Atomic minerals are the most important among non-fossil energy resources. They are found in the slate rocks of the pre-Cambrian (Archean Schist) and Dharwar periods in India. Uranium and Thorium are major minerals for the production of atomic energy. Uranium is mined directly whereas for thorium is obtained mainly from monazite and limonite. Thorium is also obtained from beryllium, zircon, antimony and graphite.
Atomic minerals in India
• Uranium: It is found in Singhbhum and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand, and Gaya District of Bihar, and in sedimentary rocks of Saharanpur District of Uttar Pradesh. The largest source of uranium comprise the monazite sands, both beach and alluvial. Monazite sand rich in uranium is found in Kerala. Some uranium is found in the copper and zinc mines of Udaipur (Rajasthan). The total reserves of uranium as estimated by the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, are about 31,000 tonnes.
• Thorium: It is derived from monazite. It is produced in Kerala, Jharkhand, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan. In addition to uranium and thorium, beryllium and lithium are also the atomic minerals found mainly in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
• Beryllium: Its reserves are in the states of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
• Zircon: It is found mainly in the coastal sand of Kerala.
• Antimony: It is found Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
• Graphite: Odisha is the largest producer of graphite. Its largest reserve is in Ramanathpuram in Tamil Nadu. Its reserves are also in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
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