Iron Ore – types – distribution in India

Iron Ore

  • India is one of the few countries of the world which is endowed with vast reserves of good quality of iron ore.

  • The total estimated reserves of iron ore in the country are placed at about 12,857 million tonnes of which12,317 million tonnes are haematite ore and about 540 miillion tonnes of magnetite ore.

  • This is roughly about one fourth of the world reserves. The quality of Indian ore is very high with iron content of above 60 percent.

Three types of Iron ores found in India:

Haematite Iron oreHaematite

  • Haematite ore contains up to 68 % of iron.

  • It is red in color and is often refered to as ‘red ore’.

  • Found in Dharwar & Cuddapah rock systems of the peninsular India.

  • 80 % of haematite reserves are in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and A.P.


  • Magnetite ore contains up to 60 percent of the iron.

  • It is dark brown to blackish in colour, and is often referred as ‘black ores’.

  • It is also found in Dharwar & Cuddapah systems.

  • Mainly found in the states of Karnataka, A.P, Rajasthan, T.N and Kerala.


  • Limonite contains 35 to 50 % of Iron.

  • It is yellow in colour & inferior quality ore like limonite is rarely exploited

  • Damuda series in Raniganj coal field, Garhwal in Uttarakhand, Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh.

Iron ore map in IndiaDistribution of Iron Ore in India

  • Iron ore deposits are found practically in every state of lndia. However, 96 % of the total reserves are in Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka & Goa.

  • These states also account for 96 percent to the total production of iron ore in the country.

  • About 3 % of the country’s total production comes from T.N, Maharashtra and A.P.

  • Now deposits are being worked out specially for export purpose.

  • Japan, Romania, the former Czekoslovakia and Poland are important importing countries.

  • Iron ore is exported from Haldia, Paradip, Marmagao, Mangalore and Visakhapatnam ports.


  • India’s richest haematite deposits are located in Barabil – Koira valley.

  • Orissa has about 25 % of India’s reserves of high-grade iron ore.

  • The principal deposits are located in Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of Orissa.

  • Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh contributed about 25 % of country’s total iron ore reserves and about 20-25 percent 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.

  • Bailadila and Rajhara mines of Chhatisgarh deposits are being worked out specially for export purpose.


  • Jharkhand also has about 25 % of India’s reserves of high-grade iron ore.

  • First mine in Singhbhum district in 1904.

  • The principal deposits are located in Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

Iron Ore in Goa

  • Goa possess 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 Marmagao Port to Japan.


  • In Karnataka, the most important deposits are found in the Sandur – Hospet area of Bellary district.

  • Iron ores are widely distributed and most of the ores are high grade haematite and magnetite.

Iron Ore in other states

  • Iron ore deposits of A.P are scattered in the Anantpur, Khammam, Krishna, Kurnool, Cuddapah (Now YSR kadapa) and Nellore districts.

  • Some deposits are also located in the state of T.N, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Feel free to comment !!