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. Indeed, it has been argued that iron ore is "more integral to the global economy than any other commodity, except perhaps oil.”.
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The 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 , hematite , goethite , limonite or siderite . Hematite is also known as "natural ore", a name which refers to the early years of mining, when certain hematite ores containing up to 66% iron could be fed directly into iron-making blast furnaces.