Hematite Iron Ore is considered a highly valuable mineral as it forms the most abundant ore of iron. Hematite Iron Ore is an extremely important factor in the global economy, making hematite a commonly used source. Hematite Iron Ore can be distinguished by its physical characteristics, mainly its dark, black colour and red powder. Its tabular crystals are often grouped into aggregates or form round, bulbous shapes.
When Hematite Iron Ore is heated, it becomes extremely magnetic. It can be found in varying concentrations in metamorphic rocks. There are different varieties of hematite :
- Kidney Ore : Dull with a brownish red colour, kidney ore is hematite in a fibrous or columnar form.
- Specular : Hematite is distinguished as specular when there are glistening, metallic grains present in the aggregate.
- Oolitic Ore : Consists of compacted spherical grains with red colouring.
- Red Ocher : Red hematite with earthy texture. Mixed with impurities such as clay.
Iron ore is used primarily to make steel products, of which the world has only found more uses for in the past one hundred years. As such, the world's demand for iron ore will not slow down. It is said that 95 per cent to 98 per cent of extracted iron goes straight into steel products each year. This steel is used in a wide range of industries from automobiles, machinery, structural engineering and large ships right down to more domestic uses such as culinary equipment and stainless steel products used to make cutlery and jewelry.