Ferric and Ferrous Oxides, Oxide Mineral Class

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Physical/Chemical Properties

Chemical Classification oxide

Color Black


LusterMetallic to submetallic



Mohs Hardness5.5 to 6.5

Specific Gravity5.2

Diagnostic PropertiesStrongly magnetic, color, streak, octahedral crystal habit

Chemical CompositionFe3O4

Crystal SystemIsometric

Usesan ore of iron

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Mining Magnetite

  • Magnetite is sometimes found in large quantities in beach sand
Often mined as an ore of iron

    • Magnetite is mined as part of the usual
      mining process at EHM as it makes up a
        large percentage of the existing orebody.

        Processing Magnetite

        The magnetite extraction plant comprises of five main circuits with different functions,

        including the:

        • Rougher magnetic separator circuit
        • Primary cyclone cluster
        • Regrind mill circuit
        • Cleaner magnetic separator circuit
        • Dewatering circuit

        Marketing / Uses

        Magnetite is sold either to large companies or to inividual persons.

        • Magnetite's cost depends on the type and the place of origin.
        Most of the magnetite mined is used as an ore of iron. Iron liberated from the ore is usually used to make iron, steel and other alloys.

        • Powdered magnetite is often mixed with a liquid for used as a heavy media for specific gravity separations. Much of the high sulfur coal that is mined is floated across a slurry of magnetite. Clean coal particles float and those contaminated with pyrite (a sulfide mineral with a high specific gravity) sink into the high-density slurry.

        • ~ $6/lbs

        Environmental Impacts/ How To Improve

        Magnetite is most Commonly mined on beaches where it is most abundant.

        • This Causes houses to crumble
        • Harvesting is more difficult
        • Catch from local oceans is not as great
        How To Improve

        • Use abandoned beaches
        • Find other places to mine magnetite
        • Use other precautions to prevent erosion
        • Compensate for erosion effects

        David Gomez

        Block 4/APES