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Natural Iron Oxide Pigments
One or more ferrous or ferric oxide and many other impurities such as clay, manganese or organics are all included in the formation of the natural Iron Oxide Pigments. The most important source of Natural Iron Oxide Pigments is Hematite. Hematite is a oxide of iron having red color. The color of hematite varies from yellow to brown, such as siennas, umbers and ochers. But, these pigments can also be derived from another iron ore, i.e. Magnetite having a black color. The main characteristics of natural iron oxide pigments are: these are light fast, non bleeding, nontoxic and weather resistant.

Uses of Natural Iron Oxide Pigments

As these pigments have various unique properties so these pigments are used for various purposes. The various uses of these pigments are in coloring concrete block, outdoor paintings and in other construction materials. The maximum mining and procession of natural iron oxide is done in USA. Pigments are in paints, wood and paper stains, linoleum, oilcloth, mortar, plaster, rubber, brick, and other pigmented materials.

Estimated World Production of Natural Iron Oxide Pigments (Metric tons)

The leading producer countries of these pigments are: France, India, Cyprus, Iran, Italy and Australia.

Country Yr.2001 Yr.2002 Yr.2003 Yr.2004 Yr.2005
Austria 5,000 5,000 5,000 4,000 4,000
Brazil 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Cyprus 7,800 8,200 11,900 12,000 12,000
France 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Germany 400 419 429 400 400
Honduras 70941 71000 71000 71000 71000
India 35500 36000 36500 36000 36000
Italy 1000 2300 2300 2500 2500
Pakistan 500 500 500 500 500
Paraguay 300 300 250 250 250
South Africa 852 252 512 512 555
United States 61500 W W W W
Source: United States Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program

Sources of Natural Iron Oxide Pigments

Hematite- Fe2O3 (red)
Magnetite- Fe3O4 (brown to black)
Goethite- FeOOH.xH2O (yellow)
Lepidocrocite- FeOOH.xH2O (yellow)


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