Metallurgy is one of the oldest applied sciences with history dating back to 6000 BC. Seven metals known as the Metals of Antiquity, namely gold (6000 BC), copper (4200 BC), silver (4000 BC), lead (3500 BC), tin (1750 BC), smelted iron (1500 BC), and mercury (750 BC), were the metals upon which ancient human civilizations were based. Today, there more than 85 metals known to human beings. In chemistry, the term base metal informally refers to a metal that oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid to form hydrogen. It is a common and inexpensive metal, as opposed to a precious metal. Chemical, physical and aesthetic properties of the metal make them the preferred ingredients in a wide range of domestic, industrial, and technological applications.
The Indian metal industry, endowed with huge deposits of natural resources in minerals like copper, chromite, iron ore, manganese, bauxite, and gold, got a major boost in the 1990s with the onset of liberalization and open-market policies. With larger investments and technological advances pouring in, output of the industry has increased and so has the quality of the products.