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Iron Ore Mining

Steel production could not exist without iron ore. Open-pit mining techniques are commonly used to extract iron ore, involving the use of heavy machineries to excavate a vertical pit above a deposit.

However, mining iron ore is an energy intensive process that requires the use of blasting and drilling. As a result, it has many negative impacts on the environment, from water contamination and wildlife destruction to air pollution.

Key fact: World resources of crude iron ore are estimated to exceed 800 billion tons, containing more than 230 billion tons of iron

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental concerns linked to iron ore mining. This is because of the combustion-related emissions caused by equipment, including products like nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide. In fact, the global iron and steel industry accounts for approximately 5% of total global CO2 emissions.

Key fact: The mean life-cycle GHG emissions for Chinese iron ore production are around 270 kg CO2e/tonne

Iron ore is an essential resource that humanity relies on, so it’s crucial for oil and gas companies to strategise ways to decarbonise operations while maintaining production.

Benefits

  • Produces iron and steel

  • Provides essential resources

  • Steel is 100% recyclable

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