Iron ore is the most important metallic ore. It is known as the backbone of modern civilization. Many industries depend on iron, and hence it is also known as the fundamentals of all industries.
Iron Ore is a naturally occurring solid material from which valuable minerals are extracted for commercial use. Iron ores are rocks and minerals that can be economically extracted to produce metallic iron. They are generally rich in iron oxides. They come in various colours such as dark grey, bright yellow, rusty red, deep purple, etc.
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What is Iron Ore?
Iron Ore is a type of rock that contains iron minerals, mainly hematite and magnetite. It is a vital raw material for the production of steel. The ores are rich in iron oxides, which range in colour from dark grey to bright yellow to deep purple to rusty red. The most common iron minerals are magnetite, hematite, goethite, limonite, and siderite.
Natural ore, also known as “direct shipping ore,” is ore that contains a high percentage of hematite or magnetite (more than 60% iron) and can be fed directly into blast furnaces to produce iron. Iron ore is a raw material used to produce pig iron, which is one of the primary raw materials used to produce steel—steel accounts for 98 per cent of all mined iron ore.
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Iron Ore Types
They are classified according to the percentage of metallic iron in them:
- Magnetite: It is the most valuable type of iron ore. It is made up of more than 70% metallic iron. It is black and has magnetic properties.
- Hematite: It is composed of 65-70 per cent metallic iron. It’s a combination of red and brown.
- Siderite: It contains more impurities. It has between 40 and 50 per cent metallic iron. It is brown in colour. It is made up of iron and carbon.
- Limonite: It contains less than 50% metallic iron. It is yellow in colour. It has many impurities and is a low-grade iron ore.
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Iron Ore Distribution Map
Map showing the location of Iron Ore Mines in India. Iron Ore mines are found in different regions of India.
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Iron Ore Distribution in India
India has significant reserves of iron ore, with the majority of the deposits located in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, and Goa.
- Iron ore resources are relatively abundant in India. Hematite and magnetite are the two most common types of ore found in our country.
- The iron ore mines are located near the coal fields in the northeastern plateau region. Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu account for approximately 95% of total iron ore reserves.
- Iron ore can be found in a number of hill ranges in Odisha, including Sundergarh, Mayurbhanj, and Jhar.
- Jharkhand is home to some of the oldest iron ore mines, as well as the majority of the iron and steel plants.
- Most of the important mines such as Noamundi and Gua are located in Poorbi and Pashchimi Singhbhum districts. This belt continues to Durg, Dantewara, and Bailadila.
- Iron ore deposits are found in Karnataka in the Sandur-Hospet area of the Ballari district, the Baba Budan hills and Kudremukh area of the Chikkamagaluru district, and parts of the Shivamogga, Chitradurg, and Tumakuru districts.
- Other iron mining districts include Maharashtra’s Chandrapur, Bhandara, and Ratnagiri districts, Telangana’s Karimnagar and Warangal districts, Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool, Cuddapah, and Anantapur districts, and Tamil Nadu’s Salem and Nilgiris districts.
- Goa has also emerged as a significant iron ore producer.
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Iron Ore Distribution in World
Iron ore is produced in approximately 60 countries worldwide. Iron ore is primarily produced in China, Brazil, Australia, India, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, South Africa, Canada, Sweden, etc. Australia is the world’s largest producer, followed by Brazil and China.
|Australia||Western Australia, Iron knob in South Australia|
|China||Manchurian deposits at Anshan, Yangtze valley, Hopei|
|USA||Lake Superior region, Adirondacks, Alabama, Nevada, California.|
|Canada||Labrador, Quebec, British Columbia.|
|South Africa||Postmasburg, Thabazimbi|
Iron Ore Uses
Iron ore is a crucial raw material for the production of steel, which is used in various industries for various purposes. Some of the main uses of iron ore include:
- Steel Production: Iron ore is the main ingredient in the production of steel, which is used in construction, transportation, machinery, and various other industries.
- Infrastructure Development: Steel is a key component in the construction of buildings, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure, making iron ore a crucial resource for infrastructure development.
- Automotive Industry: Steel is a key component in the production of cars and other vehicles, making iron ore an important raw material for the automotive industry.
- Energy Production: Iron ore is used in the production of iron and steel, which is used in power plants and other energy-generating facilities to produce energy.
- Machinery and Equipment: Steel is used in the production of a wide range of machinery and equipment, including agricultural equipment, mining equipment, and construction equipment, making iron ore an important resource for these industries.
- Household Goods: Steel is used in the production of various household goods, including appliances, cookware, and furniture, making iron ore a crucial resource for these industries.
Iron Ore UPSC
The majority of iron ore is used to produce iron, which is then used to produce steel. Steel production accounts for 98% of all iron ore mined today. Staples, automobiles, steel beams used in building construction, and just about anything else that requires iron and steel fall into this category. Industry, construction, all modes of transportation, utensils and household items, electronic devices, and so on. There are approximately 9,602 million tonnes of recoverable hematite reserves and 3,408 million tonnes of recoverable magnetite reserves of iron ore in India. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu are the top iron ore producers in India. This article will explain Iron Ore, which will help you prepare for the UPSC Civil Service Exam in Geography.
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