Metallogenic Epochs and Provinces of India: An Overview
Metallogenic epochs are periods of time in the geological history of the Earth when certain metals or groups of metals were deposited in large quantities in different regions. Metallogenic provinces are areas or belts that contain a notable concentration of deposits of one or more metals. The distribution and formation of metallogenic epochs and provinces are influenced by various factors, such as plate tectonics, magmatism, sedimentation, metamorphism, and mineralization processes.
India is a country with a rich and diverse mineral wealth, which reflects its complex geological evolution. India has experienced several metallogenic epochs and hosts many metallogenic provinces that contain deposits of gold, copper, iron, manganese, lead, zinc, chromium, nickel, titanium, uranium, and other metals. Some of these deposits are of global significance and have been exploited for centuries, while others are still under exploration or development.
In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the major metallogenic epochs and provinces of India, based on the available literature and online sources[^1^] [^2^] [^3^]. We will also discuss some of the characteristics and challenges of exploring and mining these deposits.
Precambrian Metallogenic Epoch
The Precambrian is the longest and oldest geological eon, spanning from about 4.6 billion years ago to 541 million years ago. It is divided into three eras: the Hadean, the Archean, and the Proterozoic. The Precambrian metallogenic epoch in India covers most of the Archean and Proterozoic eras, during which several cratons (stable blocks of ancient continental crust) and mobile belts (zones of deformation and metamorphism) were formed and modified by various tectonic events.
The Precambrian metallogenic epoch in India is characterized by the formation of deposits of iron, manganese, gold, copper, lead, zinc, chromium, nickel, titanium, uranium, and other metals. These deposits are mainly associated with greenstone belts (volcanic-sedimentary sequences), granitoids (intrusive igneous rocks), banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary basins (depressions filled with sediments), and shear zones (faults with significant displacement).
Some of the important metallogenic provinces in India that belong to the Precambrian metallogenic epoch are:
The gold province of Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu (Hutti-Kolar-Anantpur-Gadag-Wynad Gold Province), which contains the oldest and largest gold mines in India.
The copper province of Singhbhum (Bihar-Jharkhand-Orissa), which contains several copper deposits associated with greenstone belts and granitoids.
The copper province of Khetri-Pur-Banera (Rajasthan-Haryana), which contains copper deposits associated with granitoids and shear zones.
The iron province of Dharwar-Bastar (Karnataka-Chhattisgarh-Orissa), which contains high-grade hematite deposits associated with BIFs.
The manganese province of Nagpur-Balaghat (Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh), which contains manganese deposits associated with BIFs.
The chromium-nickel province of Sukinda-Nausahi (Orissa), which contains chromite and laterite nickel deposits associated with ultramafic rocks (igneous rocks rich in iron and magnesium).
The uranium province of Singhbhum-Cuddapah (Bihar-Jharkhand-Andhra Pradesh), which contains uranium deposits associated with granitoids and unconformities (gaps in the geological record).
Late Paleozoic Metallogenic Epoch
The Paleozoic is a geological era that spanned from about 541 million years ago to 252 million years ago. It is divided into six periods: the Cambrian, the Ordovician, the Silurian, the Devonian, the Carboniferous, and the Permian. The late Paleozoic metallogenic epoch in India covers most of the Carboniferous and Permian periods, 061ffe29dd