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April 15, 2023 nflg 0 Comments

WORLD STATISTICS ON iron ore mining

Iron is the fourth most abundant rock-forming element and composes about 5% of the Earth’s crust. Astrophysical and seismic evidence indicate that iron is even more abundant in the interior of the Earth and has apparently combined with nickel to make up the bulk of the planet’s core. Geologic processes have concentrated a small fraction of the crustal iron into deposits that contain as much as 70% of the element. The principal ore minerals of iron are hematite, magnetite, siderite, and goethite. An estimated 98% of the ore shipped in the world is consumed in the manufacture of iron and steel. The remaining 2% is used in the manufacture of cement, heavy-medium materials, pigments, ballast, agricultural products, or specialty chemicals. As a result, demand for iron ore is tied directly to the production of raw steel and the availability of high-quality ferrous scrap.

World Resource

World resources of Iron Ore are estimated to exceed 800 billion tons of crude ore containing more than 230 billion tons of iron. The world mine production, crude ore reserve base and its iron contents are given below:

World Mine Production, Reserves and Reserve Base

World iron ore production was 1,690 MT, during 2006, the details of production figures (calender year) of major iron ore producing countries up to 2006 is given in the tables below. The comparative production trends of iron ore in India versus that of the world for last 5 years up to 2006 are shown in the graphs below.

Although iron ore is being produced from more than 50 countries, the bulk of world production came from just a few countries. The five largest producers, in decreasing order of production of gross weight of ore, were Brazil, China, Australia, India and Russia. These top five countries accounted for about 80% of world production. Brazil was the largest producer of iron ore.


The China driven high demand for iron ore continued in the year 2006-07 also. The world production of iron ore during the year 2006 went up to 1690 Mt, and India’s contribution therein was 172.296 Mt (P), which accounted for 10.2%. The world-wide trade of iron ore was 759 Mt in 2006, in which India’s share in export was 97 Mt (P), about 12.8 %. China has remained the largest iron ore consuming nation since 1992. About 98% of iron ore is used in producing pig iron, which is, therefore, the best indicator of iron ore consumption world-wide. During 2006, Australia was the leading exporter at 248.4 Mt followed by Brazil at 246.6 Mt and India at 97 Mt (Provisional).

China’s astonishing growth affected the large global iron ore producers long before it had an impact on U.S. production. The three leading iron ore producing companies i.e. CVRD, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, located in Brazil and Australia, continued to invest large sums of money to increase production to satisfy Chinese demand.

In 2006, around 1.5 billion tonnes of iron ore was consumed by the world steel makers of which around 759 Mt of iron ore was shipped around the world. In China alone, consumption of imported iron ore had grown meteorically from 70 Mt in 2000 to 300 Mt in 2006.

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