Iron Ore Mining in Australia




One of the largest resources of iron ore is Australia. Nearly 93% of identified resources occur in Western Australia, including almost 80% in the Hamersley Province, one of the world's major iron ore provinces.
Totalled 28 billion tones resources demonstrated in 2009 Australia's economic and ranked it as a second (with 17%) behind the Ukraine (18%).
All the major iron ore mines in Australian are open cut as with most iron ore mines throughout the world. The ores from the major mines in Western Australia's Pilbara region are hauled from working faces to crushing and screening plants using trucks that can carry over 300 tonnes. Then the ore is transported for further treatment and blending to port sites in trains consisting of up to three locomotives and over 250 wagons. These trains are having over 2 kilometers long and contain loads in excess of 25,000 tonnes.
There are other iron ore deposits which are mind on a smaller scale (about 50,000 - 100,000 tonnes a year). They are basically using for other objectives such as cement manufacture, fluxing and the manufacture of pigments, coal washing, and gas and water purification. Some of these operations are Tallawang in New South Wales and Kara in Tasmania.
In 2009 Western Australia produced 97% of the total production. Australia produced 394 million tonnes of iron ore of which 362 million tonnes was exported valued at $30 billion in 2009. Concentration includes all the processes that will increase the iron element of an ore by removing impurities. Beneficiation, a slightly broader term, includes these processes as well as those that make an ore more usable by improving its physical properties (e.g. pelletizing and sintering). Many of the iron ore mines use some form of beneficiation to improve the grade and properties of their products. The operation of the concentrators has also increased the iron ore resources available at these mines.