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Iron ore miners transport tons of rocks and material to foundries every day, where pure iron is extracted and eventually turned into steel. It’s impossible to find pure iron deep within the world’s mines, however, as this metal always exists as a compound. Two of the most commonly mined are hematite and magnetite.

Hematite: Red Iron
Hematite (Fe2O3) is one of the most precious sources for pure iron, with a yield of around 70 percent. Due to the rich iron content, it doesn’t take as much crushing and screening to derive pure iron from hematite. Although often found in hues of red, hematite can also appear in brown, black, and gray.