Cristal, Outotec to partner on TiO2 feedstock plant in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia-based titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Cristal Global announced what it called a groundbreaking partnership with Outotec, a leading provider of sustainable minerals and metals processing solutions.

The parties signed a letter of intent on October 31, 2011.

Outotec has been selected to build a new fully scalable ilmenite-processing plant for Cristal Global in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, estimated to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The plant will be constructed on a turnkey basis, will require 800,000 metric tons of ilmenite ore to produce 500,000 tons of 85% TiO2 slag, with 235,000 tonsof high purity pig iron as a valuable co-product.

The smelter’s location brings significant cost savings and operational synergies, due to the logistics, cost savings, and abundant power capacity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the companies.

“Cristal Global is proud to bring its expertise, capital and strategic vision to this new project, poised to benefit the whole vertical industry value chain through additional TiO2 feedstock production capacity,” said Thomas VanValkenburgh, vice president of supply chain at Cristal.

“We’ve made the decision to invest now to ensure that our customers, business partners and wider stakeholders have the security of stable supply of TiO2, which is vital for the future and growth of the whole industry,” he added.

“We look forward to working with our partner, Outotec, on this project, as well as to more fruitful collaboration with our current mineral sands suppliers and our integrated upstream subsidiary BeMax. We believe this investment will create growth and opportunities across the vertical industry value chain.”

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