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A detailed assessment of global Zr and Ti production


  • Cameron Perks

    (RMIT University, School of Engineering)

  • Gavin Mudd

    (RMIT University, School of Engineering)


Titanium and zirconium are vital and often irreplaceable components of modern infrastructure and technology. As international trade routes are challenged, and consumers are increasingly aware of sustainable mining practices, it has become imperative to accurately understand where these minerals are sourced from and in what qualities and quantities. Despite investigation by various government groups, consultants, and scholars, there remain significant differences in global production assessments for titanium and zirconium minerals, particularly for ilmenite and titania slag. This paper investigates this by collating and analyzing publicly available historical data on a country and company basis, providing an analysis of production trends over time, commenting on emerging trends and their relevance to sustainable mining. To provide a complete picture of titanium and zirconium production, this paper also provides evidence of declining titanium and zirconium grades in heavy mineral sand mines. Despite there being some examples to the contrary, the majority of production data and reserve data from existing mines show that these deposits are experiencing declining grades. Overall, there remains a need for improvement in reporting of these minerals to facilitate a modern understanding of the sustainability of the sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron Perks & Gavin Mudd, 2021. "A detailed assessment of global Zr and Ti production," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 34(3), pages 345-370, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:34:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-020-00240-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-020-00240-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mudd, Gavin M., 2010. "The Environmental sustainability of mining in Australia: key mega-trends and looming constraints," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 98-115, June.
    2. Crowson, Phillip, 2012. "Some observations on copper yields and ore grades," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 59-72.
    3. WorldFish, 2019. "Annual Report 2018," Monographs, The WorldFish Center, number 40826, April.
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