Iron Ore

  • Iron ore is Australia’s largest export commodity and is vital to global development as well as our economy.
  • Australia is the largest exporter of iron ore in the world, with exports worth around $63 billion a year.
  • The sector is a major employer in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, contributing to an estimated regional gross product of $28 billion a year in towns including Karratha, Port Hedland, Onslow, Tom Price, Newman and Wickham.
  • 1400 kilograms of iron ore and 800 kilograms of metallurgical coal is needed to produce 1000 kilograms of crude steel.

Iron ore is a key component of steel production, in addition to metallurgical coal . Other additives such as nickel , zinc , chromium and manganese can be added as alloys to enhance the properties of steel products to suit their end use.

Steel products are essential across the world in the manufacturing of building materials, infrastructure, transportation and  home appliances.

Australia produces and exports good quality iron ore known as direct shipping quality hematite ore. We also produce lower iron ore grades such as magnetite ore, which require further processing to increase its quality.

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of iron ore, accounting for over 50 per cent of world trade in iron ore, and is viewed as a reliable and secure supplier of iron ore. The majority of iron ore in Australia is produced in Western Australia and exported to North Asia (China, Japan and South Korea). Smaller amounts are also produced in South Australia and Tasmania.

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