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workings in British India, and also the production of the Indian States. For the provision of the data we are indebted to the Chief Inspector of Mines and the Local Governments in respect of British India, to the Indian Durbars and Political Agents in the case of Indian States, and to the Managements of the mining companies. On the 1st April, 1937, the separation of Burma from India took place, and Tables 1 and 2 show the values of minerals produced in the two countries separately, instead of in one combined table, as in former years.


The average value of the Indian rupee during the year 1937 was 18. 63d.; the highest value reached was 1s. 6d. and the lowest 1s. 6332d. The values for 1936 shown in the tables are given on the basis of 1s. 6d. to the rupee; for ease of calculation, £1 has been taken to be equivalent to Rs. 13-3 instead of Rs. 13-27.

Tables 1 and 2 show the total value of minerals for which returns of production are available for the years 1936 and 1937. The average figure for the quinquennium, 1919-1923, was £25,194,123. In the following year, 1924, there was an apparent increase of over £3,500,000; this was, in part, however, due to the higher average value of the rupee during that year. Since 1924, there was a steady decline down to the year 1928, for which the value was £21,888,528. There was an arrest in this decline in 1929, which showed an increase in total value to £22,328,686, or about 2 per cent. over that of 1928. In 1930, however, the decline was resumed and the total value of the production fell annually to £15,612,235 in 1932. In 1933, the tide turned again and the total value of the output increased by nearly £1,000,000 to £16,599,837. This rise continued in 1934 when the total value increased by £1,068,550 to £17,668,387 and in 1935, by £1,678,493 to £19,346,880 (revised figure). In 1936 there was a smaller increase of £76,431 to £19,274,341, and in 1937 a great increase of £5,944,236 to £25,218,577, for India and Burma combined.

The aggregate increase in the value of the production of all minerals in India was £4,104,802 or 34.7 per cent. and in Burma was £1,839,434 or 24.9 per cent.

Coal and petroleum remain at the head of the list, with production figures of over five and a half millions sterling, and manganeseore has displaced gold in the third place, with three millions four hundred thousand sterling.

Of the minerals with a value of over £100,000 annually, percentage increases, to the extent given, are shown by coal in India of 25-0, petroleum in Burma of 19-7 and in India of 12-6, manganese-ore in India of 187-2, mica in India of 56-5, lead in Burma of 41.9, building-materials in India of 10-6 and in Burma of 22-9, tin concentrates in Burma of 5-5, salt in India of 10-5 and in Burma of 66-5, tungsten concentrates in Burma of 96·1 with a revival of a long-suspended small production in India, copper-ore in India of 21-7 and copper-matte in Burma of 20-3, iron-ore in India of 17.3, silver in Burma of 7.1, and zinc concentrates in Burma of 34.8.

Of these more important minerals, gold shows a trifling fall in value of 0.3 per cent. from India and 19.0 per cent. on Burma's small production, and nickel-speiss from Burma of 6.2 per cent.

Of the less important minerals, spectacular increases have taken place in the production values of what may be termed the industrial minerals, given in percentages, e.g., ilmenite 35.7, chromite 38.2, refractories 87-8, magnesite 60-4, barytes 830-6, monazite 30-0, gypsum 20-5, fuller's earth 4-7, bauxite 748-6, graphite 270-4, asbestos 93-6, and apatite 26-3.

Apart from gold and nickel-speiss, decreases in value took place only in the case of minerals with small and erratic outputs, such as steatite, diamonds, zircon, ochres, felspar, beryl, garnet, ruby and sapphire, and jadeite.

TABLE 1.-Total value of Minerals for which returns of production in India are available for the years 1936 and 1937.

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(a) Exports f.o.b. values.

(b) Export values.

11,837,411 15,942,213 4,122,111



(c) Revised.


TABLE 2.-Total value of Minerals produced in Burma, for which figures of production are available for the years 1936 and 1937.

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1937. Increase.




3,736,805 4,474,147 737,342
1,269,262 1,801,719 532,457
780,689 824,001 43,312

307,624 603,214 295,590

516,660 553,458



409,054 105,698

158,211 194,550


151,126 181,839


111,489 104,590



















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7,436,930 9,276,364 | 1,848,893




(a) Estimated.

It is interesting to compare the changes in the figures of total value recorded in Tables 1 and 2 with the variations in the average

annual value of the leading metals and ores as summarised in Table 3. In 1931 all the metals and ores given in this table showed a fall in price except gold, in the price of which there was a substantial rise. In 1932 there was a very large rise in the price of gold, and in addition a partial recovery in the price of spelter, tin and silver. In 1933 there were small falls in the price of lead and chromite; the prices of steel rails, ferro-manganese and manganese-ore were stationary; whilst the prices of other metals and ores rose, the largest rise being that of tin. In 1934 there was a spectacular rise in the price of wolfram, and further substantial rises in the prices of tin, gold and silver, with a small rise in the prices of manganese-ore and pig-iron; on the other hand there were falls in the prices of copper, lead, spelter, petrol and kerosene, whilst the prices of steel rails, ferro-manganese, and chromite were stationary. In 1935 prices were much steadier, with a general upward tendency, except in the cases of tin, chromite and wolfram, which declined slightly, steel rails and ferro-manganese being stationary. In 1936, the general upward tendency continued except in the cases of tin, wolfram, gold and silver, which declined, rails again being stationary. In 1937, there was a marked rise in all prices except in the cases of gold and silver, in which the rise was very slight, and chromite, which declined slightly.

The number of mineral concessions granted in 1937 was 291 prospecting licenses, 57 mining leases, and 25 quarry leases in India. and 271 prospecting licenses and 46 mining leases in Burma. The total, 690, when compared with the figures for 1932 (327), 1933 (406), 1934 (482), 1935 (567) and 1936 (531), shows how interest in mining enterprise is reviving after the period of depression. The highest number granted in one year was 859 in 1925.

The average number of persons employed daily during 1937 in India was 373,129 against 342,766 in the previous year, as recorded in Table 4. The figures for Burma for 1937 are not available. It will be seen that the most important mineral industries in providing employment are, in order, coal, salt, manganese-ore, mica, gold, and iron-ore. In addition much additional employment is, of course, provided in the transport, smelting and refining industries.

In Part 4 of Volume LXVI of these Records is a paper giving tables of production, imports, exports, and of consumption of minerals and metals in India for 1913, 1917, 1920, and 1926 to 1931.

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