Minerals

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The minerals that are found in the district are the following-

Asbestos-This is of the amosite variety and can be used for the production of asbestos, cement bricks, laboratory asbestos sheet and paper, but is not considered to be of economic importance.

Magnestic - This is of an average quality is crystalline in nature, and is found associated with crystalline dolomites and sometimes with soapstone. The Magnesium carbonate found here is also of average quality and its mineralisation has also been reported to occur in the district.

Soapstone or Steatite - This white saponaceous stone resembling pipe clay is obtained in as lenticular body and is associated with mineral pyrites, which adds a color to it, and in places with magnesite. it can be mined for use as filler in soap and in the cosmetic industries. In the past various utensils were made of it which, when polished, had the appearance of marble.

Copper - The copper mines in the district are extensive and of reputed during the period of Hindus and The Gorkhas rules. All the rich mines have since being exhausted and at present they do not offer a fair field for the employment of capital.

Iron - Small and sporadic occurrence of iron are known to occur in several parts of district but are of hardly any economic important. Iron ore, rich in haematite, and magnetic ore, with haematite and siderite, also occur in the district.

Graphite - In the past this mineral, also known as plumbago, found mostly in patti Lohba, was used as a dye but no large deposits have been noticed for a long time.

Gypsum - This mineral is found on the bank of some river and was used in the past for the manufacture of saucers and bowls .when ground to a fine powder it is known as Plaster of Paris and can be used for a number of purposes.

Lead - Deposits of this metal were fairly numerous in the past but it is found in somewhat inaccessible places and has long since ceased to be worked.

Slate - This dense, fine grained metamorphic rock, which is produced from a fine clay, can be split into thin, smooth plates and is quarried throughout the district. It is suitable for roofing purposes, the thin dark blue slates being somewhat inferior in quality.

Building Stone - Stone which can be used for building purposes is available in most parts of the district. Sand stone is found in abundance in the lower hills. Gneiss and chlorite schists which are available throughout the district are frequently used for building purposes.

Sulphur - This yellow mineral, also known as brimstone is found in the district as green sulphate of iron and is obtainable from iron pyrites and copper mines, its presence being characterised by a small as of rotten eggs. Sulphur springs also occur in many parts in the district.

Bitumen - The brownish white natural sulphate of alumina known as Shilajit is found in rocks at a fairly high altitude and occur in small lumps which generally have an admixture of red sand and micaceous stone embedded in them. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and during the season when there is an influx of pilgrims, it fetches good income to those who deal in it.

Some other minerals found in the district are Antimony, Arsenic, Lignite or Brown Marble, Mica and silver.

Physiographically the district, which lies in a region of tectonic or folded and overthrust mountain chains, has strata are structurally marked by complex folds, reverse faults, overthrusts and nappes of great dimensions, all these as well as frequent earthquake of varying intensity give region to believe that the region is still unstable. Although any movement or tremor of the earths crust in the district is not produced by volcanic activity, the Chaukhamba peak a pair to be the crater of an extinct volcano.