Are there different types of iron ore?
The two most common iron ores mined today are hematite and magnetite.
Hematite (left image) is the most common iron ore mined globally. The iron oxide found within the ore is Fe₂O₃ and is regarded as a ferric oxide. This iron ore is reddish in colour and has an iron content of 69.9%. The iron ore is processed by means of crushing, processing and grinding to produce hematite lumps and fines.
Magnetite (right image) is also found in abundance globally. The iron content in its natural form is low, between 25-40%, but after further treatments, the iron content can reach levels of 72.4%. The iron oxide formula is Fe3O4, black and brownish in colour and is ferrimagnetic. The iron ore requires more treatment than that of hematite, but the resultant product produced has a higher iron content and fewer impurities. The ore is subjected to further processing through magnetic separation and concentrate production. This increases the iron content due to the removal of impurities.