Global Slice 🌍: Iron



[ The below is from 10 minerals.docx ]


The total reserves of crude iron ore worldwide were estimated to be approximately 180 billion metric tons in 2020. The total iron content of that amount is estimated to be some 84 billion tonns. 4.6 billion South Africa
Australia includes iron ore and crude iron, two minerals whose production has been trending in opposite direction. Global iron ore production has increased from 2.9 billion tonnes in 2012 to 3.3 billion tonnes in 2016, peaking at 3.38 billion in 2014. Crude iron production, however, has consistently declined from 1.24 billion tonnes in 2013 to 1.23 billion tonnes in 2016, peaking, like iron ore, in 2014 at 1.26 billion tonnes. The World Coal Association (2016 data)

Coal, iron and bauxite top list of most-mined minerals in the world


95% of it in South Africa (63,000)
Also in Russia 3,200 – 3,900
Zimbabwe 1,200 tonns
Canada 310
US 0.3
170 1) South Africa: 110 (2018) (In August 2018, Impala Platinum, one of the leading platinum miners in the world, announced plans to close five shafts at the Impala Rustenburg mine. A significant decline in the US$ platinum price along with sustained high mining-cost inflation was cited as the reason for the restructuring. South Africa is home to the Bushveld Complex, which is considered to be the largest resource for PGMs in the world.

2) Russia: 21 (Russia is the second-largest producer of platinum in the world. A bulk of Russia’s production of PGMs comes from Norilsk Nickel’s operations, which are primarily based on the Taymyr Peninsula in East Siberia, and those located on the Kola Peninsula. The Norilsk mining centre in the Russian High Arctic is the main producer of the commodities in the country. Owned 100% by Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), the Norilsk mining centre is considered to be the world’s largest producer of palladium. In 2018, Nornickel entered into a partnership with Russian Platinum to establish a 50:50 joint venture (JV) to develop disseminated ore deposits located in the Norilsk Industrial District. The JV has a target of producing nearly 70-100 tonnes of PGMs annually from Nornickel’s Maslovskoe deposit and Russian Platinum’s South flank of Norilsk-1 and Bokoni Chernogorskoe deposits).

3) Zimbabwe: 14 (The country’s major platinum mines are the Mimosa mine, Ngezi mine, and the Unki mine. The Mimosa mine is located in the Midlands Province and is owned by Mimosa Investments, a JV between Implats and Aquarius Platinum. The Ngezi mine is one of the largest resources of platinum in Southern Africa. This Zimbabwean platinum mine is owned by Zimplats and Impala Platinum. The Unki mine is located in central Zimbabwe in the Midlands Province. It is owned by Anglo American Platinum.

4) Canada: 9.5 (A significant part of platinum mined in Canada is a by-product of nickel mining. Canada exports the majority of its output to the US. Ontario’s Sudbury Basin hosts a majority of the country’s platinum producing mines. Raglan nickel mine in Quebec and the Lac des Iles mine in Western Ontario are the other platinum-producing sites. The country’s River Valley in Alberta is the largest undeveloped primary PGM resource. In June 2019, Sibanye-Stillwater signed an acquisition agreement with Generation Mining (Gen Mining) for the development of the PGM-copper Marathon project in Canada. The deposit is located 10km north of the town of Marathon, Ontario, and on the eastern margin of the Coldwell Complex, which is a proterozoic layered intrusion. The proposed project includes three open pits, an ore processing plant, tailings and mine rock storage facilities, and a 7km power transmission line. The mine will have a production capacity of approximately 22,000 tonnes per day. In August 2019, Canada-based mining company North American Palladium (NAP) announced the acquisition of a 51% stake in the Sunday Lake Project from Impala Platinum (Implats). The project is located 25km north of Thunder Bay in Jacques Township, and approximately 60km south of NAP’s Lac des Iles Mine operations (LDI).

5) USA: 4.1
The US is the fifth largest platinum producer in the world, with a production of 3.6mt in 2018. The country owns two platinum producing mines including the Stillwater Mine, located in Nye, Montana, and the East Boulder Mine, which is located by Big Timber, Montana.

The Stillwater platinum/palladium mine is in the Beartooth Mountains, 130km southwest of Billings, Montana. Production at the Stillwater mine commenced in 1986. Located 20km west of Stillwater, the East Boulder project began commercial production in 2002. In December 2016, South Africa’s Sibanye Gold agreed to acquire the Stillwater Mining Company which owns the Stillwater Mine and East Boulder Mine, for $2.2bn. The current mineral reserves estimated to sustain the Stillwater West section until 2044 and that of the East Boulder mine until 2056.

Iron Production

Total iron mined in 2017 was … tonnes. Divided equally between all 7.5 billion people, this would be … per person; divided between 10 million, …; divided between 12.5 billion, ….

The top 10 producing countries are listed and charted below. Click the “▶Remaining countries” legend under the chart to see the others.

▶Remaining countries
Data as above, but for the remaining countries.