Story: Iron and steel

Chemical composition of ironsands

New Zealand is the only country in the world to make steel from ironsands. Compared to overseas iron ore, New Zealand’s titanomagnetite sands provide raw material of relatively low grade, containing only 58–60% iron by weight after they have been concentrated. Magnetite is iron oxide with the composition Fe3O4; New Zealand titanomagnetite also contains small amounts of titanium, manganese, vanadium and other elements, as illustrated in this pie chart.

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Source: Denis Hogan and Bryce Williamson, eds, New Zealand is different: chemical milestones in New Zealand history. Christchurch: Clerestory, 1999, p. 261

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How to cite this page:

Fleur Templeton, 'Iron and steel - The steel industry', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 May 2022)

Story by Fleur Templeton, published 12 Jun 2006