Squeezing Titanium

Miners know about squeezing out metal. Wringing all the value you can from each tonne of ore.

Steel and vanadium producer Evraz announced today they are squeezing titanium.

The company said it has formed a joint venture for titanium extraction at its South African operations. The new venture will look to extract titanium from Evraz’s waste steel slag. And turn it into saleable titanium dioxide pigment.

Doing so would unlock considerable value from the iron-vanadium-titanium deposits the company is working. And could be a milestone development for projects around the world.

As we’ve discussed before, Fe-V-Ti deposits are found in several localities worldwide. And in some of those places, such ores are associated with significant amounts of platinum group elements.

Grades are low, compared to most operating platinum mines. But if valuable co-products like iron and vanadium–and soon perhaps titanium–can be won along with platinum, the output could be economically viable. (Much the same way Australia’s Olympic Dam became a huge producer of low-grade uranium, by grabbing it alongside copper and gold.)

Doing so would open up a new source of global platinum. Something the world needs.

We’ll see how the Evraz venture fairs with this new approach.

Here’s to getting all the value you can,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

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