Mineral Resources

 

 

Meghalaya is a storehouse of economic minerals. The major minerals that are presently exploited are Coal, Limestone, Clay and Sillimanite. These minerals are utilised in several mineral-based industries in the country. Besides, Coal and Limestone are also exported to Bangladesh, earning a good amount of foreign exchange.

 

Coal:

 

Meghalaya Coal, popularly known as 'Tertiary coal' occurs in all the districts of the State. The ash content is much lower than that of the best quality coal of the country and its calorific value exceeds some of the best grade coal but is handicapped from its high sulphur-content. The coal is mostly of sub-bituminous type. It can be used in a large number of industries requiring non-combustible coal. The possible uses are:

  • Power Generation

  • Fertiliser Industries

  • Smokeless Coke

  • Cement Industries

  • Textile Industries

  • Paper Industries

  • Rubber Industries

  • Brick-burning and Pottery Industries

Some prominent coalfields in the State are west Dadenggiri, Siju, Balpakram, Pyndengrei, Langrin, Mawlong-Shella, Laitryngew and Bapung. The total estimated inferred reserve of coal in Meghalaya is of the order of about 640 million tonnes, out of which, Garo Hills alone contains 359 million tonnes.

 

Limestone:

 

An extensive belt (approximately 200 Km. Long) of good quality Limestone (cement grade to chemical grade), having 3 (three) brands of Limestone, occurs along the southern border of Meghalaya. Some prominent Limestone deposits are Cherrapunjee, Mawlong-Ishamati, Komorrah, Shella, Borsora in Khasi Hills, Siju and Nangwalbibra in Garo Hills, Lumshnong, Sutnga, Nongkhlieh, Syndai and Lakadong in Jaintia Hills. Total inferred reserve of Limestone within the State has been estimated at about 5,000 million tonnes. The chemical analysis confirms its utility in the steel, fertiliser and chemical industries besides in the production of cement.

The existing cement plants, one at Cherrapunjee in Khasi Hills (Public Sector) and other at Damas in Garo Hills (Private Sector) have been using the Meghalaya Limestone. Besides these, Limestone of Meghalaya will also be utilised in the 2 (two) proposed cement plants, one at Garo Hills (1,000 TPD) and the other one at Jaintia Hills (1,200 TPD), both in the Public Sector.

 

Production of Minerals in Meghalaya, 2000-01 to 2012-13: