The total resources of bentonite in the country as per UNFC system as on 1.4.2010 are about 568 million tonnes out of which 25 million tonnes are categorised as reserves. The bulk of the resources, i.e. 424 million tonnes (75%) are in Rajasthan, 134 million tonnes (24%) in Gujarat and the remaining in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir.
The value of bentonite produced in India in 2013-14 at L82 crore decreased by about 10% as compared to the previous year.
MINING & PROCESSING
Bentonite is exploited mainly from manual mines. The bentonite deposit is very close to the surface and mined to a depth of 25 metres. A few mine owners in Kachchh and Bhavnagar districts of Gujarat.
The global production of bentonite in 2014 was around 16.2 million tonnes. The USA was the largest producer with an estimated output of around 4.66 million tonnes followed by China with 3.5 million tonnes. Other major producers were India, Greece, Mexico, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Brazil, Japan and Germany.
During the year under review Gujarat contributed 97% to the total value of production of bentonite while remaining 3% was accounted by Rajasthan.