The state of Odisha is the largest producer of bauxite in India.
India has abundant resources of bauxite and serves as a raw material in the production of aluminium. As per the Ministry of Mines report, India stood at the 7th position in terms of the largest bauxite reserves globally, with about 830,000 thousand tonnes of reserves.
Odisha alone constitutes almost 50% of India’s bauxite production and has about 325,269 thousand tonnes of bauxite reserves. As per the reports of the Indian Bureau of Mines, Bauxite’s production in Odisha was 11,447,740 thousand tonnes in 2017-18.
The state’s prime bauxite belt lies in the districts of Koraput and Kalahandi and continues in Andhra Pradesh. The belt is 300 km in length, 40-100 km wide, and 950 to 1,300 meters in thickness.
The principal bauxite deposits are found in the districts of Koraput, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, and Sambalpur in Odisha. The main mining areas in Odisha are Baphalimoli Parbat, Kathakal, Pottangi, Manjimali, Chandgiri, Pasenmali, Kunnumali, Kodingandi, and Karalput in the districts of Kalahandi and Koraput.
The newly set up aluminium plant at Damanjoli has built a bauxite mineral market in this area. There is another plant proposed to be set up at Doragurha, which will help in expanding the market base for the bauxite.
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), Bhubaneswar
The National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is a Navratna CPSE and a part of the Ministry of Mines. This company came into existence on 7th January 1981 and had a registered office in Bhubaneswar. It is the first public sector company in India to enter into an international metal market with the London Metal Exchange (LME) since May 1989.
The bauxite mines of NALCO lie in Damanjodi, Koraput, in Odisha. The mines of bauxite are mined by a fully mechanized system with a capacity of 6.826 MT every year. The company also has a bauxite mine setup at Panchpatmali plateau. This plateau is 18 km in length and is a rich resource of bauxite. Panchpatmali Bauxite Mine has also been awarded the CII Eastern Region SH&E Excellence Appreciation Award 2016-17.