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A resources has been defined as means of attaining given ends.
i. Biotic and Abiotic Resources: Biotic natural resources are those consisting of living things. They can continue to reproduce and regenerate their population as long as environmental conditions remain favourable and an adequate seed source is maintained. All biotic resources are renewable.
Abiotic resources consist of nonliving things. In general they may be considered mostly nonrenewable. All minerals are abiotic resources and nonrenewable. Some abiotic resources, however, are renewable. Manganese ore, for example, is relatively scarce on the land surface but it is continuously being formed in nodules on the ocean floor, just as cobalt, nickel, and copper ore.
ii. Exhaustible and Inexhaustible Resources: The metals and minerals obtained from earth are exhaustible. The natural replacement of minerals through geological events is so slow, that it can have no relevance to mineral extraction. Resources which can be renewed by reproduction or by physical, mechanical, or chemical processes are known as inexhaustible resources. Solar energy, air, water, wildlife, forests and human beings are examples of inexhaustible resources.
iii. Potential and Developed Resources: The power that could be generated if all the power resources in the country are used is known as its potential resource while the actual power generated is known as a developed resource.
iv. Agricultural Resources and Pastoral Resources: The chief agricultural resources, comprising crops cultivated by man, may be classified into five groups: (a) cereals-rice, wheat, maize, pulses, rye ,oats millets, and barley: (b) beverages and tobacco; (c) sugarcane, sugar beets, spices, vegetables, and fruits; (d) fibres-cotton, jute, hemp and (e) rubber and oilseeds-groundnuts, soybean, and castor. Pastoral activity means the rearing of animals whether for meat, milk, wool or hides.
v. Raw Materials and Energy Resources: The presence of raw materials is the fundamental condition of all industry. Man gets primary products from agriculture, forestry, fishing animals, and mining. The raw materials-agricultural land, forests, fishes, animals and minerals-are unevenly distributed on the surface of the Earth. The resources used as power to run machines, industries, and automobiles are known as energy resources. The major fuels in use today are coal, oil, and electricity, but in some cases other fuels are used to produce power. Water is harnessed to produce hydroelectricity. Nuclear energy obtained from uranium and thorium is a modern source of energy. Another source is geothermal energy, i.e, energy derived from volcanic phenomena such as hot springs.
vi. Mineral Resources: Our present Material civilization has developed to a large extent by the knowledge and application of metals and minerals.
The wide variety of minerals exploited by man is grouped into a number of classes.
1. Rocks: Rocks are aggregations of minerals. It includes granules of minerals. It include granite and other crystalline igneous and metamorphic rocks which are used as road metal; granite, limestone, marble; sandstone, slate and other building stones; clay for brick-making; limestone for cement-making and gravel and sand used in mixing concrete.
2. Minerals: These include salt, Potash, nitrates and other mineral fertilizers; sulphur, used in the chemical industry. Diamonds are also nonmetallic minerals.
3. Mineral Fuels: These are nonmetallic minerals derived from organic remains and are important because they burn, such as, coal, oil and natural gas.
4. Metals: (a) Iron (b) Base metals-These are tin, copper, aluminium lead and zinc.
5. Ferro-alloys: These include manganese, chromium, nickel, cobalt, tungsten.
6. Precious Metals: Gold, Silver and Platinum.
7. Others: Uranium
In the Earth’s crust, the copper content is about 0.01%. The primary user of most of the produced copper is companies that manufacture electrical components followed by tubing, piping, plumbing fixtures, machine tool products, and hardware.
Because it is so easily combined with other metals, it has been used in well over 1000 varying alloys. Alloys are produced using zinc, tin, or nickel.
As one of mankind’s oldest metals, copper was mined over 10,000 years ago.
It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.
The important copper-producing areas of Chile are Chuquicamata, El Teniente, El Salvador and La-Africana. Chuquicamata is the largest copper mine in the world.
The important copper mines in Peru are located at Cerro de Pasco, Morococha, Casapalca and Toquepala.
In USA five states are the main copper-producing states; these are Arizona, Utah, Montana, Nevada and New Mexico.
Main copper-producing areas are Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and Saskatchewan. More than 80 per cent of Canada’s copper production comes from Ontario and Quebec.
In Asia, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Philippines and South Korea produce copper.
China is the fourth largest copper producer in the world and produces 6.37 per cent of the world’s production. Yunnan, Czechoau and Tangshan are the main copper-producing provinces.
