, limestone, granite, basalt, marble, etc.
  • Industrial: Mica, sulphur, potash, salt.
  • Gems: Diamond, topaz, garnet, emerald, etc.

3. Mineral Fuels

They are used as sources of energy. They are obtained from sedimentary rocks. Mineral fuels consist of coal (solid), petroleum (liquid) and natural gas (gaseous).

Distribution of Mineral Resources

The distribution of minerals is highly uneven in the world. It depends on the type of rocks available in a region. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are rich in minerals like iron ore, manganee ore, gold, silver, lead, etc.
Mineral fuels are restricted to sedimentary rocks. Sometimes agents of gradation such as rivers erode minerals from one region and deposit them somewhere else in the river beds. These are called placer deposits.

The countries rich in minerals have a large potential for Industrial development. The uneven distribution of minerals creates the global trade.

Let us now learn about some minerals.


Iron is the backbone of modern civilisation. It is used for manufacturing machines, automobiles, rail tracks, electric poles, constructing buildings, bridges, ship-building, weapons, agricultural implements and articles of general use.
  • Haematite and Magnetite are the major types of iron ore.
The distribution of iron ore in the world is uneven. The countries having large reserves of iron ore include Australia, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Ukraine, Canada and Sweden. It is also found in Iran, Kazakhstan, United States, South Africa and France.


Copper is widely used in electric goods, such as generators, wireless systems, electric motors, radio, telephone, electric wires, refrigerators, utensils, etc.
Global copper reserves mainly occur in Chile, Australia, Peru, Mexico, USA, China, Russia, Congo, Zambia and Canada.


Aluminium is obtained from bauxite ore. It is used in the manufacturing of electric wires, aeroplanes, spare parts of vehicles, pipes, construction of escalators, window frames, shutters, utensils and other household goods.
Guinea, Australia, Brazil, Vietnam and Jamaica have large reserves of bauxite. It also occurs in Indonesia, Guyana, China, India, Suriname, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Distribution of Minerals in India

  • Iron: Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra have large reserves of iron ore.
  • Bauxite: More than half of India's bauxite reserves are in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The other states which have rich reserves of bauxite are Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Copper: It is mainly found in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
  • Mica: Major reserves are in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha and Maharashtra. 
  • Manganese: The main reserves of this ore are in Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. 
  • Limestone: It is found in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. 
  • Gold: There are deposits of gold at Kolar mines in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand 
  • Salt: It is obtained from sea water in coastal areas, lakes in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh 

Conservation of Minerals

Minerals are exhaustible resources. These resources are limited and unevenly distributed per head consumption of minerals is higher in developed countries as compared to the same it developing countries. Therefore, we need to use them economically and conserve them for future generations.

The conservation of minerals does not mean preservation of minerals. It implies that effort should be made to utilise minerals in the best possible way, depending upon the industrial need and changing technological requirements. Thus, conservation stands for sustainable development where a balance is maintained between the economic development and the utilisation of natural resources, without causing damage to the environment. There is an urgent need to avoid the wastage of minerals.

Following measures can be taken to conserve minerals:
  • Use of efficient methods of mining and processing to minimise the wastage.
  • Recycling of mineral resources—use and reuse of scrap (metallic waste).
  • Substituting the use of scarce minerals by those found in abundance. 
Previous Post Next Post