Mineral and Power Resources (NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 3 Notes)

Iron Ore
Iron Ore/Image Source: Wikimedia
Minerals can be defined as a naturally occurring substances with a definite chemical composition. The common salt and pencil graphite are some examples of minerals. They are not evenly distributed all over the earth. They are identified on the basis of their physical properties like colour, density, hardness, lustre, tenacity and magnetism and chemical properties such as solubility and reactivity.

Types of Minerals
  1. Minerals are classified into two broad categories 1. metallic and 2. non-metallic.
  2. Metallic minerals contain metals in raw form. Metals are the good conductor of heat and electricity. They are lustrous in their outlook. Metals are further divided into 1. Ferrous and 2. Non-ferrous metals.
  3. Ferrous metals have magnetic properties and prone to oxidation. Example: iron and manganese.
  4. Non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic and less prone to rust. Example: gold, silver, copper and lead.
  5. Nonmetallic minerals do not contain metals. Limestone, gypsum, mica, coal and petroleum are examples of non-metallic minerals.

Ores are mineral rocks which have a sufficient amount of metal and mineral content that can be extracted with profit. About 100 out of 3800 known mineral rocks are classified as ores.

Extraction of Minerals
  1. Minerals are extracted by the mean of 1. mining, 2. drilling and 3. quarrying.
  2. The process of mineral extraction from rocks buried under the earth surface is known as mining. When minerals are extracted by removing earth surface, it is known as open-cast mining. However, when deep bores (shafts) are made to mine minerals, it is known by the name of shaft mining.
  3. In drilling, deep wells are bored in earth surface to extract minerals. Petroleum and natural gas are extracted through this process.
  4. When minerals can be simply dug out from earth, the process is known as quarrying.
Distribution of Minerals
The metallic ores are usually found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Iron ores in Sweden, Copper and Nickel ores in Canada, and gold, chromite and platinum ores of South Africa are examples of this phenomenon. Non-metallic minerals such as limestone, phosphate and petroleum are found in sedimentary strata.

  1. Asia has large deposits of tin, iron, manganese, bauxite, nickel, zinc and copper. Asia is the leading producer of tin.
  2. China and India have large deposits of iron-ore.
  3. China, Malaysia and Indonesia lead the production of tin.
  4. China leads the production of lead, antimony and tungsten.

  1. Europe is the largest producer of iron. Russia, Ukraine, Sweden and France are leading European iron ore producers.
  2. Eastern Europe is also known for copper, lead, zinc, manganese and nickel production.

North America
  1. There are three major mineral zones in North America, namely, the Canadian Shield, the Appalachian region and Western Cordilleras.
  2. The Canadian Shield is known for iron ore, nickel, gold, uranium and copper.
  3. The Appalachians region is known for its coal deposit.
  4. The Western Cordilleras is known for copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.

South America
  1. South America is known for its large deposits of iron ore, tin, gold, silver, zinc, chromium, manganese, bauxite, mica, platinum, asbestos and  diamond.
  2. Brazil is the leading producer of high grade iron ore in the world.
  3. Chile and Peru are known for their tin production.
  4. Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Columbia are known for their oil production.

  1. Africa is the world's largest producer of diamonds, gold and platinum.
  2. Africa also has large deposits of copper, iron ore, chromium, uranium, cobalt and bauxite.
  3. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zaire are the leading gold producing nations of the world.
  4. Nigeria, Libya and Angola are known for their oil production.

  1. Australia is the world's largest producer of bauxite.
  2. It also leads in the production of gold, diamond, iron ore, tin and nickel.
  3. It also has abundant sources of copper, lead, zinc and manganese.

  1. It is speculated coal, iron ore, gold and silver can be extracted from Antarctica.

Mineral Distribution in India
India is the leading producer of iron, bauxite, mica, copper, manganese, limestone, copper and salt. India is the world largest producer and exporter of mica.

IronJharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka
BauxiteJharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu
MicaJharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan
CopperRajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
ManganeseMaharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
LimestoneBihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu
GoldKarnataka, Andhra Pradesh

Minerals are used in various industries. For example, gold and silver in jewellery and healthcare industry, copper in construction industry, silicon in electronic chip industry and aluminum in the automobile industry.

Conservation of Minerals
Minerals are classified as a non-renewable resource. Hence, it becomes necessary to reduce wastage. The recycling of metals is a way to conserve metals.

Energy Resources
Energy plays an important role in our life. We need energy for industry, agriculture, transportation, communication and defence. Energy or power resources can be classified as conventional and non-conventional resources.

