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Mining

Australia is an ideal location for manufacturing iron and steel, being one of the few countries in the world with large, high quality deposits of the key steelmaking raw materials. Ore bodies are found in many parts of the world but their iron content varies considerably, ranging from less than 30% in parts of Europe and China to more than 60% in Australia and Brazil. Higher iron content ores require less energy per iron unit to transport, generate lower volumes of slag in the smelting process, and consequently are in high demand.

The principal mining outputs for steel production are iron ore, metallurgical coal, manganese ore and limestone. In addition, non coking coals are used as blast furnace and EAF injectants.

Australia is well endowed with high quality hematite ore. There is an emerging magnetite ore industry.

Major mining sites

Although mined zinc ore inputs are relatively low tonnage, they are significant in the sense that coated steels are the major application of zinc.

In the mining of steelmaking raw materials, Australia is overwhelmingly an export producer, with more than 90% of iron ore, metallurgical coal, manganese ore and zinc being exported.

Material and volume
 

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