From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Graphite and its properties
Mains level : India-China Border Issues
- Arunachal Pradesh has asked the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to explore the possibility of surveying and drilling for minerals along the India-China border.
What is Graphite?
- Graphite is a naturally-occurring form of crystalline carbon.
- It is a native element mineral found in metamorphic and igneous rocks.
- It is extremely soft, cleaves with very light pressure, and has a very low specific gravity.
- It is the only non-metal element that is a good conductor of electricity.
- It is also known as a dry lubricant for its greasy feel.
Why mine in Arunachal?
- Beijing is carrying out “massive” mining activities very close to the border in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
- Arunachal could be the leading producer of graphite, going a long way in cutting down India’s import of the mineral.
Arunachal holds highest deposits of graphite
- The GSI presented the status of mineral deposits in Arunachal Pradesh at the meeting.
- Data showed that the State has 35% of the total graphite reserves in India – the highest in the country.
- The GSI’s 2013 report showed Arunachal Pradesh sits on 43% of the country’s graphite resources followed by Jammu & Kashmir (37%), Jharkhand (6%), Tamil Nadu (5%), and Odisha (3%).
- But in terms of resources, Tamil Nadu led with 37% followed by Jharkhand with 30% and Odisha with 29%.