There are three large intracratonic basins (Vindhyan, Cuddapah and Chattisgarh) and several smaller basins (Kaladgi, Bhima, Pakhal, Penganga, Indravati, Khariar, Sabari and Kolhan) covering a large part of peninsular India. They are not known to host any significant metallic resource – except for a substantial uranium resource and Pb–Zn sulphide mineralization in the Cuddapah Basin, uranium in Bhima and Kaladgi basins and manganese in the Penganga sequence – but are nevertheless the repository of vast resources of industrial rocks (limestone, dolomite, phosphorite, aluminous laterite, building materials) and minerals (including pyrite, barite and diamond) in the country. The temporal distribution of these resources indicates a Mesoproterozoic age for all the deposits and occurrences except the uranium deposits in the Vempalle dolostones in the southwestern fringe of the Cuddapah Basin, which are Palaeoproterozoic in age. The Cuddapah Basin is the most intensely mineralized Proterozoic basin, with the Cumbum Formation in the Nallamalai belt hosting stratabound base metals and barite, dated c. 1.6 Ga, all the way from north to south. Potential mineralization, still undiscovered in the basin, is a large SEDEX-type Pb–Zn orebody in the vicinity of the Mangampet barite deposit and unconformity-proximal U deposits in the Kurnool Group, similar to those of the Bhima Basin.
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This Memoir provides a comprehensive review of the Precambrian basins of the four Archaean nuclei of India (Dharwar, Bastar, Singhbhum and Aravalli-Bundelkhand), encompassing descriptions of the time–space distribution of sedimentary–volcanic successions, the interrelationship between tectonics and sedimentation, and basin histories. Studies of 22 basins within the framework of an international basin classification scheme deepen an understanding of the basin architecture especially for cratonic basins. Most Indian sedimentary successions formed as cratonic to extensional-margin rift and thermal-sag basins, some reflecting mantle plume movement, subcrustal heating or far-field stress. This Memoir shows that Phanerozoic plate-tectonic and sequence stratigraphic principles can be applied to the Precambrian basins of large Archaean provinces. The differences between the stratigraphic architecture of the Indian Precambrian and examples of Phanerozoic basin-fill successions elsewhere are ascribed to variable rates and intensities of the controls on accommodation and sediment supply, and changes inherent in the evolution of the hydrosphere–atmosphere and biosphere systems.