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The Iron and Manganese ores are the major raw materials for steel industry. Hence, a brief profile of Indian steel industry of the country is discussed below. Steel is an important indicator to analyze the economic development of the country. The steel industry is highly scientific and technology oriented. Technology advancement is very important for the over all health of steel industry. The Indian steel industry has come long way since its humble beginnings. The take over of British steel giant Corus steel by Tata Steel and acquisition of Arcelor by Mittal Steel heralded a new beginning for the Indian steel industry. These events signify the fact that the Indian steel industry has acquired a global identity and today it is extremely competitive globally. The steel industry in India has been moving from strength to strength and according to the Annual Report 2009-10 by the Ministry of Steel, India has emerged as the fifth largest producer of steel in the World and is likely to become the second largest producer of crude steel by 2015-16. Recently, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Minister for Steel, said that India will become the world's second-largest steel producer by 2012, with a capacity of 124 million tonnes (MT) as part of the push being given to assist overall infrastructure development. Production: India's steel production during 2009-10 was 64.88 million tonnes (MT), up 11 per cent from a year ago, according to Mr A Sai Pratap, Minister of State for Steel. During the second quarter ended September 2010, steel majors Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) reported a high growth in steel sales. SAIL registered sales of 3.17 MT in the period under review, while Tata Steel's total sales for the quarter stood at 1.66 MT which is around 14 per cent higher than the corresponding quarter last year. Meanwhile, JSW Steel's production during the quarter grew by 8 per cent to 3.14 MT on the back of a steady rise in demand.
The domestic steel consumption grew by 9.8 per cent to 29.82 MT during April-September 2010 over the year-ago period, on the back of steady demand from sectors like automobile and consumer durables. As per the provisional data from the Ministry of Steel, consumption was at 27.15 MT in the same period a year ago. In September 2010, steel consumption rose 4.1 per cent to 4.72 MT, against 4.53 MT in the year-ago. India is one of the richest sources of Iron ore deposits in the world. Iron ore, which is also known as hematite, occurs in abundance in the country. Iron ore reserves account for almost two-third of the entire Iron ore reserves in India. Interestingly, India holds a leading position in the list of leading Iron ore reserve countries. Moreover, the Iron ore reserves are easily accessible and also high grade. They are also good for smelting as they are free from impurities like Phosphorous and Sulphur. Iron ore is vastly distributed throughout the country but its huge deposits are concentrated only in few selected districts.
IRON ORE AND MANGANESE ORE MINING SCENARIO: Production: Of the total Iron ore reserves in the country, Chikkamagaluru in Karnataka, Singhbhum in Jharkhand, Sundargarh and Kendujhar in Orissa, Bellary District, Shimoga and Goa accounts for a major portion. Further, in Bihar and Orissa, huge deposits of Iron grade Iron ore occur as huge masses that rise above the adjoining plains. Some of them are located within a close proximity to the coal fields. Iron ore generally occur near top of the hills and thus aerial roadways are used by the Iron ore companies to bring down the ore and for pumping it directly into the railway carriages. Singhbhum district in Bihar and the neighbouring districts of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Keonjhar constitute the richest high grade Iron reserves. In India, the chief mining centres are Sulaipat and Badampur in Mayurbhanj District in Orissa and Gua and Noamundi in Singhbhum district in Jharkhand. The Iron ore from these mines is supplied to the Iron and Steel works located at Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Asansol and Raurkela. The Rajhara and Dhali Hills located south of Bhilai Steel Works are other major sources of Iron ore with huge iron content. These hills provide Iron ore to the Bhilai Steel Works. Moreover, apart from these places, there is a large high-grade Iron ore deposit at Kemmangundi in the Bababudan Hills of Chikmagalur district in Karnataka. This deposit is used for supplying Iron ore to Steel plant located at Bhadravati.
Interestingly, Iron ore found in Goa is basically of high grade and is situated in close proximity to the port of Marmagao. Rich deposits are also found in other areas of the country. Like for instance, eastern region of Madhya Pradesh and adjacent districts of Maharashtra, rich deposits of iron ore or hematite occur at a number of places. Hematite occurring in regions like Rowghat and Bailadila in Bastar District and Lohara and Pipalgaon in Chandrapur District are generally very large. After the iron belt of Orissa and Bihar, Bailadila and Rowghat constitute the richest high grade iron ore area. Mining of iron ore on modern lines has been started in the country. Mines in different places have been made fully mechanized and also export oriented. The mines are fully equipped with modern machinery. Other areas with sizeable deposits of iron ore occur are the Salem and Ratnagiri districts Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district. These regions consist of low grade magnetite iron ore. Iron ore mines in Kudremukh hills are very developed. Few places in Andhra Pradesh like Kurnool and Anantapur districts and Palamau in Bihar also produce small proportion of Iron ore. Production of Iron ore in the country has also increased with the passage of time. Manganese ore is produced in huge quantity in India. Rather, it can be said that this country is one of the chief producers of Manganese ore in the world. Manganese ore is principally used in the manufacture of Ferro-Manganese and steel. Moreover, it is also used in small quantities in paint and glass. In dry cell batteries, Manganese dioxide is used. The annual production of Manganese ore is huge and it ranges enormously. Manganese ore is basically mined in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra-Pradessh, Orisssa, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Though the Manganese ore occurs at different places in the Indian Plateau, but it is found in large quantities in Bhandara, Nagpur and Balaghat districts. These places are situated close to each other in the central and western regions of the country. Of the total Manganese ore reserves in the country, Balaghat-Nagpur-Bhandara Manganese belt accounts for a huge portion. Orissa is considered as the leading producer of Manganese ore in the country. In this state, Manganese ore is mainly mined in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts. These two districts are leading Manganese ore producers with huge tonnes of production. After Orissa, Karnataka is the second leading producers of Manganese ore in the country. Here, Manganese ore is mainly mined in Bellary District, Shimoga and North Kanara districts. Further, Nagpur and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra, Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh are other important
places where Manganese ore is mined. It is also mined in Adilabad District and Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly, the consumption of Manganese ore has significantly increased in the country over the past few decades. It increased owing to the increasing use in making steel and FerroManganese. Moreover, dry cell batteries that are also manufactured in India consume some proportion of Manganese dioxide. As a result of the limited domestic needs, almost more than half of the total Manganese ore mined in India is exported to some of the industrially advanced countries. Thus, the production of Manganese ore depends on foreign demand to a large extent as it is basically mined for export purpose. Initially, near about half of the value of all the Indian mineral resources and ores exported was shared by Manganese ore. However, at times share of the value of export of Iron ore has increased pushing Manganese ore in the second position.
In India, though there are large deposits of Manganese ore, still the country has not been able to increase the export rate of this ore.
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