February 2017
Volume 69    Issue 2

Global iron ore production data; Clarification of reporting from the USGS

Mining Engineering , 2017, Vol. 69, No. 2, pp. 20-20


Iron ore is the source of primary iron for the world’s iron and steel industries. Its production can be reported as crude ore, usable ore or iron content of ore. Historically, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) used reported crude ore production from China in tabulations of world iron ore production while other countries have typically reported their production in terms of usable iron ore. When China’s crude ore production was tabulated with usable ore production from other countries, world iron ore production totals have been overestimated by 10 percent to a high of 32 percent (Figs. 1, 2). The significant increase in iron ore production in China from 2000 through 2015 amplified the overestimation resulting from tabulating inconsistent forms of the material. Sources of data for usable iron ore production in China, beginning in 2000, have become available. This article documents the revision of world iron ore production totals and augments historical China iron ore production figures to show both crude and usable ore values.  

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