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Odisha Minerals

Natural Resources

The state is a treasure trove of minerals and natural resources. It is often said that Odisha has everything under the sky, meaning its forest and agricultural wealth, lots under the earth, an obvious reference to its mineral reserves and a coastline that is a dream come true.

Bauxite, chrome, iron ore, coal, manganese, you name it and Odisha has it. The state’s unique geographical position also endows it with abundant forest resources.

Mining

In the mineral map of India, Odisha occupies an important position both in terms of deposit and production. Vast and diverse mineral deposits make Odisha one of the largest minerals bearing States in India. In fact the state boasts of 16.92% of the total reserves of the country. Mineral reserve of Odisha in respect of Chromite, Nickel ore, Graphite, Bauxite, Iron ore, Manganese and Coal is about 97.37%, 95.10%, 76.67%, 49.74%, 33.91%, 28.56% and 27.59% respectively of the total deposits in India.

Production of Minerals in Odisha in Million Tonnes

Sl.

Ore/Mineral

Total reserves in 2004-05

Exploitation during

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

1

Iron Ore

4177

16.79

22.26

34.89

46.06

2

Chromite

111

1.76

3.29

2.88

3.42

3

Coal

60983

47.80

52.03

60.20

66.82

4

Bauxite

1530

3.60

4.93

4.94

4.91

5

Lime stone

2224

2.15

2.30

2.24

2.26

6

Dolomite

882

1.45

1.15

1.27

1.36

7

Fire Clay

177

0.04

0.05

0.06

0.16

8

Nickel Ore

175

9

Quartz,quartzite & silica

93

0.06

0.13

0.14

0.16

10

Mineral sands

86

0.21

0.15

0.23

0.27

11

Graphite

4.6

0.04

0.05

0.03

0.04

12

Manganese ores

116

0.54

0.63

0.70

1.08

Mines and minerals constitute a fundamental component of nation’s resources and economic base. The rich reserves of minerals in Odisha have led to establishment of several mineral based industries in the state including the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), aluminium plants by INDAL and National Aluminium Company (NALCO), three charge chrome plants at Bahmanipal, Bhadrak and Choudwar by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR) and Indian Charge Chrome Ltd. (ICCL). At Theruvalli in Rayagada district, Indian Metals and Ferro-Alloys (IMFA) has set up a plant for production of charge chrome / ferro chrome. The other important mineral based industries established include two sponge iron plants in Keonjhar district, a refractory in Dhenkanal district and mineral sands separation and synthetic rutile plants of Indian Rare Earth Ltd. at Chhatrapur in Ganjam district. Several cement plants have been set up in the State and four coal based thermal power plants have been set up at Talcher, Kaniha, Ib Valley and Banharpalli. In addition NALCO, RSP, ICCL, INDAL etc. have set up their own coal based captive power plants.

BAUXITE

The total reserves of Bauxite in the State are estimated at 1,530 million tonnes at +40% Al2 03 and 5% SI02 cut -off. Excepting 20million tonnes distributed in Keonjhar, sundergarh and Phulbani districts, the balance reserve occur as thick blankets below a thin capping of soil and laterite in the districts of Bolangir -Bargad, Kalahandi, Rayagada and Koraput, quite amenable to mechanised opencast mining. There are altogether six leases, 4 in Keonjhar and sundergarh producing annually 17,000 tonnes and used in iron and steel making. The other 2 leases owned by NALCO comprising the Panchpatmali deposit in Koraput district produce 2.4 million tonnes. The State Government have decided in principle, to lease the bauxite mines to the prospective entrepreneurs through Odisha Mining Corporation with the condition that they will set up Alumina / Aluminium industries in the State. The OMC has entered into an agreement with M/s Utkal Alumina Ltd. to set up an Alumina Project in Rayagada district.

MINERAL SANDS

An integrated industrial complex known as Odisha Sands Complex (OSCOM) has been set up by IREL to mine and process the beach sands for export of ilmenite and to convert ilmenite to synthetic rutile .

