i. More than 33 per cent of the total production of India’s iron ore comes from Odisha. Keonjhar, Mayur Bhanj, Bonai are important iron ore producing areas in Odisha.
ii. Jharkhand ranks second in iron ore production and accounts for 27% of the country’s output.
iii. Noamundiu and Gua mines and other areas in Singhbum, near Daltonganj in Singhbhum and Palamau districts are the main iron ore producing districts.
iv. The iron ore from the adjoining areas is supplied to the iron and steel producing centres such as Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Bokaro, Rourkela, Asansol, etc.
v. Chhattisgarh ranks third. There are iron ore mines in the Durg and Bastar districts of Chhattisgarh and the minerals are supplied to the iron and steel factory at Bhilai.
vi. In Maharashtra, iron ore deposits are found in the districts of Chandrapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.
vii. Iron ore deposits are located in the Krishna Karnool, Warrangal and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh, Salem and Tiruchirapalli of Tamil Nadu, Shimoga, Bellary, Chitradurga, Chikmaglur districts of Karnataka.
viii. Goa is an important producer and importer of iron ore. However the iron ore of Goa is of inferior limonite and siderite variety.
Types of Iron Ore:
In India, Iron ores of magnetite, haematite and limonite are found.
(i) Magnetite (Fe3O4):
This is the best quality of iron ore and contains 25 to 62 per cent pure iron. It possesses magnetic property and is called magnetite and is found in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. (Guntur and Nellore). They are dark brown to blackish in colour and are often called ‘black ores’.
(ii) Haematite (Fe2O3):
It contains 60 percent to 70 percent pure iron and is found in Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. (Kurnool and Khammam). They are reddish in colour and therefore, sometimes, referred to as “Red Ores’.
(iii) Limonite (Fe2O3.nH2O):
It contains 40 percent to 60 percent pure iron and is of yellow or light brown colour.
It contains many impurities and has just 40 to 50 per cent pure iron.
Production and Distribution:
The total in situ reserves of iron ore in the country are about 1,23,17,275 thousand tonnes of haematite and 53,95,214 thousand tonnes of magnetite. The production of iron are at about 207.99 million tonnes in 2010.
Almost the entire production of iron is 97% occured from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, and Jharkhand during the year. The resources of very high grade ore are limited and are restricted mainly in Bailadila sector of Chhattisgarh and to a lesser extent in Bellary-Hospet area of Karnataka and Barajamda sector in Jharkhand and Orissa. Haemalite; resources are located in Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Magnetite resources are located in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. India has about 20 per cent of the world’s total reserve of iron ore. The total recoverable reserves of iron ore in the country are about 10,052 million tonnes of haematite and 3408 million tonnes of magnetite.
Large deposits of iron occur in Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, in Keonjhar, Talcher and Mayurbhanj of Orissa and in many parts of Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The resources of very high grade ore are limited and are restricted mainly in Bailadila sector of Bastar district of Chhattisgarh and Barajamada sector of Singhbhum of Jharkhand and Odisha.
The northern areas include Krishna and Khamman districts while the southern areas includes Nellore, Cuddapah, Anantpur and Kurnool districts.
Production of iron ore in Goa is a recent development but it occupies the second position amongst the iron ore producing states of India and now produce about one-third of iron ore of India. However the iron ore of Goa is of inferior limonite and siderite variety.
The main areas where iron ore is found are mainly situated in the eastern Rajasthan. The northern group of districts are Sikar, Alwar and Jaipur where in the south are Udaipur, Bhilwara and Bundi. The iron ores are found in the crystalline rocks of Pre-Cambrian.
Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh:
This state including Chhattisgarh occupies first, place and produces India’s one-fourth iron ore. Bailadila in Bastar district and Dalli Rajhara in Durg district are important producer.
It produces about 17 percent of India’s total iron ore: Singhbhum and Palamau are important producing districts.
It produces about 14 percent of India iron ore. Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpurare important producing districts. Gurumahisani, Badampahar and Barajamda groups of mines are common for both Orissa and Jharkhand.
About 9 percent of India’s iron ore is produced in Karnataka. Hospet of Bellary district is the most important producer in Karnataka. Important producers of Chikmaglur district are Bababudhan Hills and Kemangudi.
Chandrapur and Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra produces about 2.5 per cent of India’s iron ore.
Iron ore is produced in Salem, North Arcot, Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, and Madurai.
India contributes 6.5% of the world production of iron ore and is the 6th largest exporter of iron ore in the world. Japan is one of the important buyer of Indian iron ore. About half of iron ore produced in the country is exported primarily to Japan, Korea, European countries and Gulf countries. Japan buys three- fourths of the total export of our iron ore. Iron ore is exported through the ports of Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Marmagao and Bangalore.