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Distribution of Bauxite in India

On September 21, 2013 By Anil BoseCategory: Indian Geography

Distribution of Bauxite in India

Bauxite is the raw material for making aluminium. It is not a specific mineral
but a rock consisting mainly of hydrated aluminium oxides. It is clay-like
substance which is pinkish whitish or reddish in colour depending on the
amount of iron content.
Production and Distribution: The total reserves of bauxite in India are
estimated at 27.40 crores tonnes. The major bauxite producing states in
India are Orissa, Jharkhand, Gujrat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh,
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Goa in a descending order of

Orissa: Orissa is the largest producer of bauxite in the country and

contributes about one-third of the total production. Kalahandi,
Bolangir, Koraput, Sundargarh and Sambalpur are the main bauxite
producing districts.

Jharkhand: Jharkhand is the second largest producer of bauxite

and produces about 22% of Indias total. Ranchi and Palamau are the
main bauxite-producing districts.

Gujrat: Gujarat produces about 15% of Indias bauxite and occupies

third position. Jamnagar, Kaina, Sabarkantha, Kachchh and Surat are
the main bauxite-producing districts.

Maharashtra: Maharashtra produces about 12% of Indias bauxite.

Exploitation of bauxite started much later in Maharashtra. It started
first in Thane district but now it is mined in Kolaba, Ratnagiri and
Kolhapur districts.

Madhya Pradesh: Madhya Pradesh contributes about 10% of the

total bauxite production in the country. Amarkantak plateau area in

Shahdol district, Mandala and Balaghat districts and Katni area of

Jabalpur are major bauxite-producing areas in Madhya Pradesh.

Other Producers: The principal deposits of bauxite in Karnataka

occur in Belgaum district. Bauxite deposits also occur in Nilgiris,
Salem, Madurai and Coimbatore districts of Tamil Nadu. Some
deposits are found in the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. High grade
bauxite ore is found in Punch and Udhampur districts of Jammu and
Kashmir and plateau region of Sarguja, Durg Raigarh and Bilaspur
districts in Chhattisgarh. Some bauxite deposits also occur in Orissa,
Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.


India is self-sufficient in bauxite, the chief raw material for the manufacture of aluminium. Bauxite
deposits are mostly associated with laterite, and occur as blankets or as capping on the high
plateaus in peninsular India. India has the fifth largest bauxite reserves with deposits of about 3 Bt
or 5% of world deposits. India's share in world aluminium capacity rests at about 3%. India has
large resources of high-grade bauxite deposits of the order of 3037 million tonnes (Mt) (proved +
probable + possible). The recoverable reserves are placed at 2525 Mt. The proved and probable
reserves are 1218 Mt, placing the country 5th in rank in the world, next only to Australia, Guinea,
Brazil and Jamaica. About 89% of the recoverable reserves of bauxite are of metallurgical grade.
More than half of the reserves are confined in Orissa and nearly one-fifth in Andhra Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Jharkhand also have large deposits of
bauxite. Total production of bauxite declined from 7.89 million tonnes in 1999-2000 to 7.50 million
tonnes in 2000-01. Orissa is the largest bauxite producer (43.6 per cent of total production in
1998-99) followed by Jharkhand (19.2 per cent), Maharashtra (13.3 per cent) and Madhya
Pradesh/Chhattisgarh (11.4 per cent). Production from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu is
also worth mentioning.
Principal producers of bauxite are Koraput and Sundargarh districts of Orissa, Gumla and
Lohardaga districts of Jharkhand, Visakhaptanam district of Andhra Pradesh, Kohlapur and
Ratnagiri districts of Maharashtra, Bastar, Bilaspur, Surguja, Mandla, Satna, Jabalpur and Shahdol
districts of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Jamnagar, Kachchh and Junagarh districts of
Gujarat and Salem and Nilgiri districts of Tamil Nadu.

