Complete information on Regional Distribution iron-ore in India


Table 17.VIII shows the state-wise produc­tion of iron-ore in 2002-03. A comparison of this table with table 17.VI indicates that states with high potentials of iron ore reserve are not the major producers of iron ore in the country.

Karnataka alone contributes about 25 per cent of the total iron-ore production (reserve 20.21%) of the country, fol­lowed by Orissa (22.19%), Chhattisgarh (19.96%), Goa (18.05%), and Jharkhand (14.11 %). These five states together constitute 99.03% of the total iron ore production (reserve 97.00%) of the country.

There are four main iron ore producing regions in the country. These are : (a) North-eastern-r-Bihar- Jharkhand and Orissa, (b) Central India-Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, (c) Penin­sular India-(Karnataka and Goa), and (d) Others- Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal etc. Chhattisgarh (including Madhya Pradesh) with 18.25 per cent of the total iron ore reserves of the country is presently the third largest producer of iron ore in India.


In 2002-03 it produced 20.09 per cent of the total production of iron ore in the country. Bulk of the supply comes from the Dharwad rocks of Durg, Bastar and Jabalpur districts. The Bilabial range, Raoghat area and Aridongri group in Bastar district and the Dhalli-Rajhara range in Durg district provide the main deposits. In Bailadila 14 deposits are located in 48 km long range running in north- south direction. The ore body here is 1,400 m long and 400 m wide.

The ore is related to banded hematite quartzite with ferrous content of 64.75- 69.41, sculpture content of 0.03-0.07% and phospho­rus content of 0.32-0.198%. The total estimated reserves are about 1421.85 m tones. The Bailadila mine under the National Mineral Development Corporation is the largest mechanised iron ore mine in Asia.

The NMDC produces nine million tons of Sources: Statistical Abstract India 2003. Iron ore every year from the three mines in Bailadila Deposits 5, 14 and I IC. Bailadila lump iron ore is reputed to be the best in the world. The ore in the shape of calibrated lumps is mostly exported to Japan. An additional ore beneficiation plant (7-8 million tones perineum capacity) is being set up in Bailadila. A 270 km slurry pipeline is being con­structed to bring the ore from the Bailadila pithead to the Vizag plant, thereby reducing pressure on the rail route.

The Dhalli-Rajhara range is 32 km long with estimated iron ore reserves of about 120 million tones. The ferrous content, in this ore, lies between 68 and 69%. The Dhalli-Rajhara Aridongi iron ore deposits are being worked by the Hindustan Steel’s Plant at Bhilai. A new broad gauge rail line is being planned connecting Dhalli-Rajhara-Rowghat and Jagdalpur.


The Raoghat group contains about 751.8 m tones of iron ore. It is located around the Kolur Plains. The ore mainly contains 64% of iron, 0.08% of phosphorus and 1.16% of silica. The deposits extend from surface to a depth of 50 m.

The Dhanjadongri and Kondapal deposits account for 32.33 m tones and 60.96 m tones of iron ore respectively. The Kahwara, Agaria, Saroli and Lora hill are other important deposits of iron ore in the state. In Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh besides Durg and Bastar iron ore is also found in Jabalpur, Raigarh. Bilaspur, Mandla, Balaghat and Surguja districts.

Goa-Although Goa ranks fifth (11.61 %) in iron ore reserves it is fourth important iron ore producing state of the country (18.05% of 1 The iron ore deposits are mostly of blue dust wit) 60 per cent ferrous content. Generally than L laminated, porous, friable and easily amenable pelletization. In south Goa they are mixed manganese and are graded as manganiferous d tent 15%) ore or ‘black iron’, and ferruling ousnganese (manganese content 28%).

Important iron ore deposits occurring the Pit Adolpale-Asnora, Sirigao-Bicholim-Dald I Sanquelim-Onda, Kudnem-Pisurlem, and Kudne Surla areas in north Goa; Tolsia-Dongarvai Sanvordem and Quirapale-Santone-Costi in cent Goa; and Borgadongar. Netarlim, Rivona-Solol and Barazan in south Goa.


The total estimated serves are 1,491 million tones, of both bumpy tine varieties. Although the ore is of inferior quail but it is exploited efficiently. Most of the mineral open-cast and mechanised. Practically all of Goa’ annual output of 12 to 16 million tons of iron is exported to Japan. Mormugao port is fully mechanized to handle this export.

Two pelletisation plant at Pali (capacity 5 lakh tones) and Mormuga (capacity 18 lakh tones annually) convent it in palletized ore. About 34,000 people are engaged iron-ore mining and allied work. Cheap water transport and facility of Mormugao port are favorable factors for the development of iron ore mining Goa. Jharkhund-Jharkhand accounts for 25.77percent of reserves and 14.1 I % of the total iron ore. Production of the country Iron ore mining first of all started in this state in 1904.

