Magnesium silicate mineral wools having a relatively high liquidus temperature of at least about 1400.degree. C. and to methods for the production thereof are provided. The methods of the present invention comprise melting a magnesium silicate feedstock (e.g., comprising a serpentine or olivine ore) having a liquidus temperature of at least about 1400.degree. C. to form a molten magnesium silicate, and subsequently fiberizing the molten magnesium silicate to produce a magnesium silicate mineral wool. In one embodiment, the magnesium silicate feedstock contains iron oxide (e.g., up to about 12% by weight). Preferably, the melting is performed in the presence of a reducing agent to produce an iron alloy, which can be separated from the molten ore. Useful magnesium silicate feedstocks include, without limitation, serpentine and olivine ores. Optionally, silicon dioxide can be added to the feedstock to lower the liquidus temperature thereof.