Iron Ore: Mine Production, by country
in million metric tons
South AfricaSouth Africa76
U.S.United States of America46
Other countries59
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2022
  • Published: Jan 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Australia leads in iron ore production

Australia stands out with a production of 880 million metric tons of iron ore, significantly surpassing Brazil, the second-highest producer, which produced 410 million metric tons.

Top five countries dominate the production

The top five countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, India, and Russia, collectively account for 2,050 million metric tons of iron ore production, which is the majority of the global output.

Latin America's varied production scale

Brazil leads in Latin America with 410 million metric tons, while other countries in the region like Peru and Chile have much smaller outputs of 17 million metric tons and 16 million metric tons respectively.

Consistency in lower production range

Countries like Iran, Kazakhstan, and Canada have relatively close production figures, ranging from 58 to 75 million metric tons, highlighting a mid-tier group of producers.

Smallest producers contribute valuable output

The smallest producers, including countries like Mauritania and Mexico, still contribute significantly with productions of 13 million metric tons and 11 million metric tons respectively, underlining the importance of smaller-scale mining operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country leads in global iron ore production?

Australia leads the global iron ore production with a total of 880 million metric tons.

What is the combined iron ore production of the top four countries?

Australia, Brazil, China, and India collectively produce 1,960 million metric tons of iron ore.

What is the combined iron ore production of China and India?

China and India together contribute 670 million metric tons to the global iron ore production.

Terms and Definitions

Iron ore is a natural mineral deposit found beneath the earth's surface. Once extracted, it is a primary resource used in the production of iron, which is a key ingredient in the production of steel.

A mine refers to an excavation site or pit from which minerals, such as iron ore, are extracted. Mines can be open (open-pit mining) or underground, depending on the geographical location of the ore deposits.

An iron ore mine is a specific type of mine where iron ore is extracted. These mines can be found in various parts of the world and their locations are typically determined by where significant iron ore deposits are situated beneath the earth's surface.

Mine production refers to the complete lifecycle of mining, from exploration and extraction to processing and marketing of the mined ore or minerals. For iron ore mine production, this includes the mining of iron ore, its processing into a usable state, and its subsequent sale.

Iron ore extraction is the process by which iron ore is removed from the earth. This process involves drilling, blasting and, in some cases, the use of explosives to break apart the earth and rock surrounding the iron ore so it can be excavated.

Production rate is a measure of the amount of iron ore produced over a specific period of time. In mining, this term is used to define the productivity or efficiency of a mine. This concept is often measured in tons produced per day, week, or year.

Iron ore processing refers to the series of steps through which the extracted iron ore goes to be purified and converted into a usable iron deposit. This usually involves crushing, grinding, ore beneficiation (to improve its chemical or physical properties), and finally, smelting to extract pure iron.

Iron ore reserves refer to the amount of extractable iron ore present in a particular geographic location. It is estimated based on geological surveys and serves as a measure of the potential lifespan of an iron ore mine.

The iron and steel industry is the economic sector dedicated to the production of iron and its subsequent use in the manufacture of steel. Iron ore from mines is a key raw material in this industry. The size and scale of this industry is determined in large part by the demand for steel in various sectors such as construction, infrastructure, and manufacturing.
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