In Jharkhand iron-ore belt is an extension of the Orissa belt and occupy southern part of the state. Noamundi and Gua are two important regions where good quality haematite ore is found. In Noamundi Kotmati Buru, Pachari Buru, Bond Buru, Lagirda Buru, Bai Buru, Hati Buru, Cheriapent Buru, Mahaburu and Balajori are the main mining areas.

Similarly Marangpong, Penchhat and Lipunga are important mines in the Gua region. Other important iron ore mining areas include Notu Buru, PansiraBuru, Barajamda, Sasangda, Jamda, BanlataBuru, Budu Buru and Kiriburu which lie in Singh hum district of the state. The ore has a ferrous content between 58 and 60 percent.


In Jharkhand magnetite ores are also found near Dal Tongan in Palamau district and near Dublabera and Sindurpur in Singhbhum district. The reserves in this belt are estimated at 4.81 m. tonnes. Less important magnetite deposits have been found in Santhal Parganas, Hazaribagh, Dhanbad and Ranchi districts.

The IISCO Plants at Kulti and Burnpur use ore supplies from the Gua mines. The NMDC has developed two mines of Kiriburand Meghahatuburu to supply iron ore to Bokaro Steel Plant. Part of the ore also goes to Rourkela Steel Plant. A substantial quantity of iron ore from the state is exported through Haldia port which has been linked up with a 70-km long broad gauge rail line.

Karnataka-Karnataka occupies third place in India in respect of iron ore reserves (20.2%) and first in respect of actual production (24.80%). Bulk of the supply (93%) comes from Bellary district, followed by Chitradurga(3%),Chikmagalur( 1.31 %), Bijapur (0.7%), Dharwad (0.5%), Tumkur, Uttar Kannada, Shimogaand Dakshina Kannada districts.

The canoe-shaped Sandur ranges of the Bellary- Hospet area with ferrous content of 63.71 per cent (phosphorus 0.061%, and sculpture 0.065%) have iron ore reserve of 1,267 m tones. Important depos­its of this area include Donaimalai, Devadri, Kumaraswami, Kanavehalli, Ramandurg, Thimmapanaguddi, NEB range, Etlihate, Abbalaguni, Rajpura and Belgal Tumti. The iron ore of Bellary district is generally hard, compact and steel grey and occasionally exhibit banding and lamination.


The Bababudan Hills (22 km x 19 km) with iron ore reserves of 48.7 m tones in Chikmagalur district has soft haematite deposits with ferrous content between 55 and 63 per cent (phosphorus 0.05 to 0.09%). Here Kemmangundi, Kalahatti, Jensurigudde and Attigundi are the important min­ing areas. Kemmangundi has open cast mine where mining was started in 1923. The Kudremukh area in Chikmagalur district has quartz-magnetite deposits with ferrous contents ranging from 30.70 to 39.18 per cent and estimated reserves of 1,015 million tones.

These are located in Areli, Gangamuia and Gangrikal hill ranges. The Kudremukh deposits were developed under an export agreement with Iran. It included development of open-cast mines and a pipe system to transport over 75 lakh tonnes of ores in slurry form per year to Mangalore port.

Other important iron ore deposits include Hosadurga, Iplara and Kudrukanav in Chitradurg district (reserve 54.1 m tonnes, ferrous contents 55 to 68%); near Arasulu in Shimoga district; near Huliyar, Maddur-Malvalli in Tumkur district; in Srisi, Supa-Dandeli, Anmod, Kodalguda, Beroliguda and Surya Kalyani guda in North Kannada district; and near Mudu Para plateau in Dakshina Kannada district.

The Kemmangundi iron ores are utilised by Bhadravati Steel plant whi le the ores from the Hospet- Sandur area are being developed for Vijayanagar steel plant. The ores from Donimalai sector in the Bellary-Hospet region is mostly exported.

Orissa-About 21.7 per cent of India’s re­serves of high-grade iron ore are found in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts of Orissa. The state is also second largest producer of iron ores contributing over22 percent-215.2 lakh tonnes in 2002-03-of the country’s total production.

The ores occur in metamorphosed banded haematite for­mations with above 60 per cent ferrous content and low percentage of silica, sulphur and phosphorus. Laminated, shale, powdery and brecciate ores with ferrous content between 55 and 60 per cent are also found in some areas.

North Orissa (Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts) and Jharkhand (Singhbhum district) together constitute the most important iron- ore producing region of India contributing about half of the reserves and one-third of the country’s production. Here iron ore deposits are located in a series of hill ranges. Mayurbhanj district constitutes the most important iron ore producing area of the state.

Here iron ore mining started in 1911 with estimated reserves of 180 lakh tones (H.C. Jones, 1934) having iron content of more than 60%. Here there are 12 areas of high grade iron ore of which Gurumahisani, Sulaipat, Okampad and Badampahar are important.

