Uniaxial and triaxial compression experiments were performed on oolitic iron ores to investigate damage processes. Most of these experiments included four indirect measurements of damage evolution, that is, P-wave velocity and maximum amplitude received during pulse transmission experiments, elastic properties (apparent Young´s modulus and apparent Poisson´s ratio) and acoustic emission (AE) monitoring. The mechanical behaviour deduced from strain measurements is dilatant for some samples and non-dilatant for the other samples. However, variations in elastic properties indicate damage processes for all samples. AE source mechanism analysis shows two different microscopic damage processes: (1) for dilatant rock, the development of axial extensive microcracks as well as their interaction and coalescence lead to the formation of shear macroscopic discontinuities; (2) for non-dilatant oolitic iron ore, both compressive and shear micromechanisms take place and interact with macroscopic fractures. A particular consistency between the four types of measurements employed was observed.