Important minerals deposit in Nepal

Iron ore occurrences/ prospects/ deposits are reported from 85 localities. It was mined and smelted extensively in different parts of Nepal since 200 years before present but no one is in operation at present. In those days people were fully dependent on indigenous production and Nepal was also exporting iron and copper to Tibet. It was used in the domestic and agricultural utilities as well as arms and tool making. Phulchoki (Lalitpur), Thoshe (Ramechhap), Labdi Khola (Tanahun) and Jirbang (Chitwan) are the main known iron ore deposits. Iron prospects/ old workings are also known from different parts of Baitadi, Bajhang, Jajarkot, Rolpa, Surkhet, Myagdi, Baglung, Parbat, Chitwan, Ramechhap, Taplejung etc. Phulchoki iron deposit still remained untransformed into commercialization. Thoshe iron deposit was mined during Rana's time for almost 100 years and it was totally closed after the democracy when finished iron became available in the market. Recently a private company started exploration works after getting the Prospection License.

Copper occurrences/ prospects are known from 107 localities. Small scale copper mines were operated in Gyazi (Gorkha), Okharbot (Myagdi) and Wapsa (Solukhumbu) till to the last decade. Old workings are known from different parts of Darchula, Bajhang, Bajura, Baglung, Gulmi, Tanahun, Gorkha, Makwanpur, Kavre, Ramechhap, Okhaldunga, Dhankuta, Solukhumbu, Ilam and Taplejung districts. Among them Siddhi Khani (Ilam), Mulkhani (Gulmi) Ningre Kavre) and Bhorle (Ramechhap), Arkhaule & Ipa (Makwanpur), Khandeshori (Darchula) are the important ones. Other copper prospects like Kalitar (Makwanpur), Dhusa (Dhadhing), Wapsa (Solukhumbu), Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Kurule (Udayapur), Bhut Khola (Tanahun), Pandav Khani (Baglung), Chhirling Khola (Bhojpur) are the major ones.

Zinc and Lead occurrences/ prospects are reported from 49 localities in different parts of Nepal. In most of the cases they are associated in the same deposit like as in Larri (Ganesh Himal, Rasuwa), Labang-Khairang (Makwanpur), Pangum (Solukhumbu), Salimar valley (Mugu/ Humla), Phulchoki (Lalitpur). Sisha Khani and Kandebas (Baglung), Dhuwakot (Parbat), Barghare (Makwanpur), Khola Khani (Taplejung) etc. Most of them are known as old workings.

old workings are known from Netadarling & Tamghas (Gulmi) and Samarbhamar (Arghakhanchi). It is also recorded from Lamadanda (Dhadhing), Nangre (Kavre), Bhorle (Ramechhap), Bauli Gad (Bajhang).

occurrences are reported from polymetallic sulphide deposit of Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Bering Khola (Ilam), Nangre (Kavre), Bauligad (Bajhang) and Khopre Khani (Sindhuli).

Gold is a precious metal. Alluvial/ placer gold are frequently wined from the river gravel/ sediments from the major rivers like Mahakali, Chamliya, Jamari Gad, Seti, Karnali, Bheri, Rapti, Lungri Khola & Phagum Khola (Rolpa), Kaligandaki, Myagdi Khola, Modi, Madi, Marshyangdi, Trishuli, Budigandaki and Sunkoshi. Primary gold occurrences are known only from Lungri Khola area (Rolpa); Bangabagar, Gorang & Jamari gad (Baitadi); Bamangaon (Dadeldhura) but they are yet to be evaluated by detail exploration.

are associated with zinc-lead ore of Ganesh Himal (Rasuwa), Barghare (Makwanpur), polymetal sulphide of Bering Khola (Ilam), cobalt in Netadarling (Arghakhanchi) and Samarbhamar (Gulmi).

mineralization is recorded at Meddi (Dadeldhura) and Mandu Khola (Makwanpur). But both prospects do not appear as economic deposit.

Tungsten occurrences are known from Bamangaon polymetal sulphide deposit and other places in Dadeldhura and Makwanpur districts. The grade of copper - tungsten prospect in Bamangaon is not that impressive for economic mining. However, polymetal mining could be economical.

Minor occurrences of Molybdenum are reported from Khari Khola (Solukhumbu), Bamangaon (Dadeldhura), Bauli Gad (Bajhang), Lungri Khola (Rolpa), Samarbhamar (Arghakhanchi) and Chau Khola (Makwanpur). But none of them appear as economic deposits.
Radioactive minerals like Uranium are recorded from Jagat/ Shiva Puri area (Kathmandu), Tinbhangale, Chandi Khola and Chiruwa Khola (Makwanpur), Buka Khola (Sindhuli), Janmari Gad, Bangabagar, Gorang (Baitadi) and traces in Chamliya River (Darchula) etc. Among them Gorang and Tinbhangale prospects appear interesting.
Lithium occurrences are known from the pegmatites of Hyakule and Phakuwa (Sankhuwasabha district). Lepidolite (mica) appears to be the source of lithium in Pegmatite. Similarly Rare Metals like Tantalum, Niobium are also traced form granites/ pegmatites in the Lesser Himalaya. But their economic value has yet to be confirmed.
In addition to above mentioned metals minor occurrences of Bismuth, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury, Titanium are also reported from different parts of the country. Further investigations are required to know their status.
All these indicate that Nepal is potential for metallic minerals but most of them are sub-economic to none economic prospect/ deposits. At present not even a single metallic mineral mine is in operation in the country.

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