The Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Limited at Bhadravati (formerly known as the Mysore Iron and Steel Ltd.) were set up in 1923 by the princely state of Mysore with the assistance of M/S Peri and Marshall Co. (USA).
The plant was taken over by the Central Government in 1962. The localisation of the plant is controlled by the availability of rich silicon iron ores of Kemmangundi mines in the Bababudan hills (Chikmagalur district). The reserves are estimated at 25-60 million tones with Fe contents from 55-64 per cernt.
The plant is located 17 km east of Shimoga on the Birur-Shimoga branch line of the Southern Railway. It enjoys the facility of the vast market of the southern India. The plant meets its demands of limestone from the Bhandigunda deposits at a distance of 20.8 km; manganese and chromite from a distance of 48 km; charcoal from the nearby forests of the Malnad area; electricity from the Jog hydroelectric and Shravati power projects. The hydel power has now replaced charcoal in the smelting process.
The plant was initially designed to proud' 24,500 tones of pig iron which has now been increased to 2 lakh tones of pig iron and 77,000 tones of alloy and special steel. In 1978-79 produced 1.13 lakh tones of ingot steel. The plant is one of the major producers of alloy and special steel in the country. In addition it also supplies spun- pipe, ferro-silicon, cement, mild steel and castings, etc.