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.
magnetite iron ore Minerals composed of iron oxides are the main source for iron mining. Pure metallic iron is too rare within the Earth's crust to act as the main supply for iron mining companies.
There are two popular types of mineral form iron oxides used to excavate iron. These ores are hematite and magnetite. A third common iron ore is known as taconite, which is a variant of magnetite ores.
Taconites are a type of sedimentary rock containing fine traces of magnetite, as well as quartz, chert and carbonate. Taconites are occasionally also described as banded iron formations.
Banded iron formations, or BIFs, are also a type of sedimentary rock from which iron is derived. BIFs are known to be millions of years old, with data illustrating these rocks to be part of the Proterozoic Eon. Both hematite and magnetite are commonly found within BIFs and are also interlaced with layers of an assortment of mineral quartz, such as chert and silica. BIFs are readily available around the world and are the first source of iron deposits within the iron mining industry.
Both hematite and magnetite ores have iron grades of approximately 70 per cent Fe. Prior to beneficiation processes, taconite ores only carry about a 30 per cent iron grade. Hematite ores are ideal due to the ease of excavation and separation from gangue, when compared to other iron ores.
Within the iron mining industry, hematite ores are often referred to as DSO, which stands for direct shipping ore. Hematites are given this title because in comparison to the other types of iron deposit, hematites provide a significantly more efficient mining and beneficiation procedure. Therefore, hematite ore forms are almost directly ready to be shipped to manufacturers once being excavated, hence the term DSO.
Magnetite and taconite ores experience a longer, more effortful separation process. To extract the desired materials from magnetite and taconite ores, the deposits must go through a process involving:
  • Crushing
  • Screening
  • Grinding
  • Magnetic Separation
  • Filtering
  • Drying
Depending on the desired outcome, some iron deposits may experience further separation processes, as seen with iron pellets.
Although magnetites and taconites require a more time consuming beneficiation process, and thereby require more money spent by the mining company, the final products have significantly fewer impurities than the products of hematite ores.
DSO's like hematite ores may be advantageous to mining companies as it saves time and money. However, hematite ores produce a high level of impurities that manufacturing companies must deal with. The receiving firms must provide the time and money to eliminate impurities, often by running blast furnaces for an extended period of time. Therefore, depending on the point of view, DSO's are an advantage while simultaneously being a disadvantage. Furthermore, while taconite ores may begin with poor iron grade levels, once enduring beneficiation, taconite products assume iron grade levels averaging 65 per cent Fe. Therefore, in place of immediacy, magnetite ores and taconite ores supply manufacturers with better quality iron products.
Hematite, magnetite, and taconite ores all result in products rich in iron grade levels. Depending on factors like time and money, each ore provide a variety of advantages and disadvantages.
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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.
iron mining
Processed iron ores create many products that serve practical, day-to-day functions. The most common iron ores used to manufacture commercial goods are hematite and magnetite.
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Rogue Iron Ore - Iron Exploration in Canada
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