Tronox’s Western Australia dry mill makes use of the inherent characteristics of each mineral to separate the various types of sands.
Electrical conductivity, magnetic susceptibility, particle size and specific gravity are employed in processes which are able to produce approximately 590,000 metric tons of valuable heavy minerals a year.
A Western Australia innovation has been the development of an activated carbon product from material previously considered a process residue.
A residue called char is produced from the process of using coal to heat ilmenite extracted from mineral sands to create synthetic rutile. The char, separated and packaged for sale as activated carbon, is used in water and air filters and to remove undesirable colours from wine and olive oil.
The Western Australia operation uses a locally-developed technology, the Improved Beecher Process, to upgrade ilmenite’s average 61% titanium dioxide content to around 93% in synthetic rutile.