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Iron Ore, Types, Uses, Distribution in India and in World Map

Iron Ore

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.

Read about: Energy Resources

Significant Iron Ore Reserves Discovered in Rajasthan’s Karauli District

  • Rajasthan’s Mines Department uncovers substantial iron ore reserves in Karauli district near Hindon.
  • Initial assessments suggest deposits exceeding 840 million tonnes in Khoda, Dadaroli, Todupura, and Liloti.
  • Exploration reveals both magnetite and hematite variants across 1,888 hectares.
  • Blocks earmarked for auction to stimulate industrial growth and employment opportunities.
  • Potential for further exploration and investment in steel, cement, and allied industries.
  • Discovery highlights Rajasthan’s role as a key contributor to India’s mineral wealth.
  • Ongoing exploration efforts in other regions signal broader economic potential.
  • Iron ore emerges as a cornerstone for Rajasthan’s industrial development, promising a transformative impact on the state’s economy.

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.

Read about: Manganese Ore

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.

Read More: Cobalt Ore

Iron Ore Distribution Map

Map showing the location of Iron Ore Mines in India. Iron Ore mines are found in different regions of India.Iron Ore Map

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.

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.

Iron Ore

Country Regions
Australia Western Australia, Iron knob in South Australia
Brazil Minas Gerais
China Manchurian deposits at Anshan, Yangtze valley, Hopei
USA Lake Superior region, Adirondacks, Alabama, Nevada, California.
Canada Labrador, Quebec, British Columbia.
France Lorraine, Normandy
India Orissa, Jharkhand
South Africa Postmasburg, Thabazimbi
Peru Nazca Marcona

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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What is iron ore used for?

The majority of iron ore (98%) is used to make steel.

Where is iron ore mostly found?

The most important iron ores in India are hematite and magnetite. The Eastern Sector (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh) has 79% of the haematite ore deposits, while the Southern Sector has 93% of the magnetite ore deposits (Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, & Tamil Nadu).

Which state is the largest producer of iron ore in India?

Odisha is India's leading producer of iron ore. It accounts for more than 55% of total production, with Chhattisgarh producing nearly 17%. Karnataka and Jharkhand come in second and third, with 14% and 11%, respectively.

Which is the first iron ore mine in India?


Who buys iron ore in India?

China, According to trade sources, is the largest buyer of iron ore (both low grade and high grade) from India, having purchased 21 million tonnes of iron ore and concentrates last fiscal year.

Which country is the largest producer of iron ore?

Australia is the world's leading producer of iron ore, accounting for 35% of total output. The top three iron ore producers accounted for 65% of global output.


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