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Why Rutile is genuinely an important commodity?

Team Veye | 18 Apr 2021

Why Rutile is genuinely an important commodity?

Rutile is the Rarest, Highest Value & Grade Titanium Mineral. Titanium dioxide occurs in nature predominantly as ilmenite & much less commonly as natural rutile.

Rutile is titanium dioxide which is naturally occurring in Australia, the USA, India and South Africa. Synthetic rutile can be produced from naturally occurring ilmenite which is a complex oxide with iron. Rutile is used in the manufacture of titanium dioxide pigment.

Natural rutile is the cleanest, purest form of titanium dioxide. It is favoured by pigment producers over higher energy and carbon intensive “upgraded” titanium feed-stocks such as synthetic rutile or titanium slag.

Rutile and ilmenite are found in mineral sand deposits associated with modern and ancient beaches and dunes on the east, west and southern coastlines of Australia. Mineral sands deposits occur along the coast of eastern Australia From central New South Wales to Cape York in Queensland.

In Australia most rutile is produced from ilmenite as it naturally occurs in accessible high concentrations and in a form which allows the ready extraction of the rutile. These favourable factors have made ilmenite a competitive raw material for Australia's producers reflected in high export activity. Australia supplies about 40 percent of the world's ilmenite and about 25 percent of its rutile.

Just seven producers around the world control 93 percent of world production. 

The pigment industry has consistently improved. US pigment industry demand recovery has been led by increased DIY paint market.

Mined natural rutile is extracted in a form ready for pigment production. There have been no high-grade rutile discoveries in over a decade, until now. The mineral further gains its importance because the Global supply of rutile is in structural deficit. Mature mines are there with declining grades. There has also been a lack of new rutile-rich deposits to fill the gap.

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