The blast furnace is a huge, steel stack lined with refractory brick, where iron ore, coke and limestone are dumped into the top, and preheated air is blown into the bottom. The raw materials require 6 to 8 hours to descend to the bottom of the furnace where they become the final product of liquid slag and liquid iron.
In 2016, we produced million tonnes of iron ore and million tonnes of coking coal, a form of carbonised coal burned in blast furnaces to melt iron. The steelmaking process starts with the processing of iron ore. The rock containing iron ore is ground and the ore is extracted using magnetic rollers.