An optimized industrial tool
In order to adapt its minerals to precise industrial applications, Imerys transforms them to obtain the desired properties. This transformation requires expertise and complex industrial processes which are often exclusive and constantly optimized. This makes it possible to adapt all the Group’s activities to changes in its markets, to keep its overheads under control and to increase its flexibility and competitiveness.
Making the most of mineral assets
Imerys has an in-depth knowledge of the specific properties of each mineral in its various qualities, as well as its most suitable applications. The refining and transformation tools used to purify and adapt the minerals to precise industrial applications are adjusted to work best with a particular quality of reserve. Imerys has developed numerous exclusive procedures, technologies and products which need protecting. In particular, the Group has cutting-edge expertise in grinding, particle classification, surface chemistry, suspension rheology, calcination and high-temperature fusion. On an industrial scale, this expertise makes it possible to obtain the purity, dimension, shape or structure of particles most likely to have the desired properties for a given application.
Expansion of the industrial base
In 2015, the Group kept up a high level of capital expenditure including:
- a third monolithic refractories plant to meet the growing demand for refractories in India and the Middle-East;
- a new production line of natural calcium carbonate (GCC) for thehigh value cardboard packaging market in India;
- a new carbonates unit for food plastic films in the United States;
- talc production capacity increase aimed at polymers for the automotive industry in the Group factories in France and
- a new talc refining process for automotive in the United States;
- kaolin production capacity increase for the ceramic industry in Thailand to serve growing markets in Southeast Asia;
- a new production line of ultra-fine alumina for performance applications in abrasives in Austria;
- the construction of two production units of Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) in the US and India.
Improving processes’ energy efficiency
Coordinated management of energy consumption, targeted investments and the development of energy and carbon action plans by operational units allow a larger proportion of alternatives energy sources to be used.
Incorporating operational excellence in a proactive Sustainable Development approach
Safety of operators and local communities, future restoration of sites and environmental costs – these fundamental criteria, taken into account from planning stage, contribute to the selection of operating methods to minimize the impact on the natural environment. Aside from its local regulatory obligations, the Group believes in the sustainable management and rehabilitation of its sites for the benefit of communities. This demanding and responsible approach is the rule in all countries. It makes it easier to fully integrate activities into their host environment and to obtain new operating permits.
Find out more about our proactive Sustainable Development approach