Titanium Dioxide - TiO2 (rutile, ilmenite, Leucoxene)
Titanium feedstock is primarily consumed in the manufacture of TiO2 pigment, also finds application as titanium metal and in welding rod manufacture.
TiO2 is easily the most significant white pigment in the world, with a very high refractive index, it has excellent reflectivity and brightness, it is insoluble in acids, solvents or air pollutants, has a high resistance to UV degradation.
White Pigment is used, amongst other things, in paints and varnishes, printing inks, plastics, rubber, linoleum, white paper, glass, enamel, and ceramics. Approx. 94 % of the titanium mineral extracted worldwide is
used for the production of white pigments. TiO2 can also be part of the production of titanium used in modern aerospace components or as an aid in the stabilization of the electric arc used in welding rods.
Rutile is Titanium Dioxide in its natural form and Ilmenite, Leucoxene can be upgraded to form synthetic rutile through chemical processes.
Australia supports more than half of the world production of Rutile and about a third of the world’s production of Ilmenite.
Zirconium Silicate ZrSi04 (Zircon)
Zircon is primarily consumed in the ceramic industry, but also has significant application as a refractory material, foundry sand, and a high end chemical product.
Approximately 53 % of the worldwide share of zircon is in finely ground form used in the ceramics industry. Zircon once heated and baked is an extremely hard, transparent substance.
Typical areas of application are therefore glazes, sanitary ceramics, wall and floor tiles, china, earthenware, special porcelains, glazed tiles and industrial tiles.
Zircon can be used in sunscreens, clear wood varnishes and plastic films, ultra-fine TiO2 generates high UV protection due to its property of strongly absorbing and dispersing UV light.
A small part of the zircon mined worldwide is used for the extraction of the metal zirconium.
Australia supports one third of the world production of Zircon.
Other Mineral Sands
Garnet and Magnetite are of great abundance in Bangladesh although of much less commercial value. Garnets common uses are for abrasive materials such as sandpaper and sand blasting.
Magnetite also very common can be mixed with Ilmenite to form Titanomagnetite to provide a feedstock for the production of steel.