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The Impact of Diminishing Rutile Resources on Titanium Production and Costs.

Fantel-RJ; Buckingham-DA; Sullivan-DE
Pres At Soc Min Eng AIME 113th Annu Meeting Los Angeles, California, 1984 Feb; :11 pages
This paper addresses the impact of declining world rutile resources upon the production of titanium products and their associated costs. Titanium is used primarily for the production of pigments; in its metal form it is considered a strategic and critical material to the U.S. defense and aerospace industries. There are two major mineral sources for titanium: ilmenite and rutile. Both these mineral types can be used to produce titanium pigments. Only high-grade titanium concentrates, such as rutile, high-grade ilmenite, and synthetic rutile (which is produced through further processing of ilmenite), can be used in the production of titanium metal. This paper draws upon the data and analyses of a recent Bureau of Mines minerals availability program appraisal that evaluated the international availability of titanium from market economy countries. The paper will show that production from economic rutile mines will decline sometime after the turn of the century and that rutile shortages could be alleviated by production from other high- grade titanium resources such as higher cost rutile deposits and anatase deposits, or through an increase in world synthetic rutile capacity.
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OP 59-84
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Pres. At Soc. Min. Eng. AIME 113th Annu. Meeting, Los Angeles, California, Feb 26-Mar. 2, 1984, 11 Pp