Iron (Fe) is one of the most abundant rock-forming elements, constituting about 5% of the Earth’s crust. It is the fourth most abundant element after oxygen, silicon and aluminium and, after aluminium,Iron ores are rocks from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. These rocks are usually found in the form of hematite (Fe2O3) or magnetite (Fe3O4).
Most of our iron ores mined are comprise of the iron oxide minerals hematite,Fe2O3 (70% Fe); goethite, Fe2O3s H2O, (63% Fe); limonite, a mixture of hydrated iron oxides (up to 60% Fe); and magnetite, Fe3O4 (72% Fe).
ore processing facilities (OPF) have been constructed to enable beneficiation of low-grade iron ores, including ores which have been contaminated with shale, to be mined and, after upgrading, sold as high-grade products. The operation of the OPFs has also increased the iron ore resources available at these mines.