Orissa is a state located on the east coast of India. Orissa is a littoral state of India with a long coastline and a storehouse of mineral wealth. Because of its mineral wealth and strategic location it attracts foreign investment in steel, aluminum, power, refineries, and infrastructure. Many foreign steel companies, such as Arcelor Mittal and POSCO, have invested money to make steel plants in the state.
The relatively unindented coastline (about 200 mi/320 km long) lacks good ports, except for the deepwater facility at Paradip. The narrow, level coastal strip, including the Mahanadi River delta, is exceedingly fertile. Orissa is home to the Hirakud Dam, one of the longest dams in the world. Rainfall is heavy and regular, and two crops of rice (by far the most important cereal) are grown annually.
The Chota Nagpur plateau occupies the western and northern portions of the state, while along the coast are fertile alluvial plains and the valleys of the Mahanadi, Brahmani, and Baitarani rivers, which empty into the Bay of Bengal. These alluvial plains are home to intensive rice cultivation.
Although much of Orissa’s forest cover has been denuded lately, one of the greatest attractions of Orissa is its still vast expanses of unspoiled natural landscape that offer a protected yet natural habitat to the state’s incredible wildlife. There are many wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa. The Simlipal National Park Tiger Reserve is a huge expanse of lush green forest with waterfalls, inhabited by tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. The Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary has been protecting estuarine crocodiles since 1975.
Chilka Lake, a brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the mouth of the Mahanadi River, is the largest coastal lake in India. It is protected by the Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary, which harbors over 150 migratory and resident species of birds.
The highest mountain peak in the state is Deomali (1672 m), which is situated in Koraput district. It is also the tallest peak of the Eastern Ghats. It is part of the Chandragiri-Pottangi mountain system. Location: 18°40’3″N 82°58’59″E
Orissa is the leading producer of Chromite, graphite, bauxite, manganese ore, iron ore, sillimanite, quartzite, pyroxenite and dolomite. The state hosts country’s sole resources of ruby and platinum group of metals. It accounts country’s 95% nickel ore, 69% cobalt ore, 55% bauxite, 51% titaniferous magnetite, 40% limestone, 36% pyrophyllite, 33% iron ore (hematite), 26% sillimanite, 25% each fireclay and garnet, 24% each coal and zircon and 20% vanadium ore resources.
Important minerals that occur in the state are bauxite in Baudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Koraput, Malkangiri and Sundergarh districts; china clay in Bargarh, Baudh, Bolangir, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; chromite in Balasore, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jajpur and Keonjhar districts. Chromite deposits of Sukinda and Nuasahi ultramafic belt constitute 97% of the country’s chromite resources. Coal occurs in Ib river valley coalfield, Sambalpur district and Talcher coalfield, Dhenkanal district; dolomite in Keonjhar, Koraput, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; dunite/pyroxenite and pyrophyllite in Keonjhar district; fireclay in Angul, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Khurda, Puri, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; garnet and sillimanite in Ganjam and Sambalpur districts; graphite in Bargarh, Baudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Naupada, Rayagada and Sambalpur districts; iron ore (hematite) in Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; limestone in Bargarh, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Naupada, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; manganese ore in Bolangir, Keonjhar, Koraput, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; talc/steatite/soapstone in Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur districts; quartz/silica sand in Baudh, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; quartzite in Bolangir, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Sambalpur and Sundergarh districts; titanium minerals in Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts; and zircon in Ganjam district.
Other minerals that occur in the state are cobalt in Cuttack and Jajpur districts; copper in Mayurbhanj and Sambalpur districts; granite in Angul, Baudh, Bolangir, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Keonjhar, Khurda, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Naupada, Rayagada and Sambalpur districts; lead in Sargipalli area, Sundergarh district and nickel in Cuttack, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts. Occurrences of ruby and emerald are reported from Bolangir and Kalahandi districts, respectively. Platinum group of Metals occur in Keonjhar district; silver in Sundergarh district; tin in Koraput and Malkangiri districts; and vanadiferous magnetite occurs in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts.