Copper is specially valued for its conductivity, ductility and resistance to corrosion. Copper ores occur in India as sulphides.
Production and Distribution:
Copper deposits in India are confined to Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc. The total in situ reserves of copper ore m the country are 712.5 million tonnes, equivalent to 9.4 million tonnes of metal content.
The all-India conditional resources of copper are 722 million tonnes, (3.15 million tonnes of copper metal) and prospective resources are 0.6 million tonnes of copper ore. Major and important copper ore deposits are located in Singhbhum district Jharkhand), Balaghat district (Madhya Pradesh) and Jhunjhunu and Alwar districts (Rajasthan). In addition, there are small copper ore deposits in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
The production of copper concentrate on 136.86 thousand tonnes in 2010-11 was increased by about 9.86 as compared to the previous year.
In Andhra Pradesh, there are two prospective areas. They are: Agrigundal in Guntur district, 14 kms north of Vinukon and Gani in Kurnool district. The Mailaram area of Khammam districts and the Agnigundala (Bandalam other and Nallakonda and Dhukonda) belt in Guntur district contain rich copper ore deposits. The belt containing about 50 lakh tonne of carbonate and sulphate ores with a Cu content of 1.38 to 1.82% runs for about 3 kms from Cantalapalem to Dhukonda.
The state has a fairly large belt in the Taregaon area, in Malanjhand belt of Balaghat district. Reserves of moderate size are also found in Kherlibazar-Bargaon area of Betul district. The deposit is a massive quartz reef transversing the gneissic granites in the Pre-Cambrian philpighat schists. The state has 43% of the total reserves and about 40% of the total production of copper ore in the country.
About 130 km. long copper ore belt located in Singhbhum is being mined for copper ore. Mosabani and Rakha are the chief mining areas. The important ore of this belt occurs between Rajdah and Budia. The ore contains about 2.16 percent of copper on the average. There is an electrolytic refinery for producing pure copper near Ghatsila.
In Rajasthan copper minerals are found in irregular veins and stringers in highly deformed phylites in Khoh-Dariba area in Alwar district. The other deposits are found at Khetri in Jaipur districts, Singhana in Jhunjhunu district, Raghunathgarh in Sikar district etc. In most of these arfeas copper ores occur as sulphides mostly chalcopyrite, pyrrholite and pyrite in sheer zones. Rajasthan has over a third of India’s total copper ore production with 21% reserves.
The production of copper in India is not sufficient; India imports huge quantities of copper from USA, Canada, and Zimbabwe.