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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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11. Iron Ore

When the modern iron and steel industry was in its infancy in the 19th century, iron ore was predominantly sourced locally. The idea of shipping this low-value product any great distance was hardly considered, neither was long-distance shipping of coal, the fuel that fired the steel-making process. The giant bulk carriers that today ply the oceans with coal and iron were decades away. The great steelworks of the UK and the US were therefore built near sources of both iron ore and coal. In the case of the UK these also happened to be near ports, which helped the distribution of the steel products of the mills and in due course, with the coming of bulk carriers, allowed the importation of raw materials from overseas when local supplies ...

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