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The total ore reserves at the close of the year 1937 amounted to 946,000 short tons, with an average assay value of 2.91 per cent. of copper, against 949,175 short tons, with an average assay value of 2.97 per cent. of copper, at the end of 1936. The Indian Copper Corporation reached the dividend paying stage in 1933.
An output of 115 tons of copper ore, valued at Rs. 1,725 (£130), is reported from Mysore.
There was an increase in the production of copper matte at the Namtu smelting plant of the Burma Corporation, Limited, from 7,500 tons valued at Rs. 20,09,978 (£151,126) in 1936 to 7,750 tons valued at Rs. 24,18,465 (£181,839) in 1937, and averaging 42-74 per cent. of copper, 25.98 per cent. of lead and 70-55 ozs. of silver to the ton. Included in the ore-reserves in the Bawdwin mine of the Burma Corporation are approximately 275,000 tons of copper ore.
The production of diamonds in Central India fell from 1,457 carats valued at Rs. 62,171 (£4,675) in 1936 to 1,178 carats valued at Rs. 54,979 (£4,134) in 1937. Of this latter production 1,054 carats were produced in Panna State and the remainder in Charkhari and Ajaigarh States.
In 1931 the gradual secular decline in the total Indian gold production was temporarily arrested with an output of 330,488-8 ozs. valued at Rs. 2,08,01,943 (£1,540,885), followed by a trivial fall again in 1932, when the output was 329,681.7 ozs. valued at Rs. 2,53,51,438 (£1,906,123). In 1933 there was an increase to 336,108-3 ozs. valued at Rs. 2,76,40,071 (£2,078,201). In 1934 the output fell to 322,142-9 ozs., but the value increased to Rs. 2,92,71,130 (£2,200,836). It is interesting to note that the output of 1921, which was valued at £2,050,575, a figure very close to that of the 1933 production, was 432,722-6 ozs. In 1935 the output rose again to 327,652.5 ozs. valued at Rs. 3,04,01,775 (£2,285,848), and in 1936 to 333,385-6 ozs. valued at Rs. 3,06,02,413 (£2,300,933). In 1937 the output fell slightly to 331,748-2 ozs., valued at Rs. 3,04,80,105 (£2,291,737).
All fields shared in this decrease, except for the insignificant production of 1.9 ozs. from the United Provinces. The Burma
output decreased considerably, owing principally to a fall in duction from 1,294 ozs. to 894 ozs., from the operations of the Burma. Corporation in the Northern Shan States. But these figures are, of course, quite insignificant compared with the output of Kolar, which makes up 99.6 per cent. of the India and Burma total. The considerable increase in the value of the production in 1932 was due to that being the first full year since Britain and India abandoned the gold standard in September, 1931, with consequent appreciation in the price of gold against sterling or rupees. As a result of this appreciation, 9,766,122 ozs. of gold reckoned in terms. of fine gold were exported during 1932. The value was Rs. 75,87,52,203 (£57,049,038). In 1933 the exports were 6,248,095 ozs. valued at Rs. 51,25,48,810 (£38,537,505), in 1934 they were 6,685,900 ozs. valued at Rs. 60,50,74,489 (£45,494,323), in 1935, 4,732,185 ozs. valued at Rs. 44,22,27,875 (£33,250,216), in 1936, 3,588,117 ozs. valued at Rs. 33,15,99,305 (£24,932,279), and in 1937, 1,971,126 ozs. valued at Rs. 18,27,80,654 (£13,742,906).
