Mineral Sands Explained
The mineral sands industry is orientated towards the supply of two main raw products, zircon and titanium dioxide ores. The term ‘mineral sands’ refers to concentrations of minerals commonly found in sand deposits.
The titanium dioxide ores include rutile, leucoxene, chloride and sulphate ilmenite. Ilmenite, in some cases, is able to be upgraded to higher grade titanium dioxide feedstocks, including synthetic rutile and slag.
The global TiO2 pigment market accounts for approximately 90% of all titanium feedstock demand, and therefore is the dominant driver of offtake. For zircon, ceramic applications are the dominant end-use application, accounting for approximately 50% of global zircon demand.
The Company’s exploration and development planning is astutely focused on ore bodies that demonstrate an abundance of higher value minerals, nominally zircon, rutile and leucoxene, with ilmenite as a co-product to the product suite.