Ferrous minerals contain iron, non-ferrous minerals do not contain iron. Ferrous minerals constitute about 75% of the total production of minerals in India. India exports substantial amounts of ferrous minerals.
Iron ore and manganese are two important ferrous minerals mined in India. The two main ores of iron are magnetite and hematite. Magnetite has up to 70% iron, while hematite has 50-60% iron. Karnataka and Orissa are the main iron ore producing states in India, followed by Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jharkhand. Major iron ore producing belts of India, are: the Orissa-Jharkhand belt, the Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt, the Bellary-Chitradurga-Chikmaglur-Tumkur belt and the Maharashtra-Goa belt.
High-grade hematite is mined in the Badampahar mines in Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar districts of Orissa. The Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur belt is spread over parts of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. These hills contain 14 deposits of hematite.
The Bellary-Chitradurga-Chikmaglur-Tumkur belt lies in Karnataka. The Kudermukh mines in this region hold one of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world. Orissa is the main manganese-producing state in India, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
The Maharashtra-Goa belt is spread over parts of Goa and Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Steel is a mixture of several minerals besides iron ore, and one such important mineral is manganese. The reserves of non-ferrous minerals in India are not as abundant as those of ferrous minerals. Copper and bauxite are two important non-ferrous minerals mined in India. Copper is widely used in the electrical, electronic and chemical industries.
Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand are the main copper-producing states in India. Aluminium is a strong, yet light-weight metal derived from a non-ferrous mineral. Bauxite is the main ore of aluminium. Orissa is the main bauxite-producing state in India, followed by Gujarat, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.