India’s mining sector achieves record production levels, driving economic growth

The Index of Mineral Production (IMP), a crucial barometer of the mining sector’s performance, soared to 156.1 in March 2024, reflecting a 1.2% increase compared to the same month the previous year.

India’s mining sector has etched a milestone, registering record production levels across key minerals and metals in the fiscal year 2023-24. This achievement underscores the sector’s resilience and its pivotal role in driving the nation’s economic growth.

The Index of Mineral Production (IMP), a crucial barometer of the mining sector’s performance, soared to 156.1 in March 2024, reflecting a 1.2% increase compared to the same month the previous year. Impressively, the index for the entire fiscal year 2023-24 surged by an impressive 7.5% over the previous fiscal year, signalling the sector’s robust growth trajectory.

Among the non-fuel minerals that showcased positive growth during March 2024, copper concentrate, gold, manganese ore, diamond, graphite, kyanite, sillimanite, lime shell, limestone, and magnesite stood out as notable contributors. These diverse mineral resources are essential inputs for various industries, fueling their growth and fostering economic progress.

Iron ore and limestone, the two pillars of the mining sector, jointly account for a staggering 80% of the total mineral production by value under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR). The production figures for these key minerals in fiscal year 2023-24 have shattered previous records, reflecting the sector’s exceptional performance.

Iron ore production soared to 277 million metric tons (MMT) in FY 2023-24, surpassing the previous record of 258 MMT achieved in FY 2022-23, registering an impressive 7.4% growth. Mirroring this trend, limestone production also surpassed the previous record of 406.5 MMT achieved in FY 2022-23, increasing by an impressive 10.7% to reach 450 MMT in FY 2023-24.

The non-ferrous metal sector, too, has contributed to this remarkable achievement. The production of primary aluminium metal in FY 2023-24 has broken the previous year’s record, increasing from 40.73 lakh tons (LT) in FY 2022-23 to 41.59 LT during FY 2023-24, reflecting a 2.1% growth rate.

India’s position as the second-largest aluminium producer, third-largest lime producer, and fourth-largest iron ore producer in the world is a testament to the mining sector’s global competitiveness. The healthy growth in the production of iron ore and limestone in FY 2023-24 reflects the robust demand conditions in user industries such as steel and cement.

Coupled with the high growth in aluminium production, these growth trends point towards strong economic activity in user sectors such as energy, infrastructure, construction, automotive, and machinery. The mining sector’s remarkable performance not only ensures the availability of essential raw materials but also catalyzes job creation and economic opportunities across various sectors.