The State is endowed with vast mineral deposits like coal, iron-ore, manganese-ore, bauxite,
chromite etc. According to All India Mineral Resources Estimates, the mineral deposits of Orissa in
respect of bauxite were about 52.7% of the total deposits of India. Bauxite is the main exported
mineral of the State.
Bauxite deposits of Orissa are of diverse parentage. The important deposits are associated with
the Eastern Ghat Supergroup rocks and form the major components of East Coast Bauxite (ECB)
deposits. The deposits are of lateritic type and owe their origin to in-situ chemical weathering of
khondalites and charnockites, and more specifically khondalites.
The other deposits, smaller in dimensions are residual products of laterization of metavolcanics as
in Dholkata Pahar (Kuanr) of Keonjhar district and Similipal Complex; shales of BIF as in
Kusumdih of Sundargarh district and Vindhyan sediments in Khariar highlands of Kalahandi
district (
The total reserves of bauxite in India during 2001-2002 was about 2911 million tonnes and that of
Orissa was about 1733 million tonnes which constitute about 59.5% share to countrys reserves.
Excepting 20 million 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 mechanized open-cast 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. All the major deposits of
bauxite of the State have been tied up for production of alumina. The annual bauxite production is
projected to be stepped up to over 20 million tonnes from the current level of 2.4 million tonnes.
Mining will be opencast. All the companies would most likely resort to trench mining, backfilling by
overburden, reclamation and plantation as are being practiced by NALCO in Panchpatmali. The
run of the mine ore, r.o.m. will be subjected to crushing, sizing (screening) and conveyed down hill
to the mills (

In Jharkhand, the Bauxite deposits are mainly found in Palamau, Ranchi, Gumla and Lohardaga
districts. In Palamau district, small deposits of bauxite occur in the Jamuria Pat, at Chiro, Kukud
and Orsa. The history of bauxite mining in the Ranchi district dates back to 1933 when Morris
Baldevin and Company commenced working the deposit at Bagru Hill. After a few years of active
mining, the bauxite quarries were taken over by the Maharaja of Chota Nagpur in 1938. Other
lease-holders in the area were M/s Jokhi Ram Mang Raj and Laterite Syndicate, managed by M/s

Jessop & Co. The efforts of these companies did not prove successful in their objective to
manufacture aluminium, cement and to obtain pig iron as by-product. About the end of 1938 a
Canadian Company, the Aluminium Production Company of India Ltd. (now Indian Aluminium
Company Ltd.) with a view to manufacture aluminium in India became interested in this bauxite
deposit and took lease of the properties of M/s Jessop & Co. and also of M/s Baldevin & Co. from
the Maharaja of Chota Nagpur and later started mining of bauxite on the Bagru Hill to feed
their alumina plant at Muri.
The Aluminium Corporation of India Ltd. used to get bauxite ore for their plant at Jaykaynagar
(West Bengal) from the Kelhari Pahar about fifteen km south of the rail-head at Richughutu on the
Barkakana line of the Eastern Railway. But due to inaccessibility of this area the Corporation
discontinued quarrying at this place and obtained the ore from the Bagru Hill for some time.
The bauxite enrichment in the laterite capping on the northwest side of the Ranchi district and on
the adjoining high lands of the Palamau district constitutes the most important deposits in India. It
has numerous occurrences of high grade ore of economically workable dimensions, some being
thick and continuous over large areas. The reserves of ore amount to more than 1,00,00,000
tonnes. In the Lohardaga district the bauxite deposits occur in laterite capping like the granite
gneisses. There are also other important deposits, particularly those bordering Surguja and
Jashpur; but their development cannot be seriously considered until they are made accessible.
Andhra Pradesh is 2nd richest in bauxite deposits in the country. Reserves of 750 million tonnes of
metal-grade bauxite have been proved in forest and tribal tracts of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari
and Vizianagaram districts, crowning the Eastern Ghat hill ranges. These hills are essentially
made up of the khondalite and charnockite group of rocks of the Eastern Ghat Supergroup
(Archean). MECON has prepared feasibility report for establishingalumina plant near the vicinity of
Visakhapatnam port. All bauxite deposits are located in proximity to the fast growing
Visakhapatnam port.
APMDC offers joint ventures for mining Bauxite who intend to set up Alumina / Aluminium plants.
Power being a major component and infrastructure in the manufacture of Alumina / Aluminium,
facilities like allotment of coal mines for captive power generation can be made available for
immediate take off. The companies with latest technology and finance can interact with the
APMDC and Govt. for starting a viable joint venture in Andhra Pradesh for alumina / aluminum
industries (
In Andhra Pradesh, aluminous laterite capping the khondalitic suite of rock have been located in
the Dumkonda hill in the east Godavari and Korukonda, Galikonda, Ratakonda, Katuki,
Chittamgundi, Kottavalas areas in Visakhapatnam district. The Galikonda bauxite is of the gibbsitic
type and is red, reddish-brown, pink or yellowish-brown in color, massive and moderately hard: no
pisolitic or oolitic textures are noticed. This bauxite caps garnet-sillimanite gneiss. Reserves of
Galikonda bauxite ore are estimated to be ten million tons.

