Iron Ore

DeVaney, Fred D. ; Bennett, R. L. ; DeVaney, Fred D. ; Hernlund, R. W. ; Keranen, C. U. ; Lindroos, E. W. ; McDermott, W. F. ; van Slyke, W. R.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 34
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1985
INTRODUCTION Iron is the world's most widely used metal and constitutes about 5% of the earth's crust. Iron ores are found widely distributed throughout the world. Because of its wide occurrence and relatively low value, an iron ore to be merchantable must contain a relatively high percentage of the metal to be considered as a source of iron. Few ores containing less than 25% iron would be considered as ore unless they existed in large amounts and could be concentrated very cheaply. The grade of the ore, the ease of concentration, and the transportation cost to market are fundamental considerations deter- mining its worth. Iron never occurs as a natural metal except in meteorites. Most iron ores occur as oxides, and to a lesser degree as carbonates. A small amount is recovered as a byproduct from iron sulfides. Iron ore must be reduced (oxygen removed) to metal for use. Iron is marketed in many forms and combinations, such as pig iron and a great variety of steels. Iron is practically never pure as marketed but contains varying amounts of carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, and alloying elements such as nickel, chromium, etc., all of which affect the physical proper- ties of the end product. Please note that in this section all analyses ore on a dry basis and all tonnage figures are on a long-ton basis of 2,240 lb unless otherwise noted.
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