Iron making. Iron ore is mined in around 50 countries – the largest producers are Australia, Brazil and China. Around 98% of iron ore is used in steelmaking. During the ironmaking process, a blast furnace is fed with the iron ore, coke and small quantities of fluxes (minerals, such as limestone, which are used to collect impurities).
Iron ore is found in nature in the form of rocks, mixed with other elements. By means of various industrial processes incorporating cuttingedge technology, iron ore is processed and then sold to steel companies. The iron ore produced by Vale can be found in houses, cars and appliances.