India has large reserve of mica. India produces good quality mica.
Mica look like a sheet of glass and are a non-metal. It is a non-conductor of electricity and can tolerate extreme heat.
Mica is used exclusively in the electrical industry. A mica sheet of 1 mm thickness remains unchanged even when 1000 to 1500 Volts of electricity is passed through it. It can tolerate nearly 1000° temperature.
Compared to muscovite, phlogopite can tolerate more heat. Muscovite is found in sheets which can be separated till even 0.006 mm thickness. So, it is used in precision machines. Mica is used in radio receivers, hazaks or large lanterns, audio systems or gramophone, televisions, decoration, paints etc.
Classification of mica
Mica is found in mines in sheets at various depths. Mainly two types of micas are found:
- White mica or muscovite,
- Phlogopite or low quality mica.
India mostly produces muscovite. Other varieties of mica are biotite, paragonite, and lepidolite.
India produces the largest amount of mica in the world and controls nearly 60% of the international trade in mica. But, it is not known yet about the estimated deposits in India. This is because the presence of mica in nature does not follow any known rules. In identifying mica producing areas the role of an experienced mica mine laborer is more important than an investigating geologist. Mica is mainly found in pegmatite rocks, which is irregularly distributed. Again, pegmatite itself does not always have the same amount of mica. Mica mines are found usually by following the veins of the pegmatite rocks from the earth’s surface into the earth’s interior.
Mica Producing States in India
Mica mines are:
- Jharkhand ranks first in mica production producing 60% of the total production in India. Areas – Kodarma area of Hazaribag district (maximum production), Munger and Gaya districts.
- Andhra Pradesh ranks second in Mica Production. The major mica producing districts are Gudur, Kabhali in Nellore district.
- Rajasthan ranks third – Jaipur and Ajmeer areas. Other areas of mica production in India are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh etc.
The amount of mica produced in India exceeds demand so large amounts of exports take place to USA, Great Britain, Germany and Japan etc.