Minerals and Energy Resources in West Bengal

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The mineral resources provide the necessary base for industrial development in a country or a state. Due to its varied geological structure, West Bengal is endowed with a wide variety of mineral resources. A mineral is a natural substance of organic and inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties.

Most of the metallic minerals in India occur in the plateau region, and pan-India minerals are generally concentrated in three broad belts:

  • North-Eastern Plateau Region
  • South-Western Plateau Region
  • North -Western Region

Minerals and Energy Resources of West Bengal

West Bengal falls into the North-Eastern Plateau region along with Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Therefore it is rich in mineral resources and considered to possess coal prominently. Important minerals that occur in the State are:

  • Apatite in Purulia district;
  • Coal in Bardhaman, Bankura, Birbhum, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Purulia districts;
  • China clay in 24-Parganas, Bankura, Birbhum, Bardhaman, Hoogly, Midnapur and Purulia districts; and
  • Fireclay in Bankura, Birbhum, Bardhaman and Purulia districts.
  • Other minerals found in the State are Apatite, Asbestos, Barytes, Base metals, China clay, Ochre, Moulding sand, Glass sand, Graphite, Mica, Titanium ore and many more. Therefore, mineral-based industries are dominant in the State.

The management of mineral reserves in India is the responsibility of Central as well as the State government. Institutions involved in the State are:

  • West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA): It has the mandate to promote Renewable Energy technologies and created an environment conducive to their commercialisation through innovative projects.
  • West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) is a commercial entity distributing power in West Bengal.
  • West Bengal State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (WBSETCL) is a transmission company.

Note: Both WBSEDCL and WBSETCL were formed after the disintegration of West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) in 2007.

  • West Bengal Electricity Development Corporation Limited (WBGEDCL) promotes different grid-connected renewable energy-based power projects through the private sector and ensures investment of the private sector in Renewable Energy system manufacturing.
  • West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission: It regulates the power development and supply arrangements, fixes tariffs and directs the generation, transmission and distribution utilities on the annual plans and quantum of power flows within their grid systems.

As per Govt. of India regulations, FDI up to 100% is allowed in exploration, mining, minerals processing and metallurgy under the automatic route for all non-fuel and non-atomic minerals including diamonds and precious stones. This holds a lot of promise for foreign investors to invest in West Bengal.

West Bengal is 3rd largest in India in mineral production accounting for about one-fifth of total mineral production. Coal accounts for 99% of extracted minerals of the state, which has 11% of the total national coal reserves.


Coal is one of the important minerals which is mainly used in the generation of thermal power and smelting of iron ore. Coal occurs in rock sequences primarily of two geological ages, namely Gondwana and tertiary deposits. West Bengal is rich in coal sustain and sustains a significant amount of thermal energy resources. Major coalfields being at Raniganj, Barjora etc., 

Deocha-Pachami Coal Block: India’s largest coal mine located in the south-western part of Birbhum Coalfield in West Bengal. Spread over approximately ten sq km.

  • Coal belt stretches from the Raniganj and Asansol regions of Bardhaman district.
  • The coal fields of Raniganj support the Asansol-Durgapur industrial belt by providing thermal power.
  • The lignite (a variety of coal) mined in Darjeeling is used for the manufacturing of briquettes.
  • High-grade bituminous coal is mined at.
  • Coal deposits are also found along the Ajoy river in Birbhum district.

Famous coal mines in West Bengal

  • Burdhaman (Raniganj, Dishergarh, Kulti, Jamuria, Ramnagar)
  • Bankura (Barjora, Mezia)
  • Purulia (Nituria)

Fire Clay

West Bengal ranks next to Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in the production of fireclay.

  • Most of the mineral is extracted from Purulia, Birbhum and Bardhaman (Ramnagar-Salampur, Gawangdih-Churulia).

Iron Ore

Located close to coal mines at Raniganj. The first iron-ore factory was set up at Kulti in Bardhaman.

  • The iron ore is located at Purulia (Burnpur, Manbazar, Gaurangdih, Tiluria, Jhalda), Bankura (Porepahar) and Darjeeling.


The copper mines are found in Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts of West Bengal. Copper is also available in a small portion in Bardhaman, Purulia and Birbhum.


The deposits of manganese are found in the Belpahari and Gidhni of West Midnapore, Paharpur in Purulia and Malachite in Bardhaman district of West Bengal.


It occurs in Jhalda, Hanspathar and Baghmara region of Purulia and Salaiguri region of Bankura and Darjeeling.

