What Is Involved in the Processing of Iron Ore?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

The processing of iron ore is a task that involves taking the raw ore and preparing it for use in the creation of a number of different iron products. There are actually several different processes that may be used to aid in this conversion of the raw ore into useful iron components. Most processes will involve some sort of crushing and grinding activity that results in small units that are easier to work with in terms of creating iron bars or even preparing the iron for smelting.

Raw ore deposits have to be crushed and processed.
Raw ore deposits have to be crushed and processed.

In most cases, the processing of iron ore will begin with some sort of crushing action. Different type of crushers are in common use today, including jaw crushers, impact crushers, hammer crushers, and cone crushers. Each of these types of crushing equipment are designed for use in specific situations involving working with iron ore. For example, hammer crushers are often used at mine sites when the yield from iron ore deposits is somewhat small.

Iron ore is smelted to produce usable iron.
Iron ore is smelted to produce usable iron.

After use of some form of crushing equipment, the processing of iron ore will usually involve grinding. Different types of grinding equipment produce everything from a fine dust to small pebbles, with the choice of grinder based on what type of further processing is involved to prepare the ore for its intended use. The grinding can sometimes occur at the site immediately after the crushing is finished, or take place in a processing plant in the event the yield from the excavation is more than can be managed with the smaller equipment designed for use at a mining site.

Once the crushing and grinding are complete, the processing of iron ore will often involve some sort of filtering action before the final product is created. Filtering equipment will help remove any other types of rocks or other impurities that were not screened out during the early processing efforts. The end result is a raw iron ore product that is ready for smelting and the manufacture of iron goods and products that can be used in a number of different applications.

The main goal for the processing of iron ore is to take the ore extracted during the mining effort, break the ore into usable units and then purify those units before the actual smelting begins. Doing so makes it easier to produce a higher grade of iron that in turn can be used to create materials for use in everything from manufacturing lawn furniture to cookware to building materials. Typically, whatever processing is done must comply with governmental regulations that set standards for the type of iron that may be used in the manufacture of specific types of goods, especially iron products used in the creation of machine components or in materials used for building construction.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

anon957931

That is so wrong they are frozen off.

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