PROCESSING

Tronox to buy ilmenite smelter

US titanium producer Tronox plans to acquire French metallurgy company Eramet’s Norway-based TiZir Titanium and Iron business for US$300 million.

   The smelter has an annual titanium slag capacity of about 230,000t

The smelter has an annual titanium slag capacity of about 230,000t

TiZir's TTI facility, located in Tyssedal, processes ilmenite to produce high-grade titanium slag and high-purity pig iron, with an annual capacity of approximately 230,000t and 90,000t, respectively.

"The site is ideally situated to supply feedstock to our European pigment facilities," said Jeffry N Quinn, chairman and chief executive officer of Tronox.

"The technology and manufacturing capabilities acquired will lower the cost of obtaining the feedstocks we need to run our pigment plants, [and] broaden the geographic diversity of our titanium feedstock operations," he added.

Quinn added that the acquisition improves the likelihood of a successful commissioning and ramp for a smelter it plans to purchase in Saudi Arabia. Tronox is acquiring a smelter in Jazan city for US$36 million from Saudi industrial conglomerate Tasnee, and plans to startup the facility in the first quarter of 2021.

As part of its purchase of TiZir's TTI, Tronox will also enter a supply agreement that ensures ilmenite from Eramet's Grande Côte mineral sands mine in Senegal is provided to the TTI facility. 

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