What is the main problem of Chhattisgarh

India - minerals, sites, deposits

  • Author: Berthold Ottens
  • Publisher: C. Weise Verlag, Munich in cooperation with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg
  • 384 pages. Format: 24.5 x 28.5 cm. 2.1 kg.
  • ISBN: 9783921656761
  • Price: 59 euros.

Content description

This book is now the 2nd by Berthold Ottens, in that he describes in great detail an entire country and its possibilities for finding. Not just in the manner of a prolific writer, but the author has been there ten times in the field of minerals. And because of his travel and shopping activities, he has also written several articles on Indian minerals and sites.

Was formerly India the fabulous country with rich gold, diamond and other gemstone deposits. What is left of it and where are mineral riches still hidden today? Today, when it comes to India, mineral collectors rarely talk about gold and precious stones; rather, the main focus is on the beautiful and easy-to-obtain (mostly) Zeolite minerals of the Dekkan-Trapp from the triangle Pune (Poona), Mumbay (Bombay) and Nashik (Nasik). And that is served by devoting almost half of the book to this subject. Here are a few of the globally unique minerals: amethyst, apophyllite, calcite, gyrolite, fluorite, mesolite, pentagonite, prehnite, stilbite ..... Ottens describes the finds and the sites with fantastic pictures, as well as the find situation and the mineral formation. He comes to 30 sites. The author states that it is seldom possible to acquire good grades in the quarries, but that you can get information about the find situation etc. there. The owners of the basalt quarries as well as the traders surprisingly know little about the determination of minerals and information on where they were found should be treated with caution.

Deposits and raw materials: As the 7th largest country in the world, India did not gain any importance in terms of raw material production. This is due to a slow geological exploration of the subcontinent. Ottens sees a major problem as a rapidly increasing annual demand for raw materials, based on an increase in industrial production of 10% compared to an increase in actual raw material production of 2%. He attributes the problems to poorly functioning administration, inadequate infrastructure, high environmental requirements and high taxes. It indicates 89 different types of raw materials. The most important metallic ones are: iron, chromium, zinc, gold, manganese and lead. The most important non-metallic raw materials are: coal, lime, magnesite, bauxite, dolomite, barite, kaolin, gypsum, apatite, talc and fluorite. India is rich in iron deposits, with important deposits in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. In the case of copper, on the other hand, the company's own requirements cannot be met due to the lack of large deposits. With regard to lead and zinc, there are large Proterozoic polymetallic deposits in Zawar and Rampura (Rajasthan). India is the 3rd most important country in chromite extraction. Manganese is also abundant, especially in the south of Madhya Pradesh. The Kajlidongri and Tirodi occurrences are type localities for 4 and 2 Mn minerals, respectively. The mineral content of beach soaps is becoming increasingly important in terms of garnet, zircon, rare earths, thorium and uranium. Minerals from mines or quarries (with the exception of Dekkan-Trapp zeolites) for collecting purposes are not at all an issue for producers or traders and are therefore almost impossible to get. The Gemstones dar: In India's history, gemstones played a major role as a symbol of power. Today, the country is not only a large gem-consuming country, but the world's largest producer. Decorative stones made of marble, carnelian, thistles, rubies in green mavinite etc. play a major role. The city of Jaipur is the gem capital of the world in quantitative terms. Thanks to cheap and skilled workers, precious stones from all over the world are also processed. High quality gemstones are rarely found in India today. In an old tradition, agates, carnelian, rock crystal, amethyst, spinel, garnet, beryl, ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond, zircon ... have been extracted and processed for a long time. However, the qualities are usually modest. Think of the large, cloudy, hexagonal crystals of ruby. In antiquity, only the Indian diamonds were actually valid until the emergence of the Brazilian finds. Think of the famous Hope, Kah-i-Nor, Orlov and the green “Dresden” diamond. The most expensive diamonds came from Golkonda. With the exception of the Majhgawan kimberlite vents, diamonds have only been found in alluvial deposits. And when these classic sites were running low, no new prospects were responded to. Quote: "The main problem of the Indian gemstone deposits is based on the fact that, with few exceptions, all gemstone quarries are more or less illegal." And therefore it is understandable that one almost never has the opportunity to visit such a quarry or to give a correct indication To get the origin of a piece. A rough indication of the province is the ultimate. In addition, the mines are small and some of them are abandoned again after rapid exploitation. And of course they don't have names either. It is therefore commendable that the author managed to collect numerous reliable (?) Information about the gemstones, pits and details around them. The author lists the following gemstone provinces: Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan (quartz varieties). Numerous types and locations of gemstones are described for each of the states. Regarding the content of the book, it should be mentioned that in addition to the content discussed so far, a part of the India collection from Freudenstein Castle (Freiberg) is presented exquisitely pictorially in 17 pages. The book ends with a few registers for better orientation in this work.


There is no lack of detailed information, but there is a lack of clear organization. The author has probably tried to create order in the form of the gemstone types and the places where they were found. In view of the not always uniform spelling, sometimes confusion about the location and the (sometimes deliberately) unclear information and lack of interest from the locals, a difficult undertaking. So far, these blockages have also hindered a clear information situation. So it happens that information about the place of discovery and the mineral appear several times in different places, which should be taken into account in a new edition. This is why Ottens’s book is a good, albeit optimizable, overview and source of India's mineral wealth. There is nothing better about India, so the book is highly recommended, despite the small restrictions above.

Discussed by