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11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Iron is one of the most important metals in industries today, so here we will see which the biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017 are.

Iron ores are all those rocks and minerals from which iron can be extracted. Iron ore deposits are commonly occurring in sedimentary rocks of about 1.8 billion years of age. Iron is usually occurring in the form of oxides, and the two main minerals in these rocks are iron oxides hematite and magnetite. Suitable ores for exploitation of iron (used for pig iron and steel) are those ores containing 58-65% of iron. A lot of other elements used in industry occur naturally associated with iron ores, one of them being manganese for example, which is one of the most widespread elements in the Earth’s crust. The largest producer of manganese in the world is South Africa, followed by Ukraine. Since we are here, you might also take a look at 10 Biggest Gold  Mining Companies in the World. But let’s get back on iron ore now.

bogdanhoda/Shutterstock.com

bogdanhoda/Shutterstock.com

In this article, we will see the biggest iron ore producers in the world but let’s first see which continent is the leading producer of iron ore in the world is. Since China, followed by Australia and India, produces the most iron ore in the world, we can say that Asian continent is the leading in this field. India, for example, has several states and provinces of iron ore production. Largest producer of iron ore in India is Orissa (34% of whole Indian production), followed by Karnataka (22%) and Chhattisgarh (15%). But curiously, as you will see, China is not on our list of the biggest iron ore producers in the world for several reasons. The first one is that even though there is an abundance of iron ore deposits in China, most of it is low-quality iron ore, containing only around 20% of iron (compared to what we earlier noted, that the optimal percentage of iron in the ore is 58-65%). The second reason is that we could not find reliable and transparent information on the annual or quarterly production of iron ore in any of Chinese mining companies.

Australia, on the other hand is the leading in the amount of iron ore reserves by country (iron ore reserves, as well as any reserves, are “naturally occurring solid, liquid, or gaseous material in or on the Earth’s crust in such form and amount that economic extraction of a commodity from the concentration is currently or potentially feasible”), and among others at the top are Brazil and South Africa. Australia is also the largest producer of high grade iron ore in the world, having very rich mines in high grade iron ores. That is namely Pilbara region, where very rich in iron hematite ore is mined. Pilbara hematite ore is known as ”direct shipping ore” since it contains very high iron levels (56-64% in this case), and it only passes the crushing, screening and blending processes before being shipped. From these top countries in iron ore production (and more about this you can also read from 8 Countries that Produce the Most Iron in the World), iron ore is being distributed throughout the world. Picture of iron ore consumption by country is somewhat different compared to the top iron ore producing countries. Iron ore in these countries is mostly used for steel production, and those top steel-consuming countries (based on 2013 figures) are China, Japan, USA, India, Russia, South Korea, Germany, Turkey in this order. The top 15 countries that import the most iron ore are actually purchasing 94% of all imports!

For our research on the biggest iron ore producers in 2017, we have gone through the websites providing information on mining news and trends. Among these were Steel 360, Iron Investing News, The Motley Fool, Investopedia, Mining and Mining Technology. We have then ranked the companies according to iron ore production in first, second and/or third quarter of 2017 in metric tons. We ranked companies according to only one-quarter figures, but we had put more when the information was available, just to give the insight in particular company’s development.

And in the end, before we proceed on our list of biggest iron ore produces in the world, let’s see the distribution of iron ore in the world map first, that we have found reading one interesting article on this topic. Now, although we have seen which country is the largest producer of iron ore in the world, let’s proceed down on our list to see which the biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017 are:

11. Atlas Iron

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 2,756,531 Mt

third quarter: 2,962,412 Mt

Atlas Iron is Australian mining company headquartered in Perth, and operating mostly in Pilbara region. Pilbara region is known as Australia’s richest area with iron ore, and 95% of Australian iron is mined there. Atlas Iron is the second largest iron ore producer in Australia.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Mark Agnor/Shutterstock.com

10. Metinvest

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 6,969 Mt

Metinvest is a relatively recently founded (in 2006) Ukrainian steel and mining company. It is among the top 50 largest steel companies in the world. Apart from iron ore, Metinvest produces steel plates, track materials, tubular products, etc.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

