Mining Intelligence: World’s top iron ore producers

Railroad transporting iron ore from Vale’s Carajás complex. Image courtesy of Vale.

After rallying to record highs in 2021, the price of iron ore, the critical ingredient used to make steel, steadied this year, hovering around the $130/tonne mark.

However, several factors, including China's attempt to boost the property and construction sectors, suggest a renewed iron ore price rally is on the cards.  

Excluding non-miners such as Mitsui, Mining Intelligence compiled a list of the 10 largest iron ore producers in the world and ranked them based on 2021 production units, measured in million tonnes.

#1 Vale

Brazil mining giant Vale has regained its crown as the world's top iron ore producer after losing it temporarily to Rio Tinto due to intense rain season in top mining state Minas Gerais. The Rio de Janeiro- headquartered company produced 319.6 million tonnes (Mt) in 2021.

#2 Rio Tinto

The world's second largest miner is also the world's second largest iron ore producer. The Australian company produced 276.6 Mt in 2021.

#3 BHP Group

BHP, the world's no.1 miner and third largest iron ore producer churned out 245.4 Mt of iron ore in the 2021 calendar year.

#4 Fortescue Metals

Fortescue Metals takes fourth place in this year's ranking. The Perth, Australia based miner produced 184.7 Mt of iron ore in 2021.

#5 Arcelormittal

Luxembourg-based mining and manufacturing company Arcelormittal takes fifth place. The multinational steel manufacturing corporation produced 51.2 Mt in 2021.

#6 Metalloinvest

Russian mining and manufacturing company Metalloinvest is in sixth place, producing 40.8 Mt of iron ore for the year.


NMDC is India's largest producer of iron ore and the world's seventh. The miner produced 35 Mt in 2021.

#8 Companhia Sideurgica Nacional

Brazilian mining and manufacturing company Companhia Sideurgica Nacional is in eighth place, producing 31.6 Mt of iron ore for the year.

#9 Kumba Iron Ore

South African miner Kumba Iron Ore is in ninth place, churning out 30.2 Mt in 2021.

#10 Steel Authority of India

The Steel Authority of India rounds out the list, producing 30 Mt of iron ore for the year.

Download the Mining Intelligence data here


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