Indonesia accounts for 4.14 per cent of the world copper production and ranks 6th in the world.
India produces only 0.4 per cent of the world’s copper. India’s copper ore reserves have been estimated at 40 crore tons, with a metal content of 51 lakh tons. The principal copper belt of India lies in Singhbhum and Hazaribagh of Bihar.
Most abundant metal; 8% of the Earth’s crust.
Ores: Bauxite (in the form of oxide), Cryotite (found only in Greenland), Corundum, Kaolin.
Commercial Bauxite has 50% alumina & 7% silica, so it is the most wan-ted ore, mostly mined in tropical region but aluminium is manufactured in developed countries where cheaper electricity is available. World’s first Bauxite mine was in the village ‘Les-Baux’ in France from which the ore name bauxite is derived.
India: Bihar, MP, Maharashtra, T.N., Karnataka.
Australia: Weipa (east of Gulf of Carpentaria), N.E Arnhem (west of Gulf of Carpentaria), Cape York Peninsula.
USA: Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama
Former USSR: Urals (Karsnya- Shapochka, Kamansk Ural-Skiy), Turgay.
France: Brignoles (N.E of Toulon), LesBaux
Ores: Cassiterite or Tinstone (75% Tin) generally found in alluvial deposits comprising 80% of world supplies.
The content of lead in the Earth's crust is 0.0016%, and the reserves are abundant.
In nature, lead resources exist largely in the form of associated minerals, with the ore deposit containing mainly lead together with the single lead deposits accounting for only 32.2% of the total reserves.
The main lead ores are galena (PbS), cerussite (PbCO3 ) and lead sulfate (PbSO4). In addition, a small amount of lead also exists in all kinds of uranium and thorium mines. Lead resource distribution in the world is as follows:
The lead resources in the world are mainly distributed in: Siberia, Russia in Europe; central and western regions of China in Asia; Queensland, Broken Hill , Elura and Woodlawn (New South Wales), Tasmania, and North Bay, MacArthur River in Australia; the southeastern area of Missouri and Mississippi River valley area in the US, and Zacatecas and San Luis Potos in Mexico within North America; and Cerrode Pasco and Morococha in Peru, South America.
The lead reserves are greatest in the following countries: Australia (40%); China (15%); Russia (10%); the United States (5.6%); Peru (8.4%); and Mexico (6%). The lead reserves of these six countries cover 85% of total reserves in the world.
Zinc blende and calamine are the two main sources of Zinc.
Distribution of Zinc in World
China is the largest zinc-producing country. Most of the zinc is produced in Yunan Province.
In Peru, Cerro de Pasco, Huaras and Ayacacho are the main zinc-producing areas.
The main zinc-producing areas of Australia are Broken Hill in western New South Wales, Reed Elsevier, Western Queensland and Captains Flat also in New South Wales.
Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Jersey, Tennesee, Virginia, Illinois and New York are having zinc mining areas.
British Columbia is the largest mining area not only in Canada but also in the world. Kimberley in British Columbia, Flin-Flon in Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the main areas of zinc mining.
Nickel is a hard and silvery metal, used in making stainless steel and for electroplating. It is one of the hardest, most malleable and least fusible metals known.
It is less magnetic than iron and is thus useful for constructing metal parts located near compasses.
The main ore of nickel is pentlaudite, a complex mixture of nickel, iron and sulphur, It is also often found in association with copper.
The important nickel-producing countries and their percentage in world’s production is as follows: Russia – 17.14 per cent, Canada – 15.53 per cent, Indonesia – 13.11 per cent, Australia – 11.18 per cent, New Caledonia – 5.7 5 per cent, Columbia – 4.65 per cent, China – 5.28 per cent, Philippines – 5.49 per cent, Brazil – 4.70 per cent and Cuba – 4.78 per cent.
Some nickel is also produced in South Africa, Dominican Republic, Norway and Germany. In India nickel ore is found in Cuttack and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha.
Ores: Pyrolusite and Psilomelane. It is obtained from the electrolytic methods.
The major manganese-producing areas of China are Kiangsi, Hunan, Kuangsi, Kwangtung, Kuangsi and Kwichou.
The important manganese-producing area of South Africa is the Cape Province where Krugersdorp, Postonasburg, Manganore are the major mining areas.
The manganese-producing areas are located in Leonara, Victoria, Queensland and Woodie Woodie in Western Australia.
At present, manganese is produced in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
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