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Challenges

About 95% of titanium ore is refined into TiO2 pigment. The balance goes primarily to Ti sponge and metal production.

Producing commercial Ti is geographically and logistically complex—one of the most demanding with respect to energy, process, and equipment technology. Its ore bodies are diverse and often found in remote locations. There are different feedstock-refining approaches and complex production routes for pigment, sponge, and metal.

Pigment and metal manufacturers have to overcome immense technical challenges to extract high-purity TiO2/Ti value from ores; separate it from refractory impurities; and achieve the right product chemistry, size, and morphology to satisfy today’s demanding applications.

They face additional challenges with rising production costs, poorer-quality ore and feedstock grades, greater global competition, and market consolidation.

As environmental standards become increasingly stringent, manufacturers need better, more innovative ways to reduce emissions and enhance the value of by-products. At the same time, they struggle to maintain operational and financial performance to remain competitive.

Capabilities

Ore body development and test work assistance

Our mineral experts assist clients with drilling, sampling and assaying programs. We perform resource and geotechnical assessments, integrating ore-body data with customized metallurgical test work to model the most suitable mining methods: open-pit, dredging, or dry mining. We develop and deploy site rehabilitation, slimes, and water management programs that are socially responsible and sustainable.

Custom process development and plant design

We develop cost-effective, customized flowsheets and enhanced plant designs across the Ti value chain. From titanium ore beneficiation to TiO2 feedstocks upgrade and pigment production, we optimize processes based on sulfate, chloride, and alternative technologies. We bring innovative solutions to concentrators, smelters, leach plants and pigment operations, improving productivity and sustainability through by-product valorization, CO-gas utilization, energy efficiency, and waste management.

Top quartile technologies

The innovative RBM smelter and the UGS roasting-leach technology are two examples of industry benchmarks our experts have developed to help our clients achieve top quartile productivity and profitability. We are catalysts in transferring technology and best practices from adjacent industries and can develop a range of custom-designed solutions suited to improving TiO2 production.

Plant debottlenecking

We help our clients improve yield, recovery and running time. Our operational excellence programs improve operating efficiency and bottom line profitability. We optimize operational logistics and successfully retrofit new, different grades of titanium oxide slag and pigment, in existing operating facilities. We rationalize and optimize project and sustaining capital portfolios to better achive our clients business goals.

Blogs

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Technical papers

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Events

CIM 2017

April 30–May 3, 2017
Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Palais des Congrès de Montréal
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