Iron Ore are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. Ninety eight per cent of mined iron is used to make steel. Iron Ore is smelted and alloyed with metals like nickel, manganese and titanium which then goes on to produce different types of steel.
Economic growth in Asia Pacific economies has resulted in a big increases in world steel production. In 2011 Australia continued to be the worlds largest exporter of iron ore ahead of Brazil and India. In 2010 iron ore was the most valuable export overtaking metallurgical coal.
Rio Tinto and BHP are two of the worlds biggest exports of iron ore and they both have their key operations in Western Australia. In 2011-2012, the Western Australian Government earned over A$3.9 billion in royalties from the iron ore mining industry.