Iron is an abundant and a widely distributed element in the in the crust of the earth, constituting on an average ranging from 2 % to 3 % in sedimentary rocks to 8.5 % in basalt and gabbro. Its supply is essentially limitless in almost all regions of the world.
Iron ore was the third highest value metal mined in the United States, after gold and copper. Iron ore was mined from nine active mines and three reclamation operations in Michigan, Minnesota, and Utah. Most of the iron ore was mined in northern Minnesota39;s Mesabi Range. Net exports were 3.9 million tons.