Conventional Source of Energy
Those energy resources which are used for ages are known as conventional source of energy. These are non-renewable source and do not get replenish as soon as they are consumed.

There are two types of conventional sources: 1. Firewood and 2. Fossil Fuels.

It is mainly used for cooking and heating.
Most villagers in India still dependent on firewood as it is cheaply available.

Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are formed as a result of anaerobic decomposition of plants and animal remains under earth surface over millions of year. They are limited in nature and can be exhausted in near future.

  1. It is most common fossil fuel.
  2. It used as domestic fuel, in iron and aluminum industry, and power generation.
  3. The electricity generated from coal is known as thermal power.
  4. It is also known as buried sunshine.
  5. China, United States, Indonesia, Australia, India, Russia, South Africa, Germany and France are leading coal producer of the world.
  6. In India, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattishgarh and West Bengal are leading coal producing states.

  1. It is extracted by drilling deep wells under earth surface.
  2. It is known for its derivative products such as diesel, petrol, kerosene, wax, plastics and lubricants.
  3. Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United States, Russia, Venezuela, and Algeria are major crude oil producer.
  4. In India, Digboi (Assam), Bombay High (Mumbai) and Krishna-Godavari Delta are known for oil reserves.

Natural Gas
  1. Natural gas is found along with petroleum deposits.
  2. CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is used vehicle fuel whereas PNG (Piped Natural Gas) is used in households.
  3. Russia, Norway, United Kingdom and the Netherlands are major producers of natural gas.
  4. In India, Jaisalmer, Krishna-Godavari Delta, Tripura and Mumbai is known for natural gas.
Non-conventional Source of Energy
Non-conventional source of energy which is recently new in use and renewable in nature. These are hydel energy, solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, nucler energy, geothermal energy and biogas.

Hydel Power
  1. Hydro-electricity is harnessed from water by mean of dams. Norway was the first country to generate hydro-electricity on commercial scale.
  2. The water from dams are made to fall from great height on turbines at bottom to turn the generator and produce electricity.
  3. The discharged water is used for irrigation.
  4. Paraguay, Norway, Brazil and China are the leading hydel power producers.
  5. In India, Bhakra Nangal, Gandhi Sagar and Nagarjunsagar are some of the prominent hydel power projects.

[Note: NCERT classify Hydel Power as conventional source of energy. Here I have classified it as the non-conventional source of energy. However, it falls in both categories. If you are a cbse school student, do ask your teacher?]

Solar Energy
  1. Solar cells are used for harnessing solar energy to produce electricity.
  2. It can be used for variety of application by means of technologies like solar water heaters, solar cooker and solar dryers.
  3. It is also used in community lighting and traffic signals.
  4. China is the leading producing of solar energy followed by United States, Japan and Germany.

Wind Energy
  1. Wind mills are used for grinding grains and lifting water from ancient time.
  2. In modern era, wind turbines are connected to generators to produce electricity.
  3. To harness wind energy on a commercial scale, a network of wind turbines work together. Such networks are known as wind farms and common in Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, United States and Spain.

Nuclear Power
  1. Nuclear power is harnessed from energy stored in nuclei of radio active elements like uranium and thorium.
  2. United States and Europe are the leading nuclear power producer.
  3. In India, uranium is found in the states of Rajasthan and Jharkhand and thorium in the monozite sands of Kerala.
  4. There are seven nuclear power stations in India, namely, Kalpakkam and Kundankulam (Tamilnadu), Tarapur (Maharastra), Ranapratap Sagar (Rajasthan), Narora (Uttar Pradesh), Kakrapar (Gujarat) and Kaiga (Karnataka).

Geothermal Energy
  1. Heat energy harnessed from hot springs is known as geothermal energy.
  2. Hot springs are traditionally used for cooking, heating and bathing.
  3. United States is the leading geothermal energy producer followed by New Zealand, Iceland, Philippine and Central America.
  4. In India, geothermal plants are located in Himachal Pradesh (Manikaran) and Ladakh (Pugga Valley).

Tidal Energy
  1. The tidal energy is harnessed from sea tides by damming the narrow openings at shores.
  2. Russia, France and India is known for tidal energy production.

Bio gas
  1. Bio gas produced by decomposition of organic waste by bacteria in bio gas digesters. It is essentially a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide.
  2. It is excellent fuel for cooking and household activities.
  3. Organic manure is also produced as the by product of process producing bio gas.
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