In this article, You will read Lead, Zinc, Tungsten & Pyrites Distribution in India – for UPSC IAS.
- Lead does not occur free in nature. Native lead is rare and the only commercial source of the metal is GALENA which is usually found in veins and masses in many crystalline rocks (schist’s).
- It also occurs in the pre-Cambrian rocks and the Vindhyan limestone’s.
- Malleable (can be hammered into thin sheets), soft, heavy, and bad conductor.
- Lead is a constituent in bronze alloy and is used as an anti-friction metal.
- Lead oxide is used in cable covers, ammunition, paints, glass making, and the rubber industry.
- It is also made into sheets, tubes, and pipes which are used as sanitary fittings.
- It is now increasingly used in automobiles, aeroplanes, and calculating machines.
- Lead nitrate is used in dyeing and printing.
- Ores of lead occurs at the number of places such as the Himalayas, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh.
- Rajasthan produces about 94%of the total production of India. The Zawar, Debari mines of Udaipur are the major producers.
- It s is also produced in Dubgarpur, Banswara, and Alwar in Rajasthan.
- Kurnool and Nalgonda mines in Andhra Pradesh is also famous for lead mining.
- The chief ore of zinc is sphalerite (ZnS) which is found in veins in association with galena, chalcopyrite’s, iron pyrites, and other supplied ores.
- Zinc is a mixed ore containing lead & zinc.
- It is mainly used for alloying and for manufacturing galvanized sheets.
- Zinc dust is used for the preparation of zinc compounds and salts. Similarly, zinc oxide is used in paints, ceramic material, inks, matches, etc.
- It is also used for dry batteries, electrodes, textiles, die-casting, rubber industry, and for making collapsible tubes containing drugs, pastes, and the like.
- Rajasthan produces more than 99% of the total production of India.
- Zawar mines of the Udaipur district are responsible for its production. Some of the deposits are also found in Sikkim.
- India imports zinc concentrates from the USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Japan, and Mexico.
- India also imports zinc concentrates from Australia, Peru, Russia, and Zaire.
- Tungsten ore is a rock from which the element tungsten can be economically extracted.
- The ore minerals of tungsten include wolframite[(Fe,Mn)WO4], scheelite(CaWO4), and ferberite, which are predominantly hydrothermal in origin.
- Tungsten has a melting point of 3422oC, the highest of all metals and it is resistant to all acids at ordinary temperatures.
- The most important property is that of self-hardening which it imparts to steel.
- Over 95 percent of the worlfram is used by the steel industry.
- Tungsten is mainly used in the form of ferrotungsten in the making of special and alloy steels. Ferro-tungsten typically contains between 25% and 75% tungsten.
- Steel containing the requisite proportion of tungsten is mainly used in manufacturing amunitions, armour plates, heavy guns, hard cutting tools, etc.
- Tungsten is easily alloyed with chromium, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, etc. to yield a number of hard-facing, heat, and corrosion-resistant alloys.
- It is also used for various other purposes such as electric bulb filaments, paints, ceramics, textiles, etc.
- Resources of Tungsten bearing minerals are mainly distributed in Karnataka (42%), Rajasthan (27%), Andhra Pradesh (17%), and Maharashtra (9%).
- The remaining 5% of resources are in Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal.
- Domestic requirements are met by imports.
- Imports are mainly from Singapore, USA & UK.
- Exports were mainly to Germany, USA, Israel, UK, and Japan & Sweden.
- Pyrite is a sulphide of iron.
- Chief source of sulphur.
- High proportion of sulphur is injurious to iron. Hence is it removed and used to produce sulphur.
- Sulphur is very useful for making sulphuric acid which in turn is used in several industries such as fertilizer, chemicals, rayon, petroleum, steel, etc.
- Elemental sulphur is useful for manufacturing explosives, matches, insecticides, fungicides and for vulcanizing rubber.
- Pyrites occur in Son Valley in Bihar, in Chitradurga and Uttar Kannada districts of Karnataka and the pyritous coal and shale of Assam coalfields.
- It is widely distributed and scattered across the country.