|Operations absorbed by Tronox
The Tiwest Joint Venture was a joint venture between Tronox Western Australia Pty Ltd and subsidiaries of Exxaro Australia Sands Pty Ltd. The Tiwest Joint Venture was a mining and processing company, established in 1988, to extract ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene and zircon from a mineral sands deposit at Cooljarloo, 14 km north of Cataby, Western Australia. As of June 2012, the joint venture was formally dissolved, when Tronox acquired the mineral-sands-related divisions of Exxaro outright.[ citation needed ]
Tiwest's corporate office (sales/marketing/accounting/administration/IT/etc) was located in Bentley, five minutes drive south of the Perth central business district. During the joint-venture phase of operations, from 1988 through 2012, heavy mineral concentrate was trucked from Cooljarloo, 1 hour and 15 minutes south to the Chandala mineral sands processing plant, near Muchea, 70 km north of Perth. The concentrate was then separated in a facility known as a dry mill, using a magnetic separation-process. Ilmenite was further processed on-site into synthetic rutile, which is used by pigment plants to manufacture paints and similar products. Additional minerals,[ vague ] produced as a byproduct of the rutile production process, were sold as-is. Most synthetic rutile from Chandala was then trucked to Kwinana, 30 km south of Perth, to the Tiwest-owned pigment plant, which produces titanium dioxide a.k.a. TiO2. A $100M upgrade to this Kwinana pigment plant was approved[ when? ] by the boards of both Tronox and Exxaro, and was expected[ citation needed ] to increase TiO2 pigment production by up to 50%[ vague ] before 2013. TiO2 is the best[ citation needed ] commercially viable whiting agent known, and is typically used in the manufacture of paints, plastics, and food stuffs.
As part of the 2012 acquisition, the assets of the TIWEST Joint Venture have been folded into the sole parent company, Tronox, which continues to operate in the mineral-sands industry.
Titanium is a chemical element with the symbol Ti and atomic number 22. Found in nature only as an oxide, it can be reduced to produce a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density, and high strength, resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia, and chlorine.
Rutile is an oxide mineral composed of titanium dioxide (TiO2), the most common natural form of TiO2. Rarer polymorphs of TiO2 are known, including anatase, akaogiite, and brookite.
Ilmenite is a titanium-iron oxide mineral with the idealized formula FeTiO
3. It is a weakly magnetic black or steel-gray solid. Ilmenite is the most important ore of titanium and the main source of titanium dioxide, which is used in paints, printing inks, fabrics, plastics, paper, sunscreen, food and cosmetics.
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the inorganic compound with the chemical formula TiO
2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, Pigment White 6 (PW6), or CI 77891. It is a white, water-insoluble solid, although mineral forms can appear black. As a pigment, it has a wide range of applications, including paint, sunscreen, and food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171. World production in 2014 exceeded 9 million tonnes. It has been estimated that titanium dioxide is used in two-thirds of all pigments, and pigments based on the oxide have been valued at $13.2 billion.
Armalcolite is a titanium-rich mineral with the chemical formula (Mg,Fe2+)Ti2O5. It was first found at Tranquility Base on the Moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission, and is named for Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, the three Apollo 11 astronauts. Together with tranquillityite and pyroxferroite, it is one of three new minerals that were discovered on the Moon. Armalcolite was later identified at various locations on Earth and has been synthesized in the laboratory. (Tranquillityite and pyroxferroite were also later found at various locations on Earth). The synthesis requires low pressures, high temperatures and rapid quenching from about 1,000 °C to the ambient temperature. Armalcolite breaks down to a mixture of magnesium-rich ilmenite and rutile at temperatures below 1,000 °C, but the conversion slows down with cooling. Because of this quenching requirement, armalcolite is relatively rare and is usually found in association with ilmenite and rutile, among other minerals.
Capel is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, located 212 kilometres (132 mi) south of Perth and midway between Bunbury and Busselton. The town is located on the Capel River and is approximately 19 metres (62 ft) above sea level.
