We provide iron-ore. Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron are extracted. The Iron ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in color from dark grey, bright yellow, deep purple, to rusty red. The iron itself is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3), goethite (FeO(OH)), limonite (FeO(OH).n(H2O)) or siderite (FeCO3). Iron ore is the source of primary iron for the world's iron and steel industries.
Ores carrying very high quantities of hematite or magnetite (greater than 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.
Iron ores consist of oxygen and iron atoms bonded together into molecules. To convert it to metallic iron it must be smelted or sent through a direct reduction process to remove the oxygen. Oxygen-iron bonds are strong, and to remove the iron from the oxygen, a stronger elemental bond must be presented to attach to the oxygen. Carbon is used because the strength of a carbon-oxygen bond is greater than that of the iron-oxygen bond, at high temperatures. Thus, the iron ore must be powdered and mixed with coke, to be burnt in the smelting process.