Economic Mineral Resources and Development

Economic Mineral Resources and Development


Minerals are inorganic substances formed by natural processes and have a definite chemical composition and atomic structure. They are extracted either by open cast methods or by under ground mining activities. There are two types of minerals such as the rock forming minerals and the Economic minerals. The Economic minerals are useful to manufacture several industrial goods.

For instance, iron ore mineral, haematite is useful to extract iron and steel from it, similarly, chalcopyrite is one of the ore minerals to extract copper. Some countries exclusively depend on mining activities due to the occurrence of huge amounts of minerals. Where as some other countries like Japan do depend on other countries to meet the domestic demand.

Atomic minerals, bauxite, building stones, copper, clay, coal, diamond, emrald, flourite, gypsum, gold, graphite, halite, heamatite, ilmenite, jasper, limestone, magnetite, mica, monozite, manganese, ochre, phosphorous, quartz, rutile, sulphur, uraninite, zircon, etc are some of the most useful Economic minerals which occur in the earth’s crust.


Contribution of minerals in Economic development:

The atomic minerals are being used to produce atomic energy, and bauxite is an important ore of aluminium which is useful for building the aeroplanes and several other house hold most useful products. Marble, and granite, are mined and polished to be used as building stones. The ceramic products are manufactured by clay minerals such as kaolinte. Thermal energy is being produced from coal resources. Diamond and gold are precious stones.

Due to their limited availability and a huge demand, their cost in the markets is very high. Though the gold deposits do occur in India, it imports substantial quantities from other countries to fill the gap between the demand and the supply. This is one of the reasons for a very high current account deficit in the Indian economy. Graphite is useful to manufacture the crucibles. Limestone is one of the main ingredients or raw materials to produce cement. Glass is manufactured from Quartz.

Thus the mineral resources do contribute for the Economic development of the nations of the world by generating employment, enhancing the foreign exchange resources, meeting the domestic demand for metals, non-metals, and other raw materials required for the Economic development. For instance, the major contributor to the Economic development of the Gulf countries is the petroleum products. Similarly, Japan depends on India for its iron ore requirements.

The countries which explore the Economic minerals have been taking several effective measures to protect the environment


Mineral Resources

Mineral resources refer to the natural resources found in the earth’s crust that have economic value. These resources include metals, minerals, oil, and gas, among others. Mineral resources are essential for the development of modern civilization as they are used in various industries such as construction, transportation, and manufacturing.

The extraction and processing of mineral resources can have significant impacts on the environment, as well as on social and economic factors. The sustainable use of mineral resources requires careful management to ensure their availability for future generations.


Types of Mineral Resources

Mineral resources can be broadly categorized into metallic and non-metallic minerals.

Metallic minerals are those that contain metallic elements such as iron, copper, gold, and silver. These minerals are used in the production of steel, aluminum, and other metals that are essential in the construction of buildings, infrastructure, and machinery.

Non-metallic minerals, on the other hand, include materials such as sand, gravel, clay, and limestone. These minerals are used in the construction industry for the production of cement, concrete, and asphalt. Non-metallic minerals are also used in the production of glass, ceramics, and fertilizers.


Importance of Mineral Resources

Mineral resources play a crucial role in the development of modern society. They are used in various industries such as construction, transportation, and manufacturing. The use of mineral resources has also contributed significantly to the advancement of technology and scientific knowledge.

In addition to their economic importance, mineral resources also have strategic and geopolitical significance. Countries with abundant mineral resources can use them to gain economic and political power in the global arena. Mineral resources also have a significant impact on international trade, as many countries rely on imports to meet their domestic demand.


Environmental Impacts of Mineral Resource Extraction

The extraction and processing of mineral resources can have significant environmental impacts. The mining process can cause soil erosion, water pollution, and the destruction of habitats for wildlife. The use of chemicals such as cyanide and mercury in the extraction process can also have toxic effects on the environment.

The transportation and processing of mineral resources can also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. The production of metals such as aluminum and steel is energy-intensive, and the burning of fossil fuels for energy contributes to climate change.


Sustainable Use of Mineral Resources

The sustainable use of mineral resources requires careful management to ensure their availability for future generations. This involves implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the mining process, from exploration to closure.

One approach to sustainable mining is the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another approach is the use of advanced technologies that minimize the use of water and chemicals in the extraction process.

Efforts are also being made to reduce waste and improve the recycling of mineral resources. This can help to reduce the demand for new mineral resources and minimize the environmental impact of their extraction and processing.



Mineral resources are essential for the development of modern society, but their extraction and processing can have significant environmental and social impacts. The sustainable use of mineral resources requires careful management to ensure their availability for future generations. Efforts are being made to reduce waste, improve recycling, and use renewable energy sources to minimize the environmental impact of mineral resource extraction.



Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. It is concerned with how individuals, businesses, governments, and other organizations make decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources in order to satisfy their wants and needs.

The study of economics is divided into two main branches: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on the behavior of individuals and firms in the market, while macroeconomics examines the economy as a whole, including factors such as inflation, unemployment, and economic growth.


The Role of Markets in Economics

Markets play a central role in economics, as they are the mechanisms through which goods and services are exchanged between buyers and sellers. In a market economy, prices are determined by supply and demand, and individuals and businesses are free to make their own decisions regarding what to produce, how much to produce, and at what price to sell.

In a market economy, the government’s role is typically limited to ensuring that markets are competitive and that basic social needs such as healthcare and education are met. However, in some cases, the government may also play a larger role in regulating markets or providing goods and services directly.


The Role of Government in Economics

While the market is the primary mechanism for the allocation of resources in a market economy, the government can also play an important role in influencing economic outcomes. For example, the government can use fiscal policy (taxation and spending) and monetary policy (adjustments to interest rates and the money supply) to influence economic growth, inflation, and employment.

Governments can also intervene in markets directly, through regulations and subsidies, in order to address market failures such as externalities (where the actions of one party have an impact on others who are not involved in the transaction) or to provide public goods (goods that are non-excludable and non-rivalrous, such as national defense).


The International Economy

Economics also studies the international economy, including trade, globalization, and international finance. Trade allows countries to specialize in the production of goods and services in which they have a comparative advantage, and to trade with other countries for goods and services they cannot produce as efficiently.

Globalization refers to the increasing interconnectedness of the world economy, through the growth of international trade, investment, and the spread of technology and culture. While globalization has led to significant benefits in terms of increased economic growth and the spread of knowledge and ideas, it has also been criticized for contributing to inequality and environmental degradation.

International finance deals with the flows of capital between countries, including foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and international lending and borrowing. The management of exchange rates and the regulation of international financial markets are important areas of study in economics.



Economics is a broad field that encompasses the study of individual and collective decision-making related to the allocation of resources. It is concerned with how markets work, the role of government in the economy, and the global economy. Economics plays an important role in informing public policy decisions, and in understanding the complex social, political, and environmental factors that influence economic outcomes.



Development is a broad term that refers to the process of economic, social, and political change that leads to improvements in people’s lives. It encompasses a wide range of activities, including economic growth, poverty reduction, and the provision of basic services such as healthcare, education, and clean water.

The concept of development has evolved over time, reflecting changing priorities and perspectives. Initially, development was primarily viewed as a process of economic growth, with a focus on increasing gross domestic product (GDP) and expanding industrialization. However, in recent decades, there has been a greater emphasis on the importance of social development, including improvements in health, education, and gender equality.


Measuring Development

There are a variety of measures used to assess levels of development, including GDP per capita, the Human Development Index (HDI), and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). GDP per capita is a measure of the average income of a country’s citizens, while the HDI takes into account factors such as life expectancy, education, and income to provide a more comprehensive picture of a country’s development. The MPI measures poverty based on a range of factors, including access to basic services, nutrition, and housing.


Economic Development

Economic development is often seen as a key component of overall development. It refers to the process of increasing the productivity and competitiveness of a country’s economy, with the aim of generating higher levels of economic growth and creating more opportunities for employment and income generation.

There are a variety of strategies that can be used to promote economic development, including investment in infrastructure, education and training programs, and the development of new industries and markets. However, there is ongoing debate over the best approach to promoting economic development, with some arguing that a more market-oriented approach is most effective, while others emphasize the importance of government intervention and support for specific industries.


Social Development

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of social development, including improvements in health, education, and gender equality. Social development is seen as critical to ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared more widely and that marginalized groups are included in the development process.

Efforts to promote social development may include investment in healthcare systems and education programs, the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and the provision of basic services such as clean water and sanitation. Social development is often closely linked to economic development, as improvements in health and education can lead to increased productivity and economic growth.


Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is an approach to development that seeks to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability and social development. It emphasizes the importance of long-term planning and the preservation of natural resources, as well as the need to address issues such as climate change and environmental degradation.

Efforts to promote sustainable development may include investment in renewable energy sources, the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, and the development of green technologies. Sustainable development is seen as essential to ensuring that development is both socially and environmentally responsible.



Development is a complex and multifaceted process that encompasses economic, social, and environmental factors. It is an ongoing process that requires long-term planning and a commitment to sustainability and social progress. Efforts to promote development must take into account the unique circumstances of individual countries and communities, and should be guided by a commitment to equity, inclusivity, and environmental responsibility


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