Keonjhar is one of the premier mineral producing districts in Orissa. The district occupies a prominent place in the mineral map of the Country.
Iron ore formations occupy most part of the district which can be traced from the Bihar boarder in the north to the Jajpur boarder in the South.
Extensive deposits of Manganese ore are found in Thakurani and Joda East hills of Barbil. The two important mineral based industries in the district are the "Kalinga Iron Works" Barbil and the "Ferro-Manganese Plant",Joda.
Good deposits of Chromite, an important and strategic mineral are found in Boula area near village Nuasahi of Anandapur sub-division. There are also some other mineral deposits in the district such as Quartzite, Bauxite , Gold , Pyrophillite and Lime stone.
The Kalinga Iron Works was initially named as the Kalinga Industries in the private sector with technical collaboration of M/S. Fried Crupp of West Germany having one low shaft furnace with a capacity to produce 30000 M.T. of pig iron per annum. It was taken over by the Industrial Development Corporation of the Government of Orissa on 01st April 1963. It has since been named as "Kalinga Iron Works".
Presently the Kalinga Iron Works produces 100000 M.T. of foundry grade pig iron by three low shaft furnaces. Besides, it has a power generating plant of its own which supplies power to the GRIDCO, Orissa to the extent of 2.3 M.W. This industry was running with a capital investment of Rs.1,011.27 lakh in 1985. At present 1,320 persons (both skilled and unskilled) are working in the unit.
Under the diversification programme Kalinga Iron Works is also giving to undertake the production of Ductite Iron Spun pipes in close collaboration with TOR-STEEL and MECON. Ductite Iron Spun pipes have a tremendous marketing potential in foreign countries.
The Ferro-Manganese plant at Joda was taken over by the Tata Iron And Steel Co-Ltd. in December 1957. It was established with a capital investment of Rs.3000 lakhs in 1985. At present 391 employees are working in the unit. The plant is primarily meant for supplying Ferro-Manganese for TISCO's own plant at Jamshedpur. Three more medium industries have been set up in the district during 1983 as given below.
|Name of the Industry||Location||Investment (in lakhs)||Employment. potential.||Product|
|M/S Spun Pipe plant||Matkambeda, Barbil||3,00,090||391||C.I. Pipe|
|M/S Orissa Sponge Iron Ltd.||Palaspanga||3,22,200||383||Sponge Iron|
|M/S Durby Industrial Barbil Projects (P) Ltd.||Barbil||23,892||27||Liquid Oxygen|