Of the four mines that are producing gold in the Kolar Gold Field, the Champion Reef and the Ooregum Mines, the two deepest on the field, reached vertical depths of 7,960 feet and 8,224 feet respectively below field datum (2,967-21 feet above Madras sealevel) on the 31st December, 1937. The development in depth has disclosed the continuity of the reef, and a number of shoots of payable ore have been opened up. At these depths the dip of the reef is almost vertical. The ore is not refractory and yields its gold to blanket concentration and cyaniding; all-sliming' practice is becoming general. The concentrates are pan- or plate-amalgamated. The rock temperature at the deepest working place was 133°F. Owing to the great depths of these mines and the consequent high temperatures, the maintenance of adequate ventilation at the working places is an extremely complex problem, and it has been partly solved by sinking deep, smooth-lined vertical shafts, circular or elliptical, and by an extensive use of large electrically-driven fans in the course of the main air currents. The subsidiary shafts and winzes in the lower levels are brick- or concrete-lined and as such assist the free movement of air by reducing friction to a minimum. Though rock-bursts cannot be eliminated altogether in deep mining, the more rigid forms of support, such as packs of masonry and concrete, and sand or waste rock filling, which are generally used in these mines, have resulted in the reduc
tion of the number of heavier rock-bursts, which were causing considerable damage to person and property in the past.
The average number of persons employed on the Kolar Gold Field during 1937 was 23,881, of whom 15,304 worked underground,
TABLE 20. Quantity and value of Gold produced in India and Burma during the years 1936 and 1937.
1 Revised value,
3,04,98,409 2,298,113 330,743-9 3,03,95,871 2,285,404
There was a large increase in the production of ilmenite in Travancore State from 75,644 tons valued at £39,2451 in 1934 to 127,051 tons valued at £58,789 in 1935, to 140,477 tons valued at £62,418 in 1936, and again to 181,047 tons, valued at Rs. 11,26,329
(£84,686) in 1937, this being the highest output yet recorded. 1927 India has been the world's largest producer of ilmenite. mineral occurs in the monazite sands and, up to a few years ago, was looked upon as a by-product of the monazite industry. The monazite sands have been worked continuously since 1911, but it was not until 1922 that the export of ilmenite commenced, since when the production of the mineral has expanded almost continuously, so that in both quantity and value the production of ilmenite is now much more important than that of the associated minerals monazite and zircon. This steady increase in the output of ilmenite is due to the demand for its content of titanium dioxide in the manufacture of titanium paints. The exports of ilmenite were 106,585 tons in 1935, 123,799 tons in 1936 and 204,653 tons in 1937.
For some years up to and including 1929 the production of iron-ore in India had been steadily increasing; India is now, in fact, the second largest producer in the British Empire, and yields place only to the United Kingdom. Her output is of course still completely dwarfed by the production in the United States (301 million tons in 1935 and 482 million tons in 1936) and France (32-3 million tons in both 1935 and 1936); but her reserves of ore are not much less than three-quarters of the estimated total in the United States and there is every hope that India will eventually take a much more important place among the world's producers of ironFrom 2,430,136 tons in 1929 the output of iron-ore in India fell to 1,228,625 tons in 1933. In 1934, however, there was a turn of the tide and the production recovered sharply to 1,916,918 tons, and in 1935 rose still further to 2,364,297 tons, in 1936 to 2,553,247 tons, and in 1937, to 2,896,258 tons valued at Rs. 46,88,082 (£352,487). As in former years, these figures include the output of about 25,000 tons, by the Burma Corporation, which is used as a flux in lead-smelting. As will be seen later, there were also substantial increases in the output of pig-iron and steel. The figures shown against the Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj States in Table 21 represent the production by Bird & Co., and the Tata Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., respectively. Of the total production of 1,587,362 tons shown against Singhbhum, 681,157 tons were produced by the
Tata Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., 901,124 tons by the Indian Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., and the remaining 5,081 tons by small concerns.
TABLE 21.- Quantity and value of Iron-ore produced in India and Burma during the years 1936 and 1937.
The production of pig-iron by the Tata Iron and Steel Co., at Jamshedpur rose from 858,272 tons in 1936 to 885,393 tons in 1937, while their steel production rose from 660,291 tons in 1936 to 665,309 tons in 1937. The production of ferro-manganese rose from 3,263 tons in 1936 to 8,041 tons in 1937.