The project envisaged production of 2,20,000 tonnes of ilmentie, 10,000 tonnes of rutile, 30,000 tonnes of sillimanite, 2000 tonnes of zircon and 4,000 tonnes of monazite. The components of the complex includes the folowing:

  • Dredge and Wet Concentration Plant (DWC)
  • Mineral Separation Plant (MSP)
  • Synthetic Rutile plant
  • Acid Regeneration Plant
  • Thorium Plant

IRON ORE

Odisha’s iron reserves have always invited attention. Not surprisingly German steel giants set their eyes on the state for setting up a steel plant in the public sector as long back as the 50s. The Rourkela Steel Plant was the result of the joint efforts of the Germans and our indigenous workforce. However the state has come a long way since then. It is now on the threshold of becoming a steel super power in not just the country but in the continent as well.

The opening up of the economy and the ushering in of liberalization has paved the way for setting up of many iron-ore based industries in the state. While investors make a beeline for Odisha to sign MoUs, the state government on its part has kept its priorities in place and has given emphasis on value addition in the sector.

The total reserves of iron ore in the state are estimated at 4177 million tones. All iron ore mining operations in the State are opencast and the methods range from manual to mechanised. Most of the mechanised mines have crushing and screening facilities as well. At present, the state produces 46.06milion tonnes of iron ore (2004-05).

In view of growing world wide demand for steel, there has been a major surge of interest in this sector. As Odisha possesses a total reserve of 4177 million tonne of high-grade iron ore which is 33.91% of the country’s deposit, the steel makers of national and international repute have shown interest to establish steel plants in the State. Government of Odisha have already signed 43 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with private parties desirous of setting up steel plants with an investment of Rs.1,37,156.00. crore to produce about 58 MTPA steel.

A reputed and well established foreign company viz M/S Pohang Steel Company (POSCO), South Korea, which is one of the largest producers of steel in the world, has evinced keen interest for setting up a mega steel project having a capacity of 12 MTPA with an investment of US $ 12 billion approximately.

In addition to above, M/S. TATA Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. and M/S. Sterlite Iron and Steel Co. Ltd. have also signed MoUs with the State Govt. to set up mega steel projects of 6 MTPA and 5 MTPA respectively with a proposed investment of about Rs.27,902 crore. Besides The Mittal group has also signed an MoU for a mega steel project in the state.

The Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd. (NINL), which has been promoted as a joint sector project of IPICOL, Government of Odisha, MMTC and MECON has started commercial production of pig iron from 1.1 MTPA blast furnace since 2002. The Sinter Plant of NINL has been commissioned during March 2004, which will make production of Pig iron more profitable. The associated project of Konark Met Coke Ltd. (KMCL) set up at Duburi Industrial Complex made steady progress for production of coke, which will make it one of the unique project of its kind in the country at a time when country is facing acute shortage of coke.

MANGANESE ORE

The first manganese ore mining in the State dates back to 1924 and this was in Thakurani. The deposit is being presently worked by OMDC. There are now 36 leases for manganese ore and another 61 for iron and manganese ore. Of these, 26 and 52 leases are in operation.

The State currently produces around 6,50,000 tonnes of manganese ore with low grade (35% Mn) constituting about 75% of the total production. Major producers are

Organisation

In Tonnes

OMC 1,60,000
OMDC 1,68,000
BPMEL 66,000
TISCO 64,000
OM & M 37,000
AMTC 18,000
Rungta Group 59,000

CHROMITE

Of the total geological resources of 186 million tonnes in India, Odisha accounts for 183 million tonnes i .e. 98% and bulk of it confined to Sukinda ultramafic belt . Although these deposits account for only 2.5% of world resources , the chrome ores from these deposits have a distnict edge over other major deposits of the world in terms of quality, large widths of ore bands and amenability to simple beneficiation process.

Some important lease holders are TISCO, OMC, FACOR, Mishralal Mines, B.C. Mohanty and Sons, IDC of Odisha Ltd., IMFA and ICCL.

