This is a list of countries by iron ore production based on U.S. Geological Survey data. The mine production estimates for China are estimated from the National Bureau of Statistics China's crude ore statistics, rather than usable ore as reported for the other countries.
Iron ore is the source of primary iron for the world's iron and steel industries. It is therefore essential for the production of steel, which in turn is essential to maintain a strong industrial base. Almost all (98%) iron ore is used in steelmaking. Iron ore is mined in about 50 countries.
Brazil is the third largest producer of iron ore producing 428 million tons in 2015 and 411 million tons in 2014. The 2015 output represents 12% of the world's production. Brazil has the second largest deposits of iron ore in the world. The mineral is mined mainly in Minas Gerais and Para states.
Although iron ore resources occur in all the Australian States and Territories, almost 90% of identified resources (totalling 54 billion tonnes) occur in Western Australia, including almost 80% in the Hamersley Province, one of the world's major iron ore provinces.
India is the fifth largest exporter of iron ore in the world. We export about 50 to 60 per cent of our total iron ore production to countries like Japan, Korea, European countries and lately to Gulf countries. Japan is the biggest buyer of Indian iron ore accounting for about three-fourths of our total exports.
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