The black-sand beaches on the western side of the North Island are rich in titanomagnetite – a magnetic variety of iron oxide that also contains some titanium. The grains of titanomagnetite are strongly attracted to the poles of a magnet, as the picture shows. Large magnets are used as part of the industrial process to extract titanomagnetite grains from non-magnetic material, which is returned to the beach.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Alastair McLean
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