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Iron Ore

Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4, 72.4% Fe), hematite (Fe
2O3, 69.9% Fe), goethite (FeO(OH), 62.9% Fe), limonite (FeO(OH)·n(H2O), 55% Fe) or siderite (FeCO3, 48.2% Fe).

Ores containing very high quantities of hematite or magnetite (greater than about 60% iron) are known as "natural ore" or "direct shipping ore", meaning they can be fed directly into iron-making blast furnaces. Iron ore is the raw material used to make pig iron, which is one of the main raw materials to make steel—98% of the mined iron ore is used to make steel.  

Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)

Direct reduced iron (DRI), also called sponge iron, is produced from the direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets, or fines) into iron by a reducing gas or elemental carbon produced from natural gas or coal. Many ores are suitable for direct reduction.

Direct reduction refers to solid-state processes which reduce iron oxides to metallic iron at temperatures below the melting point of iron. Reduced iron derives its name from these processes, one example being heating iron ore in a furnace at a high temperature of 800 to 1,200 °C (1,470 to 2,190 °F) in the presence of the reducing gas syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Sinter Feed

This is the most usual type of iron ore in the market. It is obtained at later stages of screening. In order to be fed into the blast furnace, the sinter feed must be agglomerated by and transformed into “sinter”

Vale Iron ore

Vale is the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world. It also produces manganese, ferroalloys, copper, bauxite, potash, kaolin, and cobalt, currently operating nine hydroelectricity plants, and a large network of railroads, ships, and ports used to transport its products.

Vale expects to extract 310 million tons of iron ore in 2022, 310-320 million tons in 2023, and 340-360 million tons in 2026.

The production of iron ore pellets in 2022 will be approximately 33 million tons. In 2023, the production of 36-40 million tons of iron ore pellets is forecast, in 2026 – 50-55 million tons, and 100 million tons from 2030.

The company also calculated its own iron ore mining costs, which are forecast at $19.5-20/t in 2022 and $20-21/t in 2023.

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