Facts & Figures


• Metallic iron can be found in, and extracted from, certain rocks and minerals. These rocks and minerals are known as iron ore.   

•  In India iron ore is usually found in the form of hematite (Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4). 

•  Iron ore with more than 65% of Fe (Iron) content is classified as high grade, ore containing less than 65% Fe content but more than 62% Fe content is medium grade, while ore having below 62% Fe content is classified as low grade ore. 


• With Fe content of 45-62%, Goan iron ore is of a low grade. 

•  99% of iron ore is used up by steel plants as a part of the steel manufacturing process. However, at present, Indian steel plants aren’t designed to process low-grade ore. 

•  Apart from the fact that Goan ore does not have enough Fe content to justify a steel plant based in the state, lack of coal and reliable power supply make a steel plant in Goa unviable. 

•  Pig Iron plants / pellet plants in Goa source higher-grade ore from other sources. 

•  Goan ore is used as a product blend to make up optimal Silica and Alumina levels by manufacturing units in other countries. 


•  The first planned geological exploration study of Goa was undertaken by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) between 1962-68. 

•  The GSI survey revealed that iron ore deposits occurred in a belt stretching over a length of about 95 km in a north-south direction. The width of the belt varied from 3.5 to 7 km.

•  Goa’s total estimated in situ reserves and resources, as per the Indian Bureau of Mines, is approximately 926 million tons (comprising 712 MT haematite and 214 MT magnetite). 


•  Iron ore is chiefly mined in Sanguem, Bicholim and Sattari talukas. 

•  Manganese and bauxite are also mined in Goa. 

•  During Portuguese rule the government granted 806 concessions. These were whittled down to 595 by the Indian government. Of these just 439 still exist. 

•  In 2007, merely 337 leases applied for renewal. These are the only valid leases in existence today. From these around 90 mines equating 117 leases are in operation. 


•  In Goa the total area under forest is 1424 km2 (~38.5 % of geographical area), government forest is 1224 km2 while private forest is 200 km2. Nearly 755 km2 (nearly 60%) of government forest land is protected (wildlife sanctuaries/national parks).

•  ~300 km2, or 8% of Goa’s geographical area, is the total area covered by existing leases / mines. Of this 88 km2 (2.38% of Goa’s geographical area) is the total forest area with valid mining licenses.  Of this, solely 14.4 km2 (0.44% of Goa’s geographical area) is the total forest area where active mining is being carried out. 

•  The maximum size of a lease is 100 Hectares. 

•  Operational mines cover just 95 km2, or, 2.6% of Goa’s geographical area. 


•  Goa exports iron ore to China, Japan, Europe and the Middle East.

•  The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) has 16 members.

•  54.45 MT (2010-11); 43 MT (2011-12) is the total quantity of iron ore exported from Goa.

•  47.23 MT (2010-11); 38 MT (2011-12) is the quantity of iron ore exports registered with the GMOEA.  

•  Initially there were approximately 400 iron ore traders in Goa. Their numbers are now reduced to less than a 100. 

•  India exported 1173.72 lakh tonnes of iron ore in 2009-10, 976.60 lakh tonnes of iron ore in 2010-11 and 619.40 lakh tonnes in 2011-12. 

•  Goa exported 531.32 lakh tonnes of iron ore in 2009-10, 544.25 lakh tonnes of iron ore in 2010-11 and 432.8 lakh tonnes in 2011-12. 

•  India's total production of iron ore was 2185.53 lakh tonnes in 2009-10, 2079.98 lakh tonnes of iron ore in 2010-11 and 1915.22 lakh tonnes in 2011-12.