Social Scientist. v 5, no. 54-55 (Jan-Feb 1977) p. 139.


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K NAGARAJ

Iron and Steel

FOR IRON and steel, India possesses all the principal raw materials of sufficiently good quality occurring quite close to one another. Most of the iron ore with which India is well endowed has more than 60 per cent metallic content and comparatively less phosphorous and sulphur. The deposits are distributed in five distinct areas: Bihar, Orissa, Bailadila-Dalli Rajhara in Madhya Pradesh, Bellary-Hospet in Karnataka, Goa and Ratnagiri. The reserves, proved and indicated, are of the order of 7800 million tonnes. There is an estimated possibility for another 12,000 million tonnes.

India is also rich in coking coal, the other input in a steel mill. Present reserves have been placed at between 1.6 billion and 2.1 billion tonnes. But the entire amount of coking coal is concentrated in the eastern sector (Bokaro, Raniganj, Jharia and Karanpura) which also accounts for nearly half of the non-coking coal reserves. This coking coal is not of good quality. Its high ash content creates operational problems for the plants apart from necessitating higher coal requirements.

Reserves of flux-grade limestone in India are estimated to be around 3130 million tonnes.1 The reserves are widely dispersed throughout the country with only 4.2 per cent occurring in the iron and steel belt.

In spite of all these, steel industry has not made sufficient



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