India is one of the few countries of the world which is endowed with vast reserves of good quality of iron ore. The quality of Indian ore is very high with iron content of above 60 percent.
Most of iron ore found in the country is of three types:
Haematite ore contains up to 68 percent of iron. It is red in color and is often refered to as red ore. Next to haematite in quanitity and richness is the magnetite ore. It contains up to 60 percent of the iron. It is dark brown to blackish in colour, and is often referred as black ores, Limonite is the third type of ore which has iron content of 35-50 percent. It is yellow in colour.
The iron ore mines occur in close proximity to the coal fields in the north-eastern plateau region. About 95 percent of the total reserves are in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Odisha and Jharkhand together possess about 50 percent of India’s reserves of high-grade iron ore. The principal deposits are located in Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts of Odisha and Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.