Magnetite occurs in many sedimentary rocks. It is generally found in beach sand and in banded iron formations. Magnetite is found in large quantities in North and South America, Europe, and New Zealand.
Magnetite is eroded into rivers and carried to the beach, where it accumulates in sand. It is then concentrated via wave action and currents. In the United States, large quantities of high-quality magnetite have been mined in New Jersey and Vermont. The east coast of the United States contains several well-known magnetite sources. In Europe, large amounts of magnetite have been extracted in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.