9. Cleveland Cliffs Inc.

Iron ore production 2017:

third quarter: 7,763 Mt

Cleveland Cliffs, formerly known as Cliffs Natural Resources, is the biggest producer of iron ore pellets in the USA, and also one of the biggest iron ore producers in 2017. They are operating in several mines in Michigan and Minnesota. Iron ore production of Cleveland Cliffs is rising, as seen in the figure of 26% increase of third quarter this year compared to the same quarter of 2016.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

8. Metalloinvest

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 10,1 Mt

third quarter: 10 Mt

Metalloinvest is s Russian mining company and one of the biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017. According to their own words, the company is the second largest company of iron ore reserves by size, with 14.2 billion tons of iron ore which is enough for another 140 years of mining. Import of Metalloinvest’s iron ore to Europe increased as much as 71% after the first quarter of 2017.

 

7. ArcelorMittal

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 14,7 Mt

third quarter: 14,2 Mt

Up next on our list of biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017 is ArcelorMittal which is a multinational steel company headquartered in Luxemburg, and operating in about 60 countries. Their main occupation is steel production, where they are leading in the world, and other branches involved are mining and research and development. Being one of the biggest producers of iron ore in the world, they have mines in Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Mexico, US, Ukraine, Brazil, and Canada.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

6. Anglo American

Iron ore production 2017:

third quarter: 15,7 Mt

Anglo American ranks 6th on our list of biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017. It is a multinational company headquartered in London, England, founded in 1917, now operating in South Africa, South America, and Australia. Apart from iron ore, Anglo American is in business with diamonds, copper, platinum, coal, manganese, and nickel. Main iron ore mines of Anglo American are stationed in South Africa and Brazil.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

5. National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC)

Iron ore production 2017:

up to November 2017: 20.86 Mt

NDMC is Indian mining company owned by Indian Government founded in 1958. It is India’s biggest iron ore producer and one of the biggest iron ore producers in the world as well. Apart from iron ore business, they also extract copper, limestone, dolomite, bentonite, diamonds, etc., which are being extracted from four mines in India.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

4. Fortescue Metals Group (FMG)

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 44.7 Mt

third quarter:  50.1 Mt

We are continuing our list of biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017 with FMG, which is the Australian company and one of the most important in iron ore business globally. It was founded in 2003, working in Pilbara mines which are one of the most significant mines concerning iron exploitation. Apart from being one of the biggest iron ore producers in the world, FMG was also one of the lowest cost iron ore suppliers in 2016. They are one of the most important iron ore suppliers to China, the country with the most iron ore demands.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

3. BHP Billiton

Iron ore production 2017:

first quarter: 55.6 Mt

Even though iron ore production of BHP Billiton company fell by 3% in first quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter last year, this company is still among the top biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017. BHP Billiton is Anglo-Australian company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and operating in several countries such as Brazil, Algeria, Chile, Mexico, Peru, etc.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Yermolov/Shutterstock.com

2. Rio Tinto

Iron ore production 2017:

third quarter: 85 Mt

Rio Tinto ranks second on our list of biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017. It is a large multinational mining corporation. It is also a corporation with very long tradition: it was founded in 1873. They operate in 35 countries including Brazil, Australia, Serbia, Iceland, Singapore, etc. Their four main product groups consist of Aluminum, Copper & Diamonds, Energy & Minerals, and Iron ore. Main metal mining exploitation is oriented towards iron, aluminum, and copper. Iron ore production in third quarter of 2017 was 4% higher than the production of the same quarter of previous year.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

1. Vale

Iron ore production 2017:

second quarter: 91,8 Mt

Multinational mining company Vale stationed in Brazilian is the number one on our list of biggest iron ore producers in the world in 2017. Apart from iron, Vale is one of the world’s leading nickel producers. Apart from iron and copper Vale produces coal, copper, and manganese. Iron ore production in the second quarter this year was 5.8% higher than in second quarter in 2016.

11 Biggest Iron Ore Producers in the World in 2017

Pixabay/Public Domain

 

 

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