A) Magnetite

  • Black ore; up to 70 per cent metallic content and has very less impurities as compared to hematite.
  • Excellent Magnetic quality.
  • Formed in igneous rocks in veins and loads
  • Distribution of magnetite ore in India: Dharwad and Cuddapah systems – Karnataka (73%), Andhra Pradesh (14%)

B) Haematite

  • Reddish; 50- 60 per cent metallic content and has higher impurities when compared to magnetite.
  • Formed in sedimentary rocks
  • Generally mined by open cast mining method

C) Limonite

  • Inferior ores; yellowish in colour; 40 to 60 per cent iron metal.
  • it is mined in open cast mines which is easy and cheap mining.

D) Siderite

  • ‘Iron carbonate’; inferior quality; less than 40 per cent iron.
  • Contains many impurities {previous post}; mining is not economically variable.
  • However, it is self-fluxing due to presence of lime.



  • The Ruhr region is rich in resources and has been the centre of largest Automobile HQs for decades in world. Major Volkswagon brands are headquartered in here.
  • Krivoy rog iron ore region and Donbass coal mines are located in Eastern Ukraine, the region has important mineral deposits and also provides sea access to Russia , has been in news in 2014 since Russia-Ukraininan war.



  • Absence of significant iron ore regions and resources in African continent has been the major reason for their poor industrialisation of African economies, which depends on development of Core sectors of economy.


Important points to remember –

  • Japan has flourishing iron and steel industry but no iron reserves to feed the same, therefore in the past japan have captured such regions in the world including the Manchurian triangle of china( rich in iron and coal).
  • China also has flourishing iron and steel industry and imports iron ore from Australia, brazil and Russia.


  • The great lakes of North America and the St. Lawrence river has been utilised as a cheap mode of transportation and all major iron and steel industries in USA developed in this region because of concurrent presence of minerals for exploitation. The Automobile industry of the world once thrived here.
  • Only now has the economic mega maths has shifted to Western USA along silicon valley with emergence of powerful internet companies like Facebook,Google, etc


  • Cajaras mine is the largest mine of high grade iron ore , most of which is extracted to feed Japanese and Chinese furnaces.


Largest iron ore producers( No need to remember)( These figures explain World Geopolitics for mineral resources, environment concerns of various nations, etc.)

Country Iron Ore Production
1.    Australia 900 Million tonnes – most of the ore is exported to China.
2.    Brazil 490 Million tonnes – most of the ore is exported to China.
3.    China 340 Million tonnes – very high demand for iron in the region.
4.    India 210 Million tonnes – Post SC ban on mining in Goa, Odisha and Karnataka in 2010, India’s import of iron ore grew substantially.

Largest iron ore reserves

1.    Australia 240 billion tons
2.    Brazil 170 billion tons
3.    Russia 140 billion tons
4.    China 69 billion tons
5.    India 32 billion tons


A) Which type of iron ore is abundant in India?

  1. Haematite
  2. Magnetite

B) Iron Ore in Orissa

  • The ores are rich in haematites.
  • India’s richest haematite deposits are located in Barabil-Koira valley.
  • Others: Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Keonjhar and Koraput districts.
  • In India, the main deposits of iron ore are located in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Goa, with Odisha contributing ~50% of India’s total production.

C) Iron Ore in Chhattisgarh

  • Bailadila mine is the largest mechanised mine in Asia

D) Iron Ore in Jharkhand

  • 25 per cent of reserves.
  • First mine in Singhbhum district in 1904.
  • Iron ore of here is of highest quality and will last for hundreds of years.
  • Noamandi mines in Singhbhum are the richest.
  • Magnetite ores occur near Daltenganj in Palamu district.

E) Iron Ore in Karnataka

  • High grade ore deposits are those of Kemmangundi in Bababudan hills of Chikmagalur district and Sandur and Hospet in Bellary
  • Most of the ores are high grade haematite and magnetite.
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