Earth has been blessed with a lot of metals and non-metals that are being used by humans for thousands of years. One of the earliest discovered metals is iron or iron ore, dating back to 3500 BC. It is denoted by the chemical symbol Fe. It is not very rare and expensive as compared to gold and diamond, but it has its unique importance and usage in the modern world.
It has different metallic colors in its early stages like yellow, orange, rusty-red, dark Grey, and deep purple, but when it is purified it changes itself into one single color. It is the main component in the manufacturing of steel; that’s why it has become very popular and useful.
Below is the list of the top ten iron-producing countries in the world that are blessed to have this useful natural resource.
China tops the list by producing around 15,00,000 thousand tonnes of iron annually. China is not only the biggest producer of iron ore but also the largest consumer, leading to the development of the world’s largest steel industry. After four consecutive years of decline, China’s production in 2002 witnessed an increase of 108 Metric Tonnes.
Chinese demand for its ore either imported or domestically manufactured is the key determinant of the forecast for the global iron ore market in the short run. China is also the greatest importer of iron ore in the world.
Australia produces around 660,000 tonnes of iron annually. Iron ore mining in Australia, accounts for 47 percent of the total value of the state’s resorts, with a value of $33.56 billion.
Almost Seventy percent of Australia’s production is exported to China, followed by Japan and South Korea. The government of Australia receives around $3.9 billion in royalties from iron ore mining in the country.
Brazil is considered the third-largest iron producer in the world. It is the biggest transport product in Brazil. The major iron mines are Vila Nova with reserves of 9187000 tons. In the state of Minas Gerais is the Iron Quadrangle that handles the largest iron production in Brazil. The mines of the Carajas province of Brazil are considered to be overwhelmingly filled with this natural resource.
Canada by far is the fourth largest iron producer in the world. The iron ore company of Canada deals with the manufacturing and processing along with the extraction.
The largest extraction place is the Labrador through a gigantic formation of a mountainous range between Labrador and Quebec. These places hold all of Canada’s production. The extraction on mine was started in 1954 while it was discovered in 1892.
Ukraine has large reserves of iron which are metamorphic ores located in the Ukrainian crystalline shield. Ukraine's total reserves are estimated to be 27.4 billion tons. The Iron industry is the main contribution to Ukraine’s economy. These reserves are considered sufficient for the next hundred years. most mines are deep, open pits and underground mines from where metal is difficult to be extracted.
The total iron reserves in India are 12, million tons. The high-grade resources are very limited, and there is a majority of poor quality iron, and the good quality is placed in the Bailadila sector of Chattisgarh and a small amount in Karnataka, Jharkhand, Orissa, Goa, and Madhya Pradesh.
95% of it is extracted from these areas. At present 99% of it is produced by the five states. India is also the fifth largest exporter in the world. India mostly exports to countries like Japan, Korea, and a few others.
Iran also shares the list as the major producer of iron. It has a total output of 33 million tons. In 2012, Iran opened a plant in Horizon. Gol for iron mine is the largest of its kind in Iran Which contributes to 80% of total Iranian production. Chadormalu extraction company is the largest in Iran. The new plant in Sirjan produces five million tons of its production.
Kazakhstan also has immense reserves estimated to be 12.5 billion tons of which 40% is considered to be of export quality. The iron reserves contain 39% of total pure iron. Kazakhstan has three major extraction companies out of which the Sokolov Sarbaiiron production association contributes 80% of the extraction. Thus, Kazakhstan’s economy is highly dependent on its production and other mineral production.
Russia is ranked at ninth position in the list of top ten iron-producing countries. The mining industry of Russia is the largest in the world. Steel production companies own the Russian deposits. The Russian mines are located in distant areas.
The major portion of its deposits is located in the Kursk magnetic anomaly and the left small deposits are located in the Ural mountains. Its ore output in 2010 was in the range of 100 to 105 million tons, and this stock is expected to increase up to 2020. The low-grade iron is not export quality but can be useful for domestic purposes.
10. SOUTH AFRICA:
South Africa is the tenth-largest iron producer in the world. According to reports South Africa produced 67 million metric tons in 2013. Most of its part is located in the areas of the North Cape near Kalahari Manganese Field.
The Sishen mine in the Cape is the largest deposit in South Africa. Its ore plants are also located in the areas of Thabazimbi and Limpopo province.
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