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THE MINERAL PRODUCTION OF INDIA DURING 1923. BY
Total value of production.
Mineral concessions granted.
of Class II-for which regularly recurring and full particulars cannot be procured-will in time be reduced to a very small number. In the case of minerals still exploited chiefly by primitive Indian methods, and thus forming the basis of an industry carried on by a large number of persons, each working independently and on a very small scale, the collection of reliable statistics is impossible, but the total error from year to year is not improbably approximately constant and the figures obtained may be accepted as a fairly reliable index to the general trend of the industry. In the case of gold, the small indigenous alluvial industry-contributes such an insignificant portion to the total outturn that any error from this source may be regarded as negligible.
The average value of the Indian rupee during the year 1923 was ls. 4 d.; the highest value reached was 1s. 51d., and the lowest 1s. 31d. The values shown in table 1 and all following tables of the present Review are given on the basis of 1s. 4d. to the rupee.
From table 1 it will be seen that there has been an apparent increase of over £1,200,000 or about 5 per cent. in the value of the total production over that of 1922. The value figures, however, are somewhat artificial. In some instances, although the output has fallen in quantity, it has increased in value; such increase does not necessarily give a true indication of the state of an industry.
The number of mineral concessions granted during the year amounted to 624 against 672 in the preceding year; of these one was an exploring license, 513 were prospecting licenses and 110 were mining leases.
TABLE 1.-Total value of minerals for which returns of Production are available for the years 1922 and 1923.
(a) f. o. b. value at Indian ports.
TABLE 1.-Total value of minerals for which returns of Production are available for the years 1922 and 1923-contd.
23,804,742 25,018,858 1,839,364
(b) Export values.
(c) Excludes the value of 932 tons.
II. MINERALS OF GROUP I.
Bihar and Orissa-
There was a very large increase in the production of Chromite which rose from about 22,800 tons in 1922 to over 54,200 tons in the year under review. This increase was mainly due to greater mining activity in the Mysore State.
TABLE 2. Quantity and value of Chromite produced in India during 1922 and 1923.
Ruby, Sapphire Silver.
There was an increase during the year of some 646,800 tons, or about 3.4 per cent., in the output of coal. This increase was due chiefly to Bihar and Orissa and Bengal, but Hyderabad and Central India also contributed. The Central Provinces shewed a decrease of nearly 19 per cent., and the outputs from Assam and Baluchistan were also considerably reduced; the Punjab shewed a slight decrease. The increase in Bihar and Orissa was due to the two great fields of Jharia and Raniganj, to the recovery of the Giridih field and to the steady expansion of Bokaro. The maiden effort of the Talcher seams, which have