The most important Mexican iron ore deposits occur along the Pacific slope of the continent and, sporadically, in the northeastern and central parts of the high plateau. Intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks (principally granite, granodiorite, monzonite, andesite, and rhyolite) of different ages, and marine sediments mainly of Cretaceous age, are the predominant host rocks.Genetically, the deposits are of three types: (1) replacements (mainly hematite, martite, and magnetite), (2) contact metasomatic deposits (magnetite and hematite), and (3) residual deposits formed by weathering of iron orebodies and of basic rocks (ochre useful as pigment).The deposits may be placed in four size groups, which, in decreasing order of reserves, are: (1) deposits containing 15-25 million tons of ore, (2) those with 5-10 million tons, (3) others with 1-4 million tons, and (4) deposits that contain less than 1 million tons.This paper is accompanied by maps that show the general geographic distribution of the iron ore deposits and by several detailed maps and a production table.

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