Bauxite deposits in Maharashtra are reported from Kohlapur, Raigad, Satara, Sangli, Sindhudurg,
Ratanagiri and Thane districts. In Kohlapur district bauxite is uniform and extensive so as to be
considered as blanket type whereas in other localities it occurs as lenses and pockets.
In Kohlapur districts bauxite deposits occur as blanket type deposits below lateritic cap. The
thickness of the bauxite horizon on different plateaus ranges from 1.5 to 10 m and average Al2O3
content varies between 45 to 60% at different localities. In Sangli district bauxite occurs as pockets
and lenses in 15 to 30 m thick laterite on a plateau 3.5 km in length and 200 m in width. Bauxite
horizon is between 1 to 3 m thick. In Satara district bauxite deposits occur in Koyana Valley Areas,
on the top of several plateaus along the eastern bank of Koyana river. Laterite cap over these
plateaus is up to 12 m in thickness and in which lenses and pockets of bauxite are present.
Anjarle, Chickalgaon, Kavdoli, Umbershet, Velas Sakhri Valne, Barghar etc. are the important
localities of bauxite deposits in Ratnagiri district.
Total estimated reserves of bauxite in Maharashtra are 98.726 million tonnes. Mining of bauxite is
being carried out in Kohlapur district by the Indian Aluminium Company for production of
aluminium metal at the aluminium plant located at Belgaum in Karnataka. (G. G. Deshpande,

Geology of Maharashtra, Geological Society of India Bangalore, 1998).


Bauxite is the most important mineral which constitutes to form the miracle metal of the century,
the 'Aluminium". In the present scenario of depleting reserve of base metals has given more
importance to this industrial mineral which contemplates to form a major substitute for the base
The state of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has enormous deposits which are wide spread in
the districts of Bilaspur, Surguja, Raigarh, Balaghat, Mandla, Shahdol, Rewa, Sidhi and Bastar. As
per the figures of Indian Bureau of Mines, the total reserve of bauxite in Madhya Pradesh is placed
around 140 million tonnes constituting 5.5% of the National reserve of 25.25 million tonnes. The
consumption of bauxite is directly linked to the BALCO and HINDALCO. Based on the bauxite
deposit of Bilaspur district, an aluminum plant of M/s Bharat Aluminum Company is in operation at
Korba, district Bilaspur. Part of the requirement of Bauxite for this plant is net from the deposits of
Mandla & Surguja districts. The bauxite deposit of Shahdol district are under active exploitation by
M/s Hindustan Aluminium Company for their aluminium plant located at Renukut in Uttar Pradesh.
The high degree bauxite deposits of Bastar and Jabalpur district are mainly used for calcination to
be used in refractory units.
As per the statistics, by the year 2000, an annual probable average growth rate of 4% has been
prognosticated, as the global demand is likely to increase. An elucidated above only the deposits
of Bilaspur, Mandla, Surguja & Shahdol are under active exploitation. The deposits of other
districts like Surguja, Raigarh, Rewa, Balaghat and Bastar are focus areas for active development.
The reserves of nearly 100 million tonnes in thus available for utilization by establishing export
trend. Thus, the State of Madhya Pradesh may play a crucial role in building the National economy
aluminum as major exporting assets. (

