Mining & Quarrying
Mining and Quarrying In Bundelkhand
From the national perspective, the important minerals of
Bundelkhand are (see also 'Mineral Wealth' in Geology of Bundelkhand) diaspore,
used in paints and ceramics industries, glass sand, rock phosphate, a variety of
stones and soils, and raw materials like lime for the cement industry.
Panna is the only source of diamonds in India, but the damage
caused by diamond mining is more than the benefits accrued to the country.
Lalitpur, Jhansi and Mahoba districts account for around 15%
of the country's reserves and nearly 40% of the country's production of
diaspore [Planning Commission, Vol I, p 102]. The mineral is also found and
extracted in large quantities in Chhatarpur district.
Silica or glass sand extracted from vast, shallow pits in a
corner of Chitrakoot (Mau tehsil) adjoining Allahabad district is the best
source of this mineral in India. The raw material is required by thermal power
plants, glass and ceramic units across the country. While some of the deposits
are mined by private contractors, the National Mineral Development Corporation
has set up large scale mining and beneficiation units.
(A large glass manufacturing unit was set up by the UP
government to locally exploit this resource. However, the project was opposed by
local mining contractors and the unit never took off. Its remnants, along the
road from Chitrakootdham-Karwi to Allahabad, are several ghostly buildings, a
few staff who have absolutely no work, and a court notice on the main gate. )
Rock phosphate found in Lalitpur is sold as a direct
fertilizer and as raw material for phosphorus plants. The UP government plans to
set up a joint sector unit in the district for producing 1,30,000 tonnes of
concentrate annually. Downstream industries are also under consideration.
Across Bundelkhand Upland sub-region, stone quarrying is
widespread and has grown rapidly since the 1990s. There is good scope for growth
but there many problems with this industry.
In case of other minerals also there are good prospects for
growth. Apart from possibilities that may emerge as a result of new
explorations, there is good scope for setting up sponge iron units in Lalitpur,
sourcing large reserves of low grade (25-30% iron) found in the district near
Girar village. Quartz reefs, a striking feature of Bundelkhand’s granite
country (see Geology of Bundelkhand), contain several minerals of use in the
ferro-silicon, iron and steel, refractory, ceramics, electrical, abrasives and
Cement plants, using locally available raw materials, namely
cement grey limestone, clay and gypsum, are located in Damoh and Jhansi. The
Diamond Cement factory of the Birla group, set up near Damoh town, provides
direct employment to over a thousand people, and is Bundelkhand's only large
industrial unit, apart from the public sector BHEL unit in Jhansi.
In Hamirpur district, excavation of sand from the Betwa river
bank is done on a large scale. Clay is mined in Chhatarpur and Panna districts.
Courtesy : bundelkhandinfo.org