Development of Mineral and Energy Resources: Distribution of Some Important Minerals, Iron Ore, Manganese Ore

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Distribution of Some Important Minerals

  • In India mineral resources are very unevenly distributed. Most of the minerals are found in the ancient crystalline rocks of the Deccan and Chhota Nagpur Plateau. Some minerals are found in the Himalayan region, although they are difficult to exploit.

  • Minerals are broadly divided into two groups metallic and non-metallic minerals. Metallic minerals are further subdivided into ferrous and nonferrous minerals.

Ferrous Minerals

Ferrous minerals are those which contain iron in substantial quantity.

Ferrous Metallic Minerals

Ferrous minerals account for about 3/4th of the total value of the production of metallic minerals. They constitute the most important mineral group after fuel minerals. They include iron, manganese, chromite, pyrite etc. These minerals provide a strong base for the development of metallurgical industries, particularly iron, steel, and alloys.

Iron Ore

  • India is one of the few countries of the world which is endowed with vast reserves of good quality of iron ore. She possesses over 20 % of the world’s total reserves. The quality of Indian ore is very high with iron content of above 60 %.

  • Most of the iron ore found in the country is of three types- haematite, magnetite, and limonite. Haematite ore contains up to 68 % of iron. It is red in colour and is often referred to as ‘red ore’. Next to haematite in quantity and richness is the magnetite ore. It contains up to 60 % of the iron. It is dark brown to blackish in colour and is often referred as ‘black ore’. Limonite is the third type of ore which has iron content of 35-50 %. It is yellow in colour. Since India has large reserves of haematite and magnetite ores, inferior quality ore like limonite is rarely exploited.

  • The total estimated reserves of iron ore in the country are placed at about 12,857 million tonnes of which 12,317 million tonnes are haematite ore and about 540 million tonnes of magnetite ore. This is roughly about 1/4th of the world reserves.

Production of Iron Ore in India

Production of Iron Ore in India
Title: Production of Iron Ore in India


Production (In million tonnes)





1970- 71








Source: India 2006: A Reference Annual, p.571


  • Iron ore deposits are found practically in every state of India. However, 96 % of the total reserves are found in Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Goa. These states also account for 96 % to the total production of iron ore in the country. About 3 % of the country’s total production comes from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.

  • Orissa and Jharkhand together possess about 50 % of India’s reserves of high-grade iron ore. The principal deposits are located in Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, and Keonjhar districts of Orissa and Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

Distribution of Iron Ore In India

Image of Distribution of Iron Ore in India

Distribution of Iron Ore In India

  • Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh contributed about 25 % of country’s total iron ore reserves and about 20-25 % of country’s production of iron ore. The reserves are located in Bailadila range, Raoghat area near Aridongri in Bastar district, and Dhalli Rajhara range in Durg district.

  • Goa possesses inferior quality ore but its contribution to the country’s total production is impressive. Most of the mines are open cast and mechanized. Almost the entire production of iron from Goa is exported from Mormugao Port to Japan. In Karnataka, the most important deposits are found in the Sandur-Hospet area of Bellary district, Babaudan hills of Chikmagalur district, and in Simoga and Chitradurga district.

  • Iron ore deposits of Andhra Pradesh are scattered in the Anantapur, Khammam, Krishna, Kurnool, Cuddapah, and Nellore districts. Some deposits are also located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.

  • India contributes about 7 to 8 % of the total world trade. Now deposits are being worked out specially for export purpose. For example, Bailadila and Rajhara mines of Chhatisgarh, and Kiruburu mines in Orissa are being worked for this purpose. Japan, Romania, the former Czechoslovakia and Poland are important importing countries. Iron ore is exported from Haldia, Paradip, Mormugao, Mangalore, and Visakhapatnam ports.

Manganese Ore

  • India ranks third in the production of manganese ore in the world, next only to Russia and South Africa. About 1/4th of the total production of India is exported.

  • Manganese ore forms an important ingredient in the manufacture of iron and steel. It is also used in manufacture of dry batteries, in photography, leather, and match industries. About 85 % of total manganese consumption in India is used by metallurgical industries.


The important areas of production are in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Over 78 % of the total reserves of manganese ore of India occur in a belt stretching from Nagpur and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra to Balaghat and Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh. But these two states contribute only 12 and 14 % of total production respectively. The remaining 22% of reserves are distributed in Orissa, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, and Andhra Pradesh.

Distribution of Manganese In India

Distribution of Manganese in India

Distribution of Manganese In India

  • Orissa tops in the production of manganese accounting for 37% of the total production of the country. Its reserves are only 12 % of total reserves of India. The important mining districts are Sundargarh, Rayagada, Bolangir, Keonjhar, Jajpur, and Mayurbhanj.

  • In Karnataka, the deposits are located in the districts of Shimoga, Chitrdurga, Tumkur, and Bellary. Small deposits are reported in Bijapur, Chikmagalur, and Dharwar districts. Karnataka is the second largest producer of manganese ore, accounting for 26% of country’s total productions. It accounts for 6.41 % of country’s total reserves.

  • Andhra Pradesh is a significant producer of manganese ore, contributing about 8 % of India’s total production, although her reserves are insignificant. Goa, Jharkhand, and Gujarat also have some deposits of manganese ore.

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