Incorporated in 1981, as a public sector enterprise of the Government of India, National Aluminium
Company Limited (Nalco) is Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, encompassing bauxite
mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port
operations. Commissioned during 1985-87, Nalco has emerged to be a star performer in
production and export of alumina and aluminium, and more significantly, in propelling a selfsustained growth.
Nalco is considered to be a turning point in the history of Indian Aluminium Industry. In a major
leap forward, Nalco has not only addressed the need for self-sufficiency in aluminium, but also
given the country a technological edge in producing this strategic metal to the best of world
standards. Nalco was incorporated in 1981 in the Public Sector, to exploit a part of the large
deposits of bauxite discovered in the East Coast. The Captive Power Plant (CPP) & Smelter Plant
are situated near Angul in Orissa.

The 2,30,000 tpa capacity Aluminium Smelter is located at Angul. Based on energy efficient stateof-the-art technology of smelting and pollution control, the Smelter Plant is in operation since early
1987. Presently, the capacity is being expanded to 3,45,000 tpa.
With the acquisition and subsequent merger of International Aluminium Products Limited (IAPL)
with Nalco, the 50,000 tpa export-oriented Rolled Products Unit is all set to produce foil stock, fin
stock, can stock, circles, coil stock, cable wraps, standard sheets and coils


Close to the Aluminium Smelter at Angul, a Captive Power Plant of 720 MW capacity, comprising 6
x 120 MW clusters, has been established for firm supply of power to the Smelter. Presently, the

capacity is being expanded to 960 MW. Further details at

Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd. (Balco) was incorporated in 1965 as Government of India
Undertaking under the Companies Act, 1956.The company is engaged in the manufacture of
aluminium and had plants at Korba in the State of Chhattisgarh and Bidhanbag in the State of
West Bengal. The Company has integrated aluminium-manufacturing plant for the manufacture
and sale of aluminium metal including wire rods and semi-fabricated products. The Government of
Madhya Pradesh provided land for BALCO to set up its establishment in Bilaspur district. Since
1990-91 successive Central Government had been planning to disinvest some of the Public Sector
Undertakings. In pursuance to the policy of disinvestment by a Resolution dated 23rd August 1996
the Ministry of Industry (Department of Public Enterprises) Government of India constituted a
Public Sector Disinvestment Commission initially for a period of three years. BALCO was also
decided to be disinvested. Based on the Discounted Cash-Flow method the valuation of BALCO
was placed at Rs.1008.6 crores; 51.1% of which works out to Rs. 514.45 crores, which was fixed
as the Reserve Price. Offer of Rs. 551 crores of Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. was the highest and
more than the Reserve Price was accepted in February 2001 and the company management was
handed over to Sterlite Industries (I) Ltd.
BALCO is currently expanding capacity at its Korba Aluminium Smelter to 345,000 tpa from
100,000 tpa. The technology for expansion is being provided by Guiyang Aluminium - Magnesium
Design & Research Institute (GAMI) of the Peoples Republic of China.
A 540 MW coal-fired Captive Power Plant is being constructed to cater to the enhanced smelting
requirement. Shandong Electric Power Corporation (SEPCO) of the Peoples Republic of China is
the EPC contractor for the power plant. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2006.
Further details at
an Aditya Birla Group Company produces Alumna (1160ktpa), aluminium (425 ktpa), rolled
products+wire rods+ foils+ extrusions (total 271ktpa), alloy wheels 300k Nos.), Hindalco project
has changed life in Silvassa and 71 villages in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
Further details at