Information on mining opportunities & environment in the State
Orissa, situated in the north-eastern part of the Indian peninsula, covers an area
of 1,55,707 sq km. It lies between 17° 49' 25" to 22° 32' 23" North latitudes; and
81° 22' 17" to 87° 29' 05" East longitudes. It is bounded by the Bay of Bengal on
the east, Chhattisgarh on the west, Jharkhand on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the
south and West Bengal on the north-east. The State has been divided into five major
geo-morphological regions, namely, Orissa coastal plain in the east, middle mountainous
and highlands region, central plateaus, western rolling uplands and the major flood
plains. It has a long coastline of about 480 km, with some of the most beautiful
beaches in the world. The Chilka Lake is a brackish water lagoon located in the
southern part of Orissa's coastal plain, which provides a haven for millions of
birds. The lush green forest cover of Orissa plays host to a wide variety of flora
and fauna, including the famed royal Bengal tiger.
Occupying an important position on the country's map, Orissa's rich mineral reserves
constitute 28% Iron ore, 24% coal, 59% Bauxite and 98% Chromite of India's total
deposits. The state's comparative advantage on this account has attracted the attention
of many mining and metallurgical companies. In Orissa, industrialization started
shortly after independence. The oldest mines in the state were coalmines at Talcher
and Ib valley. After nationalization of coal in 1975 and the national policy on
energy sector, many power plants have come up in the state.
Iron ore deposits could well be Orissa's passport to a bright future. With the upswing
in the global demand for steel, which is obtained after the reddish-grey ore is
put through a blast furnace, Orissa is the toast of the country and perhaps the
world. There is an unprecedented flow of capital into the State from global giants
such as South Korea's Pohang Steel Company (POSCO) to domestic players such as Bhushan
Steel, Jindal Steel & Power etc. Steel-makers are making a beeline to Bhubaneswar
to sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) to set up intergrated steel plants. The
huge deposits of iron ore State is expected to cater to needs of these companies.
Besides iron ore (32.9 per cent of the country's reserves), Orissa has abundant
reserves of bauxite (59.95 per cent), chromite (98.4 per cent), coal (24.8 per cent)
and manganese (67.6 per cent). End-use industries based on these industires have
a wider scope of growth in the state.