Give an account of the major Iron Ore producing regions / countries of the world.
Commercial production comes from four types of ores viz. haematite, magnetite, limonite and siderite. The leading producers of iron ore in the world are China, Brazil, Australia, India and Russia. Besides these leading producers, Ukraine, Liberia, Sudan, Canada, France, and Venezuela are also important iron ore producers.
Before its disintegration the former USSR had been the leading iron ore producing country since 1950s. More than half the production of this country came from Krivoy Rog area on the Dneiper River in Ukraine (now an independent country). The second major producing area of this country was the Kursk region lying to the north roughly half way between Krivoy Rog and Moscow. The third major region has been the Urals region stretching from Serov and Nizhiny Tagil south to Magnitogorsk.
North American Region
US had been the second largest producer of iron ore up to early 1970s. By 1985 however, China, Brazil and Australia had started producing more iron ore than this country. The most important iron ore producing region of U.S. is the Lake Superior Region and Mesabi Range in northern Minnesota is the most important range in this region. In early 1980s this region accounted for over 90 per cent of the national production. In Canada, very good quality ore is found in Ungava in Labrador and another important area is Belle Island in New Foundland.
Lorraine region forms the most important iron ore producing area in Europe and Cleveland region is most important in U.K. Other important areas in Europe include the Spanish ores found around the rim of the Spanish Peninsula, the Kiruna deposits in northern part of Sweden and Siegerland Valley in Germany. Sweden is an important exporter of iron ore.
Ranking second in iron ore production in the world Brazil dominates the production in the continent of South America. This country has the world’s largest high-grade ore deposits in the Carajas region.
China, the leading iron producing country today, has large reserves in several parts. The most important deposits are in the lower Yangtze Valley, the Shandong Plateau and Manchuria. India is the fourth largest producer of iron ore and has large deposits. Most important of the deposits are in Goa, M.P., Orissa, Bihar and Karnataka. These states are also the leading producers of iron ore in the country.
It has emerged as a major producer of iron ore since 1980s. It has large deposits at Iron Knob, Yempi Sound, and Paraburdoo. The Australian production is dominated by Pilbara region in Western Australia.