IRON ORE (HEMATITE)
About 5% of the earth’s crust constitutes of Iron (Fe). One of the 4th most abundant element after other elements such as oxygen, silicon, and aluminium. And also one of the most widely distributed metal.
Only in the 14th century, Iron become widespread, a time when smelting furnaces began to replace forges. From then on for more than 3,000 years, Iron has become an essential element, and people found new ways to use this Element to its fullest advantage.
Iron is economically extracted from Iron Ores by various mining companies, for instance, Wasit Group. About 98% of iron ore production is utilized to make iron in the form of steel. Companies like this extract the iron that is usually discovered in the form of hematite (Fe2O3) or magnetite (Fe3O4).
OCCURRENCE OF IRON
Most iron ores mined now include the iron oxide minerals such as hematite, Fe2O3 (70% Fe); magnetite, Fe3O4 (72% Fe), (63% Fe); limonite, goethite, Fe2O3s H2O and a mixture of hydrated iron oxides (up to 60% Fe).
The world’s leading iron ore sources are found in iron-rich sedimentary rocks. In many instances, they are mined as iron ores. They are the root rocks for most of the great high-grade concentrations of iron ore currently mined everywhere in the world.
MINING OF IRON- Wasit Group
As with most iron ore mines around the world, all the major iron ore mines are open cut. The mining factories are hauled from working faces to crushing and screening plants using trucks that can carry over 300 tons. These ores are then sent to mining plants for more treatment and blending to port sites in one of the means of transportation.
USES OF IRON
· Although iron in cast form has many particular purposes (e.g. pipes, fittings, engine blocks), its primary purpose is to make steel. Steel is strong, durable and versatile. The many several kinds of steel consist almost entirely of iron, along with small quantities of carbon and other metals to make different alloys.
· Iron is one of the most useful elements that used 20 times more than all other metals put together.
· As pure iron is considerably soft, adding a small amount of carbon makes it significantly harder and stronger.
· Steel’s desirable properties and its comparatively low cost make it the chief structural metal in engineering and building projects.
· Most of the extra elements in steel are added deliberately in the steelmaking process. By varying the proportions of these other elements; it is possible to make steels suitable for a great variety of uses.
· About 60% of iron and steel are used in construction and transportation, 20% in machinery manufacture, and rest of the remains in the manufacturing of cans and containers, which are utilized in the oil and gas industries, and in several appliances and other equipment.