Iron Ore is a rock containing iron-rich compounds and forms the basic raw material in the manufacture of steel and iron products. There are many varieties of iron ore – eg: hematite and magnetite – mined throughout the world and shipped, especially in large vessels, to industrial regions worldwide in the form oi fines (dust) or in lumps; can be very dusty or, alternatively, attract moisture up to 16% of its dry weight. The export trade is dominated by Australia and Brazil, whilst the largest importers are China, Japan and the EU countries, although there are many smaller exporters and importers engaged in this large market handling considerable quantities and employing panamax sized vessels or above. In order to ship more concentrated product and to avoid the unnecessary carriage of waste material, there are various methods of partly refining iron-ore. Each of these partly processed products has its own transport difficulties and each requires careful and specialised handling.
- Bulk Iron Ore Stowage Factor 11/15