Hamersley

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Hamersley

 

a mountain range in Western Australia. The Hamersley Range, which rises to a maximum elevation of 1,226 m, is composed of crystalline rocks and sandstones. It has flattened peaks and steep slopes descending to the valley of the Fortescue River. The range is deeply dissected by dry river valleys. Spinifexes grow on the slopes, and acacias and occasional eucalyptus trees are found in the valleys.

The range is an important source of iron ore, which has been mined since 1964. Total reserves amount to approximately 20 billion tons of hematite ores (average Fe content, 60 percent) and 12 billion tons of goethite ores (average Fe content, 53–55 percent). A total of approximately 80 million tons was mined in 1974.