Chromite produced in Odisha practically meets the requirements of the industries located in different parts of the country. Bulk of the consumption within the State is shared by the following units;

  • Three 100% EOU charge chrome plants each of 50,000 tpa capacity located at Bamnipal (TISCO) Randia near Bhadrakh (FACOR) and Choudwar(ICCL)
  • Ferrochrome plants of IDCOL at Jajpur Road,IMFA at Theruvali, Ispat Alloys near Balasore and Nava Bharat Ferro Alloys Ltd. near Meramundli.
  • Refractory plants at Rajgangpur (OCL), Belpahar (TRL) and Latikata (OIL)

For benefication of sub-grade/low grade ore, four fully mechanised plants have been set up. These are:

Agency

Location

Rated feed capacity & grade

Projected output of concentrates & grade

FACOR

Boula

1,00,000 tpa,
13 -21% Cr.2O3

22,000 tpa,
42-45% Cr2O3
Cr:Fe=1.4-1.7

Ostapal

80,000 tpa
25-30% Cr2O3

30,000 tpa
46-48% Cr2O3

TISCO

Bhimatnagar

3,00,000 tpa
-38% Cr2O3

1,05,000 tpa
50**2% Cr2O3
Cr/Fe:2.4-3.0

OMC

Kaliapani

1,65,000 tpa
-38% Cr2O3

64,000 tpa
50+**2% Cr2O3
Cr/Fe:2.4-3.00

Misrilal Miner Pvt. Ltd. have also established facilities for benefication in their mines. Besides these, there are above 10 small benefication plants which obtain medium grade ore (35-45% Cr203) from TISCO, OMC and IMFA Group and sell the concentrates to the chemical manufacturers and for export .

An important features of this sector is incidence of Nickel and Cobalt in the FW and HW of friable Chromite lodes, particularly in the Bhimtanagar and Kaliapani mines. The estimated quantum of such over burden materials containing + 0.5% Ni extracted and stacked is of the order of 25 million tonnes.

GRAPHITE

The estimated reserve of graphite in the State is 2 million tones at 5% FC cut-off, the average grade being 13.7% FC. The depth of estimation is reported to be 30 m. No serious attempt has been made to undertake depth-wise proving and consequently mining activities in the State have been mostly opencast. Due to erratic nature of occurrences, mining is mostly manual. Thumdibandh in Phulbani district is the only deposit in the State amendable to mechanized mining due to consistent width over a long strike (more than 100 m.).

Natural graphite consumption in India is largely dependent on demand of the refractory industry, i.e. Mg-Carbon bricks and Slide-Gate refractories. The other applications include foundry fluxes, steel mills, crucibles, pencils, midget-electrodes, carbon brushes, paints, explosives and oil drilling.

CHINA CLAY

The State possesses large reserve of crude clay. But most of it is of inferior grade, the recovery being in the range of 30-35%. The average annual production of finished clay is 10,000 tonnes from 5 working mines. There are 9 subsisting leases.

Mining is open cast, in benches of 1.2 – 1.5 m height. There is no working during the rainy season lasting for 4 months every year. China Clay produced in the State are currently used in rubber, paper, textiles, ceramics and paint industries. Silica sand obtained as by product of washing crude clay is used in foundry, glass industries and in welding electrodes for flux making.

GRANITES

Quarrying for dimension stones in the State is yet to cross the take off stage. A total number of 329 quarry leases have been granted in the State. The major district-wise break-up is as follows :

District Name No of quarry leases
Ganjam & Gajapati

118

Koraput & Malkangiri

68

Kalahandi

28

Bolangir

20

Keonjhar

36

The rocks quarried include granites and its variants, dolerities , Khondalite, anorthosite, charnockite, gabbro among others.

PYROPHYLLITE

The annual production of 36,000 tonnes comes from 4 leases out of 6 subsisting. The R.O.M. mineral is crushed fine for use in insecticide and ceramics industries besides in making of refractory. There is scope for development of Pyrophyllite mining and processing in this State.

GEMSTONES

Geological investigations were taken up in Bolangir and Subarnpur districts for precious gemstones and garnets. In course of investigation covering 154 square kms., 24 garnet occurrence cases have been detected. The State Government have formulated the “Gemstone policy of 1998” for promoting exploration of gemstone resources in a scientific and systematic manner. The policy, inter alia, envisages steps for prevention of illegal trading and theft of gemstones, opening of the gemstone bearing areas to private sector exploitation and introduction of a scheme of issuing trading licenses to parties dealing with gemstone resources. Out of 28 gemstone bearing tracts identified in the State, 18 tracts have been developed so far and opened for re-grant of mining leases. Besides, few more gem bearing areas have been located in parts of Nuapada, Kalahandi and Bolangir districts by the Directorate of Geology. There exists a good prospect for export of gems and jewellery from Odisha.

