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Iron Knob

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Iron Knob is a town in South Australia on the Eyre Highway across Eyre Peninsula. At the 2006 census, Iron Knob and the surrounding area had a population of 199. The town obtained its name from its proximity to large deposits of iron ore, most notably Iron Monarch which outcropped prominently from the relatively flat, surrounding landscape.HistoryIron ore was first mined by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company at Iron Knob for use as flux in lead smelters at Port Pirie. The iron ore proved to be of such high quality (upwards of 60% purity) that it led to the development of the Australian steel industry. It supplied iron to Newcastle for and steel works established at Newcastle and Port Kembla in the 1910s and 1920s and Whyalla in the 1930s. The iron ore was transported by railway to Whyalla where it was either smelted or dispatched by sea.21% of the steel required for the construction of the Sydney Harbor Bridge was quarried at Iron Knob and smelted at Port Kembla, New South Wales. The remaining 79% was imported from England.In the 1920s, iron ore from Iron Knob was exported to Holland (now the Netherlands) and the United States of America. Prior to World War II, iron ore from Iron Knob was also exported to Japan. In the financial year 1935-36, 291,961 tonnes of ore from Iron Knob was shipped there via the seaport of Whyalla.
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