Copper, Nickel & Chromite Distribution across India & World

PMF IAS Environment

Distribution of key natural resources across India and World: Chromite Ore Distribution In India and World. Copper and Nickel Reserves in India and World. Alloys of Copper.


  • Chromite is an oxide of iron and chromium = Combination of chromium, iron and oxygen.
  • It is the only economic ore of chromium.
  • The chromium extracted from chromite is used in chrome plating and alloying for production of corrosion resistant super alloys, nichrome, and stainless steel.
  • Used in many other metallurgical, refractories and chemical industries.

Chromite Ore Distribution In India

  • Reserves of chromite in India is estimated at 203 MT.
  • 93 per cent of the resources are in ODISHA [Sukinda valley in Cuttack and Jajapur]
  • Minor deposits are spread over Manipur, Nagaland, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, TN & AP.

Chromite Chromite Ore Distribution In India

Chromite in Odisha

  • Odisha is the sole producer [99 per cent] of chromite ore.
  • Over 85 per cent of the ore is of high grade [Keonjhar, Cuttack and Dhenkanal].

Chromite in Other States

  • Karnataka is the second largest producer.
  • The main production comes from Mysore and Hassan districts.
  • Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Tamenglong and Ukhrul districts of Manipur are other producers.

Chromite Ore Distribution Across the World

Chromite Ore Distribution Across the World Chromite Ore Distribution World


  • Copper is a good conductor of electricity and is ductile [able to be drawn out into a thin wire].
  • It is an important metal used by automobile and defense industries.
  • Alloyed with iron and nickel to make stainless steel.
  • Alloyed with nickel to make ‘morel metal’.
  • Alloyed with aluminium to make ‘duralumin’.
  • When alloyed with zinc it is known as ‘brass’ and with tin as ‘bronze’.

Iron + Nickel + Copper + Chromite +…..== Stainless Steel.

Copper + Nickel == Morel Metal.

Copper + Aluminium == Duralumin.

Copper + Zinc == Brass.

Copper + Tin == Bronze.

  • Copper ore is found in ancient as well as in younger rock formations and occurs as veins and as bedded deposits
  • Mining for copper is costly and tedious affair because most of the copper ores contain a small percentage of the metal.
  • India has low grade copper ore [less than 1% metal content][international average 2.5%]
  • The major part of supply comes from the USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, Japan and Mexico.

Copper Reserves in India

  • 46 million tonnes.
  • Rajasthan (50%)
  • Madhya Pradesh (24%)
  • Jharkhand (19%)
  • The rest 7 per cent in AP, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka etc.

Madhya Pradesh

  • 1st in production [59.85 %].
  • Malanjkhand copper mines of Balaghat district are the most important ones.
  • Reserves of moderate size are also found in Betul district.


  • 2nd in production [28%]
  • Found along the Aravali range.
  • Ajmer, Alwar, Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Pali, Sikar, Sirohi and Udaipur districts.
  • Khetri-Singhana belt in Jhunjhunu district is the most important copper producing area.


  • 3rd in production [11 %].
  • Singhbhum is the most important copper producing district.
  • Found in Hazaribagh district, Santhal Parganas and Palamu districts.

Major Copper Reserves Across the World

major copper ore discoveries Chromite reserves World


  • Nickel does not occur free in nature.
  • It is found in association with copper, uranium and other metals.
  • Important alloying material.

Iron + Nickel == stainless steel.

Indian Rupee coins - copper-nickel-steel alloys

  • It is hard and has great tensile strength.
  • Hence nickel steel is used for manufacturing armoured plates, bullet jackets
  • Nickel + Copper or Silver == Coins.
  • Nickel-aluminium alloys are used for manufacturing aeroplanes and internal combustion engines.
  • Metallic nickel is used for making storage batteries and as a catalyst for hydrogenation or hardening of fats and oils intended for use in soap and foodstuffs and in making vanaspati.
  • Important occurrences of nickeliferous limonite are found in the Sukinda valley of Jajapur district, Odisha. Here it occurs as oxide.
  • Nickel also occurs in sulphide form along with copper mineralization in east Sighbhum district, Jharkhand.
  • In addition, it is found associated with uranium deposits at Jaduguda, Jharkhand.
  • Other important occurrences of nickel are in Karnataka, Kerala and Rajasthan.
  • Polymetallic sea nodules are another source of nickel.
  • About 92 per cent resources are in Odisha.
  • The remaining 8 per cent resources are distributed in Jharkhand, Nagaland and Karnataka.

Primary References: NCERT Geography, Indian Geography by Kullar [Amazon and Flipkart], Wikipedia

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