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.
Major industries in Orissa at the moment include an integrated steel plants at Rourkela, Kalinga Nagar, Jharsuguda and Angul ; NALCO (National Aluminium Company Ltd.) with its Alumina Plant at Damanjodi & Aluminium smelting complex at Angul; Thermal power plants Talcher & Ib valley area etc. in addition to Fertilizer plants, Pulp and paper industries, Ferro alloys plants, cement plants etc. elsewhere in the state. The industrial growth in the state has mostly taken place in the areas where raw materials, water and power are available. The state can be divided into twelve industrially active zones / areas based on minerals namely:
Besides the reserves of major minerals like chromite, nickel, bauxite, iron-ore and coal; other minerals like china clay, fire clay, limestone, quartz, precious and semi precious stones, copper, manganese, graphite, vanadium etc. are also available in the state.
Iron ore is abundantly available in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Jajpur. While chromite is confined to Jajpur, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar districts, manganese deposits are available in Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Rayagada and Balangir districts and Dolomite is available plentily only in the district of Sundargarh. There are two major coal bearing area in the state which are currently being exploited namely Talcher and the Ib valley.