Mineral sand is old beach sand that contains concentrations of key minerals such as rutile, ilmenite, zircon, and monazite. These minerals are heavy and are known as heavy minerals. The mineral sand sector involves mining and processing of titanium dioxide and zircon products such as ilmenite, rutile, and upgraded titanium dioxide products of synthetic rutile and slag. Titanium dioxide and zircon possess different characteristics and have different end-uses. Upgraded ilmenite such as chloride slag, sulfate slag, and synthetic rutile account for major share of the mineral sand market.
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Paints and coatings, piping, and ceramic tiling are the major applications in the building & construction industry wherein mineral sand is used. Furthermore, zirconia and zirconium based chemicals are used in pigments, catalysts, refractory, fiber optics, and electronics, among others. Metal and other end-users such as aerospace and automotive are likely to provide lucrative opportunities for the mineral sand market in the near future. However, fluctuation in prices of raw materials and implementation of environmental regulations are estimated to adversely affect the market during the forecast period.
Mineral Sand Market: Segmentation
The global mineral sand market can be segmented based on material type, end-user industry, and region. In terms of material type, the mineral sand market can be classified into zircon, titanium dioxide, rutile, chloride slag, sulfate slag, and ilmenite. The zircon segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Zircon is used in the production of ceramic tiles, tableware, and sanitary ware. It is employed in foundry and refractory castings. Zirconia and zirconium chemicals are used in nuclear rods and catalytic fuel converters. Titanium dioxide is used as whitening pigment in paper and polymer processing, paints and coatings, and inks and fibers processing. It is employed in welding flux wire cords and titanium metal. Titanium dioxide is one of the key ingredients in paints and coatings, and PVC pipes and fittings. Additionally, titanium pigment is used in cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical applications. Titanium metal is also employed in aerospace and military applications.
Based on end-user industry, the market can be classified into building & construction, paints & coatings, metal & mining, and others. The building & construction segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Zircon and titanium dioxide are employed in the production of sand, ceramic tiles, sanitary ware, etc. This is a key factor driving the demand for mineral sand during the forecast period.
Mineral Sand Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global mineral sand market can be segregated into Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading region of the global mineral sand market during the forecast period. Increase in industrialization and migration in prominent countries such as India and China in the region is a major factor driving the demand for construction materials such as mineral sand, ceramic tiles, tableware, and sanitary ware. This is a prominent factor driving the demand for mineral sand during the forecast period.
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Europe is also a significant region of the global mineral sand market. Increase in building and construction activities is boosting the mineral sand market in the region. However, implementation of stringent environmental regulations associated with the mining industry in the European Union is a key restraint of the market. Additionally, growth in construction activities in the Middle East is augmenting the mineral sand market. Rise in development of the tourism segment, especially in Dubai, is a major factor anticipated to provide lucrative opportunities to the mineral sand market in the near future.
Mineral Sand Market: Key Players
The global mineral sand market is consolidated. Less numbers of companies operate at the global and regional level. Major companies include areIluka Resources Ltd., Rio Tinto plc, Tronox Limited, Kenmare Resources and Vilnohirsk and Irshansky.