Consequent upon the finding of Diamond bearing Kimberlitic/Olivine lamproite bodies in Dharambandha block of Nuapada district by the Directorate of Geology, investigation has been extended to the adjacent areas to locate more such bodies. In the process, approximately one sq. km. of area was covered under geological mapping. Trial excavation to the tune of 50 cum has been achieved. Samples weighing 102 tonnes have been collected for lab-testing for diamond incidence.

OTHER MINERALS

Other minerals which are being mine in the State include Quartz, Quartzite and Soapstone. There is prospect of increase in production of Quartz and Quartzite on account of demand by the new iron and steel plants.

BASE METALS

The proved prospects in the State include

  • Sargipali in sundergarh district-Lead ore
  • Adash in Sambalpur district- Copper ore
  • Kesarpur in Mayurbhanj district-Copper ore

LEAD ORE

Of these, Sargipali lead ore deposit is under exploitation by HZL, the average annual ore production being of the order of 80,000 tonnes. It is understood that owing to depletion of mineable reserves the mine and the concentrator plant may not last beyond 5 years.

TIN ORE

No regular mining has been taken up yet) although the prospects in Malkangiri district are under explortation/exploratory mining by GSI, DMG, MECL and HAMCO. HAMCO has got a ML. Establishment of a processing plant is under consideration. OMC in collaboration with REME Private Limited is separately examining the feasibility of mining and processing of tin ore.

VANADIUM

Proposal to mine the vanadium and titaniferous magnetite deposits of Betjharan and Kumardubi in Mayurbhanj district and establishment of a plant for production of vanadium pig iron and FeV would be encouraged

LIMESTONE AND DOLOMITE

The status of mining of Limestone and Dolomite in the State is indicated in the following statement :

Item

Lime stone

Dolomite

Lime stone & Dolomite

No. of Leases

11

2

38

No. of Leases in operation

10

2

20

Current annual production (In Million Tonnes)

2.15

1.45

The major producers are the following:

Organisation

Limestone

Dolomite

BSL & Co. (Biramitrapur)

0.11

0.60

TISCO (Gomardih)

0.34

SAIL (Purunapari)

0.27

OCL (Lanjiberana)

0.78

IDCOL Cement (Dungri)

0.63

All the mines being worked are opencast, semi-mechanized /mechanized

COAL

Out of 57 Gondawana & 14 Tertiary coalfields for the national inventory of coal, Odisha state has only two coalfields. Yet its share in the reserve are so far established in the country amounts to 24.78% ( 58.01 B.T).

IB River Coal Field – 22.23 BT
Talcher Coal Field – 35.78 BT

In Terms of spatial spread of prognostical coal bearing area, the coalfields of the state of Odisha have about 7.6% area (2723 Sq.Km). This goes to illustrate the high ratio of coal to non coal strata in the two hitherto known coal bearing basin viz.lb River coalfield and Talcher coalfield. As a sequel to which threse coalfields have an added advantage of being accorded most favoured coalfields status by the nature as far as quarriable potentiality is concerned.

Talcher Coalfield

(Geological Reserve 35.78 B.T. As on 1.1.2002)
Production of coal raised from 0.91 M.T. in 1972-73 to 33.10 M.T. in 2001-02.

IB Valley Coalfield

(Geological Reserve 22.23 B.T.)

Production of this field was 0.55 M.T. in 1972-73 which has increased upto 14.70 M.T. in the year 2001-02. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. produces non-coking coal of Gr. B LF, Gr. C LF, Gr. D LF, Gr. E & Gr.F at Talcher field, Dist: Angul and lb field, Dist: Jharsuguda/Sundergarh in Odisha.

Fieldwise annual production of coal for the year 2001-02 is as under ( In Lakh Tes.)

Field
Grade B/C/D
Grade E/F
Total
Talcher field
10.24
320.79
331.03
IB valley field
11.25
135.77
147.02
Total MCL
24.23
423.79
448.02

 References:

http://www.teamorissa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=26

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