India is one of the world’s leading producers of iron ore. However, a court-imposed ban on mining from the state of Goa, one of the most productive export states in the country, caused a significant drop in India’s output of iron ore. The ban was instituted more than 19 months ago on mines in Goa, Karnataka, as well as other states, to deal with problems of illegal mining. Mining production was capped at 20 million tons. Last month, the Supreme Court lifted the ban and iron ore production is expected to soar to 284Mt in 2020. This represents significant increase from the 142.9 million tons produced in 2013.
India has a strong history of being a world leader in iron production and exports. It benefits from rich iron ore resources, with more than 28.5 billion tons of magnetite (Fe304) and hematite (Fe203) located primarily in eastern and southern India. There were 336 mines in 2010. This number fell to 294 in 2012, during the time of the mining ban, of which 260 were privately owned and 34 were owned by governmental entities.