Cataby is a small settlement approximately 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of Perth, Western Australia on the Brand Highway. The area was once called West Dandaragan, with the town of Dandaragan located 17 km to the east.
Tronox Limited is an American worldwide chemical company involved in the titanium products industry with approximately 7,000 employees. Following its acquisition of the mineral sands business formerly belonging to South Africa's Exxaro Resources, Tronox is the largest fully integrated seller and marketer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment, which provides brightness to applications such as coatings, plastics and paper. Tronox also sells titanium ore – the main feedstock of titanium dioxide - and zircon directly to customers.
NMDC Limited,, is a government owned mineral producer. It is under the ownership of Ministry of Steel, Government of India.
Heavy mineral sands are a class of ore deposit which is an important source of zirconium, titanium, thorium, tungsten, rare-earth elements, the industrial minerals diamond, sapphire, garnet, and occasionally precious metals or gemstones.
Wellesley is a locality in the Bunbury region of Western Australia, about 10 km north-east of Australind. Its local government area is the Shire of Harvey. It is bordered on the south and east by the Brunswick River and the Wellesley River. The main feature of the locality is the Kemerton Industrial Park.
Kenmare Resources plc is a publicly traded mining company headquartered in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and it has a secondary listing on Euronext Dublin. Kenmare is one of the world's largest mineral sands producers and the Company owns and operates the Moma Titanium Minerals Mine. Moma is one of the world's largest titanium minerals deposits, located 160 km from the city of Nampula in Mozambique.
Iluka Resources is an Australian-based resources company, specialising in mineral sands exploration, project development, operations and marketing. Iluka is the largest producer of zircon and titanium dioxide-derived rutile and synthetic rutile globally. Iluka mines heavy mineral sands and separates the concentrate into its individual mineral constituents rutile, ilmenite, and zircon. Some of the ilmenite is then processed into synthetic rutile.
The Becher process is an industrial process used to produce rutile, a form of titanium dioxide, from the ore ilmenite. It is competitive with the chloride process and the sulfate process, which achieve similar net conversions.
Mining in the Gambia, which is limited to the production of clay, laterite, sand and gravel, silica sand, and zircon, does not play a significant role in the Gambian economy.
The mineral industry of Mozambique plays a significant role in the world's production of aluminium, beryllium, and tantalum. In 2006, Mozambique's share of the world's tantalum mine output amounted to 6%; beryllium, 5%; and aluminium, 2%. Other domestically significant mineral processing operations included cement and natural gas.
Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd is an integrated titanium dioxide manufacturing public sector undertaking in Kollam, Kerala, India. Its operations comprise mining, mineral separation, synthetic rutile and pigment-production plants. Apart from producing rutile-grade titanium dioxide pigment for various types of industries, it also produces other products like ilmenite, rutile, zircon, sillimanite, synthetic rutile etc. It is one of the best performing Public Sector Units in India.
British Titan Products was the manufacturer of TIOXIDE a brand of brilliantly white yet opaque pigment and whitening agent made from Titanium dioxide. British Titan Products was initially organised to replace titanium dioxide supplies that British paint manufacturers imported from Germany. This British industry was established as a joint venture in 1934 by two of the world's major mining and chemical businesses in conjunction with a major industrial consumer and a distribution business.
The Greenbushes lithium mine is an open-pit mining operation in Western Australia and is the world's largest hard-rock lithium mine. It is located to the south of the town of Greenbushes, Western Australia. The Greenbushes lithium mine produces approximately 1.95 million tonnes of lithium spodumene annually. The mine is 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of Perth and 90 kilometres (56 mi) south east of the Port of Bunbury.
The Jacinth-Ambrosia Mine is a mine operated by Iluka Resources in South Australia. The primary output of the mine is zircon, used in making ceramics. The mine exploits both the Jacinth and Ambrosia deposits which were discovered in 2004. Mining commenced in 2009.