These have been developed by TISCO and have been linked with an 89.6 km long rail line of the Eastern Railway. Gurumahisani is a ridge with three peaks (highest 1,000 m above sea level). It has iron ore reserves of about 55 million tones with 61.46% of Fe, 3.34% of silica, 0.048% of phospho­rus and 0.036% of sculpture. Kampar and Sulaipat lie 19.2 km south-south west of Gurumahisani and are about 1.6 km apart from each other (height 620 m). Badampahar (height 824.8 m) lies 13.6 km south-west of Sulaipat and has iron ore reserve of 30 million tons (Fe (66.06%, silica0.72%, aluminum 0.42%, phosphorus 0.062% and sculpture 0.15%). Other important deposits of Mayurbhanj district include Barasol, Ekdal Pahar, Baripad, Netrajharan, Bundipal, Jhurmurkela, Hatisi Kali and Kasimabera etc.

Hard, compact hematite deposits have been located in Toda, Banspani, Thakurani, Kodekola, Kurband, Phillora, Baralind, Noamundi, Joruri, Gonua, Ganeh, Suakati, Upar, Jagar, Daitan and Kiriburu areas. Here iron ore mining has been started in 1927. According to M.S. Krishnan the total esti­mated reserves are 1,483.25 million tones. The NMDC has planned to export large quantities of ores from the Kiriburu mines to Japan.

The Bonaigarh range is the most important iron ore bearing area in Sundargarh district with estimated reserves of648 mi llion tonnes (H.C. Jones). Workable deposts have been located near Malangtoli, Kandadhar Pahar, Koira, Barsua, Bhiti Hurda and God Budini. Similarly Daiteri and Sukinda in Cuttack district, Amarkot and Chimra in Koraput district and Pal Bahra in Dhenkanal district are other important producers of iron ores in Orissa.

Important deposits of magnetite ores contain­ing vanadium and titanium occur near Kumardhubi, Betjharan and Baripada in Mayurbhanj district and minor deposits in Sambalpur, Ganjamand Dhenkanal districts.

Iron ores from Orissa is supplied to plants located at Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Rouri and Bokaro. A substantial quantity of iron exported.

Andhra Pradesh-Andhra Pradesh has a’ 54 million tons of iron ore reserves and annul produces about 7 lakh tonnes of iron ore.Thehaei tite ores with ferrous content between 55 to 66 cent are mostly found in Anantapur, Khamm; Krishna, Kurnool, Cuddapah and Nellore disturb Important iron ore mining centers are Jaggayya” Ramallakota, Veldurti, Nayudupetta and Bayyar.

Besides 97 million tones of magnetite or are found near Chityal, Kalleda, Dasturab; Rabanpall i, Amberpeta (at the trijunction of Adila Karim nagar and Naziabad districts); Cheruvapur Kottagudem, Utla, Tatrariyepalli and Gopalpur Khammam and Warangal districts. These hivers content from 35 to 45 percent.

Maharashtra-Maharashtra has estimated ore reserves of about 182 million tones and anni production of about 35,000 tonnes (Fe 55-601 cent). Main deposits are located in Lohara, Pipalgaof” Asola, Dewalgaon, Surajgarh (Chandrapurdistrid Redi, Sawantwadi, Vengurla, Guldure and Aroj. (Ratnagiri district). The Khursipar and Ambetal areas in Bhandara district have magnetite ironoi reserves of about 6.23 million tonnes (Fe 53-55 percent).

Rajasthan-In Rajasthan iron ore reserves about 12.78 million tons (Fe 55 to 62 percent- have been located near Moriza (Bhilwara district and Nathrakipal (Udaipur district), Magnetite d( posits are found near Jamalpur, shiror and Tawod areas in Jhunjhunu district.

Tamil Nadu-Most of the deposits are found inTirthamalai,Kanjamalai,Gondumalai,Kollamala Chetteri, Belukurrichi, Panchalais, Namagiri an Mahadevi hills in Saiem district. The total estimate” reserves are 305 million tones with ferrous contents between 35 and 50 per cent. Small deposits inferior grade ores occur in Kelur area in North) Arcot (reserves 53.9 m tones); Iliturai, MalnadaniJ Devala in Nilgiris district (reserves 8.1 m tones) and Chitteri and Tindimalai in Dharmapuri district (37.7 m tones); Tamil Nadu has total estimated iron, ore reserves of 447.28 m tones of which 107.38 in
tones belong to the measured category. At present its production is very small which is bound to in­crease in near future to meet the demands of Salem steel plant.

Others-Small deposits of iron ores also oc­cur in Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Vadodara districts of Gujarat; Mahendergarh district of Haryana and Rajauri, Jammu and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Limonitic and sideritic ores occur as iron stone shale in the coal seams of the Damuda Series of Jharkhand and West Bengal; in Garhwal, Nainital districts of Uttaranchal: Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh; and Kangra and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh.

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