Chromite is an iron chromium oxide: FeCr2O4. It is an oxide mineral belonging to the spinel group. Magnesium can substitute for iron in variable amounts as it forms asolid solution with magnesiochromite (MgCr2O4);[5] substitution of aluminium occurs leading to hercynite (FeAl2O4).

It is by far the most industrially important mineral for the production of metallic chromium, used as an alloying ingredient in stainless and tool steels.

Chromite is found as orthocumulate lenses of chromitite in peridotite from the Earth’s mantle. It also occurs in layered ultramaficintrusive rocks.[7] In addition, it is found in metamorphic rocks such as some serpentinites. Ore deposits of chromite form as early magmatic differentiates. It is commonly associated with olivine, magnetite, serpentine, and corundum. The vast Bushveld igneous complex of South Africa is a large layered mafic to ultramafic igneous body with some layers consisting of 90% chromite making the rare rock type, chromitite.[8] The Stillwater igneous complex in Montana also contains significant chromite.




Magnesite is a mineral with the chemical formula MgCO3 (magnesium carbonate). Mixed crystals of iron(II) carbonate and magnesite (mixed crystals known as ankerite) possess a layered structure: monolayers of carbonate groups alternate with magnesium monolayers as well as iron(II) carbonate monolayers.[5] Manganese, cobalt andnickel may also occur in small amounts.