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The primary use of iron ore (98%) is to make steel. The remaining 2% is used in various other applications such as:

  • Powdered iron, for certain types of steels, magnets, auto parts and catalysts
  • Radioactive iron (iron 59), for medicine and as a tracer element in biochemical and metallurgical research
  • Iron blue, in paints, printing ink, plastics, cosmetics (e.g., eye shadow), artist colours, laundry blue, paper dyeing, fertilizer, baked enamel finishes on vehicles and appliances, and industrial finishes
  • Black iron oxide, as a pigment in polishing compounds, metallurgy, medicine, magnetic inks, and ferrites for the electronics industry