Other mineral’s list with their sites




Charka Pathar and Salbani region of Purulia district.


Ukma and Malthal region of Purulia district.


Chirugora and Birmadal region of West Midnapore district.

Phosphate Rock

Kutni and Beldi region of Purulia district.


Buxa Jayanti region of Jalpaiguri.


Birbhum, Bardhaman, Purulia, Midnapore


Chhendapathar, Porapathar, Jhili Milli of Bankura district

Energy Resources in West Bengal

  1. Conventional Energy Resources
  2. Non-conventional Energy Resources

Conventional energy resources

The conventional energy resources include coal, petroleum, natural gas, atomic mineral and hydropower. Due to its abundant supply of coal, thermal energy is the main form of energy used by the industries in West Bengal. The West Bengal thermal power plants help in making the thermal energy available to the masses.





Bakreshwar Thermal Power Project


West Bengal State Electricity Board

Sagardighi Thermal Power Project



Santaldih Thermal Power Project


West Bengal State Electricity Board

Bandel Thermal Power Project


West Bengal State Electricity Board

Kolaghat Thermal Power Project

East Midnapore

West Bengal State Electricity Development Board

Farakka Thermal Power Station



Durgapur Thermal Power Project


Durgapur Project Limited

Mejia Thermal Power Project


Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation

Budge Budge Thermal Power Project

South 24 Parganas

Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation

Dishergarn Power Company


Dishergarh Power Supply

Raghunathpur Thermal Power


Damodar Valley Corporation


West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has initiated the hydropower projects. The first hydel power station was started in 1897 in Sidrapong (Darjeeling).


 Project Name



Jaldhaka Hydroelectric Project



Massanjore Hydroelectric Project



Purulia Hydroelectric Project

Kistobazar Nala


Rammam Hydroelectric Project



Teesta Canal Falls



Non-Conventional Energy Resources

The non-conventional sources of energy are developed to be West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (WBREDA). The state shows the enormous potential of hydropower due to the presence of many rivers as well as the potential for non-conventional sources of energy.

Solar Energy

WBREDA provides a capital subsidy for the promotion of Solar Water Heating systems.

  • The villages in the state which are covered under the solar energy program are Purba Radhpur (East Midnapore district), Kumirmari and Amlamethi in Gosaba block (South 24 Parganas district), Muriganga and Gobindapur in Sagar block (South 24 Pargana district).
  • Ultra-mega solar parks are developed in Purba and Paschim Midnapore and Bankura districts.
  • West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited (WBGEDCL) has set up India’s solar photovoltaic cell plant at Jamuria in Asansol (Bardhaman).

Wind Energy

WBREDA in association with Globar Multinational Enterprises (MNEs), the Government of India, has set-up its first wind farm project of capacity 2MW at Freserganj area of West Bengal.

  • Two other projects are running under Ganga Sagar and Beguakhali in Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas.
  • WBREDA has also developed two wind-solar hybrid power plants in Manasdwip and Natendrapur of south 24 Parganas.


            WBGEDCL has a significant programme in the area of setting up of biogas plants to reduce environmental damage, reduction in forest cover and many other problems. Three biogas power plants are running in Gosaba, Chhoto Mollakhali and Herembo Gopalpur in south 24 Parganas district.

Power Supply Scenario

West Bengal is the 10th largest consumer of electricity and consumes around 4.38% of the total energy produced in India. The power generation sources are West Bengal Power State Electricity Development Corporation Limited (WBSEDCL) and Durgapur Projects Limited (DPL).

Scheme/Initiatives of State Government

As per West Bengal Mineral Policy 2002, new areas for mineral-based products are developed, for example, cement, marble tiles, plaster of Paris, jewellery, etc.

  • Many areas for sand mining in West Midnapore, Birbhum and East Bardhaman are identified.
  • Exploration of natural gas resources, also known as Coal Bed Methane, is taking place along the coal mines in the state.
  • West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited, established in 1973, undertakes all the exploration and extraction of non-coal and coal minerals. It handles all issues regarding minerals in the state.

Rural Electrification Scheme: After the reconstitution of WBSEB in 2007, the supply and management of electricity in rural areas of West Bengal are undertaken by West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).

  • Sarba Griha Deep Prakalpa (Sabar Ghare Alo) launched in 2012.
  • It aims to achieve 100% household electrification till 2018.
  • Eleven backward districts of the state are also covered under it –
  • North and south Dinajpur, East and West Midnapore, Malda, Murshidabad, Purulia, Birbhum, Bankura, Jalpaiguri and South 24 Parganas.


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