Iron ores are natural mineral formation, accumulation of ferrous compounds from which it is possible to get metallic iron with economical benefit.
They distinguish the following types of industrial iron ores:
titanium-magnetite ores in ultrabasites and basites;
apatite-magnetite ores in carbonatites;
magnetite and magnetic magnetite ores in skarns;
magnetite-hematite ores in iron quartzites;
martite and martite-hydrohematite ores;
goethite-hydrogoethite in weathering crusts.
The product of iron ore companies is trading ore, it consists of concentrate and naturally rich ore (sinter and lump). They produce raw materials ready for smelting out of concentrate and agglomeration of ore: sinter and pellets.
For extraction of iron ore they use: development systems of ore and host rocks caving, clearance works, mining mechanization and auxiliary processes. Vibratory and self-propelled scoop-trams are used during output and delivery of ores, complexes of mining machines are used during sinking of horizontal workings, harvesters are used during sinking of vertical workings, machines for mechanized charging of wells are used for blasting.
The share of Russian iron ore is accounted for 18% of world reserves of iron. Russian iron ore industry ranks first in the world in proven reserves of iron ores. Nearly 59.3% of balance reserves of Russia are in the Central Federal District, where there is the world's largest iron pool called Kursk Magnetic Anomaly. In Russia iron ore is currently produced at 21 plants. As in previous years, there is a tendency of increasing the share of open-pit mining.