Chrome Ore and Concentrate

This ore is principally a mixture of iron (sometimes magnesium) and chrome oxides, having chemical formula of (Fe, Mg) Cr2O4. This ore is considered as one of two most important resources of chrome. Ferrochrome (a homogeneous mixture of iron and chrome) and chrome are the two main products of chromite refining. In order to produce ferrochrome, chromite usually is reduced by metallothermic reaction with aluminum and/or silicon. While to produce chromium metal, chromite is roasted and leached separately before reduction.

About 50% of total global chromite reserves are belonged to South Africa and Kazakhstan. Total mine production of this ore has been estimated about 27 million tons in 2015, in which South Africa has been announced as the greatest producer, producing 15 million tons. Kazakhstan, Turkey and India were the next three biggest producers, fabricating 3.8, 3.6 and 3.5 million tons respectively.

Exploiting of chromite mines in Iran was begun since 1940 in Sabzevar region. First this ore was utilized for refractory bricks and potassium bicarbonate production and/or exportation to international markets. But nowadays this ore is crucially consumed for ferrochrome producing in Iran. Proven reserves of chromite are approximated 5 million tons, from which 70% is allocated in the south of Kerman province. Total nominal capacity of chromite production in Iran is 225 thousand tons, and more than 70% of that is being sold in international markets.

Turkey, as Iran’s most important competitor through its neighbors for chromite production, holds about 26 million tons of chromite reserves and its dominant production is carried out by small scale private producers. Iran hopes to raise its position in chromite production and exportation, by exploiting new mines of chromite on its biggest reserve in Faryab.

 
 

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