The Iron Ore reef occurs as a NW-SE trending narrow zone occupying upper part of the eastern slope of the hill ranges. The B.H.Q., Phyllite and shale are associated litho types.
In Pathikonda lease area the iron ore body is separated into two parts along the strike length. The major ore body (Block ‘A’) is exposed for a length of about 360m from the eastern boundary of the leasehold. Two or three iron ore bands are exposed on the surface as well as proved in a few boreholes. These bands together have a width of upto 25m and are separated from each other by dirt bands which mainly consist of Phyllite / Shale. The exposed ore bands do not show a uniform width and exhibit pinching as well as swelling tendencies along strike extension.
The western side of the ore body (Block ‘B’) is only partially exposed and worked at a few places. There is a gap of about 200m between eastern and western surface exposure of ore body. The western ore body shows only a narrow width of 3 to 5m.
The mine is located in the hilly tracts of Ballari-Hosapete region covering Survey of India Topo sheet no. 57 A/8. The dominant physiographic feature of the region is NW-SE trending narrow hill ranges. There are two hill ranges which contain the iron ore deposit. The mine is located in the north east hill range called NEB range. The top and south-eastern slope of the hill contains the Iron ore reef and float ore. The ore zone is presently exposed in an altitude range of 820 to 790 mRL i.e., a vertical space of about 30 m.
Pathikonda Iron ore mine is being operated by the open cast mining method. The bench height is 9 m and the width of benches varies from 9 to 10 m each. The gradient is maintained at 1 in 16 with a Pit slope angle of 60°. The advancement of benches is such that the pit will extend from south-western part to north-eastern part of the lease. The activities involved in open cast mining are drilling and blasting in iron ore and waste separately, and movement of ore by 16 tonnes capacity dumpers, and wastes through 30 tonnes capacity dumpers. Excavated ROM will be transported to Central Processing Plant of the Group situated at Ingalgi at a distance of 5 km from the mine pit.
Afforestation programme was taken up right from 2003. Till date 4,01,455 trees, covering an area of 73.84 hectares, have been planted. The survival rate is around 85 to 90%.