Overview of Iron
Despite weakening demand for iron ore from steel makers on slowing economy and construction works, China continues to import massive amounts of iron ore. New imported iron ore never stops coming into the port of Qingdao, with two carries of iron ore arriving at the port almost on a daily basis.

The government of Indonesia is approaching a ban on unprocessed iron ore exports. The country has since seen increased amounts of foreign investments in domestic steel mills, a majority of which are companies based in China. This shows that although demand has slowed for iron ore in China, companies still see a demand for steel in the near future and are looking to acquire assets to produce steel products. These investments are in response to a blanket ban on iron ore exports which will come into effect in 2014.

Because China is a net importer of iron ore, China exports none of its domestically produced iron ore and imports 61% of the global seaborne iron ore traded, they are effectively price setters for iron ore products due to the massive volumes and liquid measurable trades that occur. Although China is known to stockpile iron ore at ports and steelmaking mills throughout the country, prices in theory should not drop below the assumed marginal cost of domestic Chinese production. Currently the prices of iron ore products are below this marginal cost, which is reason to believe that there is a price floor as determined by Chinese miners producing at the margin. It is important to note that China is known to be running low on iron ore reserves as it is exhausting them due to their insatiable demand for iron ore and steel.
Iron Mining Iron fulfills numerous purposes, each vastly diverse from one another. It is an essential product to the operation and success of many industries, from construction industries, to medicine and health, and art and design industries.
 
Iron is a transition element in the periodic table and has the chemical symbol "Fe”. Mineral ores comprised of iron oxides are the main resource for mining iron, as deposits of pure metallic iron is uncommonly found. Hematite, and magnetite are typical examples of iron oxide ores.
 
Hematite and magnetite are usually found as layers within banded iron formations, or BIFs. BIFs are collections of sedimentary rock from the early Proterozoic Era. Other mineral layers constituting BIFs are:
  • Chert
  • Silica
  • Shale
  • Quartz
BIFs are available around the world but those rich in hematite ores are usually mined in southern regions like:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • South Africa
BIFs rich in magnetite ores, sometimes called taconite ores, are more commonly mined in northern regions like Canada and the United States.
 
Alternatives to Iron Mining
 
Iron is the second most important international commodity, the first being oil. As with any natural resource in high demand, issues of supply are relevant, whether it be a present problem, or an imminent concern for the future market.
 
Currently, there is no form that can ultimately replace iron. However, alternatives to mining iron are being practiced today. Recycling scrap steel materials has proven to be a successful substitute for iron mining. Steel has the highest recycling rate of all metal materials, with a rate of 67 per cent. While an impressive number of steel and iron products are fabricated using recycled steel, recycled iron is a less common alternative as it is not yet necessary.
 
Uses of Iron
 
Whether mined or recycled, iron enables the production of several products. The majority of iron ores are used to manufacture steel. To be exact, 98 per cent of all iron ores are directed to steelmaking firms. While the remaining portion of iron ore uses may seem minimal, it is actually quite significant to the routines of daily life. For instance, powdered iron is required for the production of magnets, and automobile parts. Radioactive iron is necessary for medicinal purposes, while iron blue is used in colour everything from paints and inks, to cosmetics, plastics, paper, and even laundry detergent. Meanwhile, iron arsenate is a common ingredient of insecticides, and iron hydroxide is used in many water purification systems.
Other uses of iron include:
  • Backyard furniture
  • Home decor
  • Kitchenware
  • Home appliances
  • Machines and equipment used within construction industries, and automotive industries
  • Production of ammonia via the Haber-Bosch process
  • Production of synthetic lubrication oil and synthetic fuel via the Fischer-Tropsch process
It is apparent that iron is an essential mineral product to the economic health of many markets and countries, as it is applicable to many uses and is able to assume many forms. As a result, the iron mining industry, and iron and steel manufacturing industries, are successful markets since their products are in high demand. However, it is important to remember that iron is a natural resource, and as with any other natural resource used for commercial success, issues of supply and demand are almost always expected.
 
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magnetite iron ore
Magnetite iron ore is one of two major iron deposits. While it may require more costly excavation methods, magnetite iron ores are extremely beneficial to manufacturing firms.
ore iron
Ore iron forms most frequently used by iron mining companies and manufacturers are hematite and taconite. These iron ores have many similarities and differences, but both are essential to iron mining.
mining for iron
When mining for iron, hematite deposits are the most common form of ore desired by mining companies. Hematite ores offer several benefits but also have their share of disadvantages.
iron price
Iron price is strongly dictated by supply and demand. China produces the most iron ore in the world, but other countries are increasing production as well. An increasing demand for iron ore and steel are assuring that the price for iron remains strong, resulting in solid investment opportunities.
mining iron ore
Mining iron ore is very important to the manufacturing of products that aid daily activities. The most common sources for iron ores are hematite, magnetite and taconite.
hematite iron ore
Hematite iron ore is a very abundant source of iron ore and is distinguished by its high density. When heated, hematite is very magnetic and can also be noted for its dark black colouring and red powder.
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