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.
Either directly or as part of research partnerships with institutes and universities, 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
All Imerys’s business groups are pursuing development projects:
- The acquisition in August 2011 of the Luzenac Group, the world leader in the talc processing, made Imerys a major player in an activity complementary and consistent with its other core businesses. This operation makes the Group stronger and enhances several application sectors in which it is already present: plastics and polymers, paper, paint, technical ceramics, beauty products and healthcare. The combination of R&D expertise will also result in an increase in the Group’s innovation potential and therefore an expansion in its range of specialty products, particularly in rapidly changing sectors such as motor manufacturing.
- In order to respond to the significant growth in proppants used in the extraction of unconventional oil and gas deposits in the American market, Imerys opened a new production unit in Andersonville (Georgia, United States) in September 2011. This new plant illustrates Imerys’s innovation strategy, which is focused on new and rapidly expanding markets.
- Already a world leader in fused aluminas, Imerys has announced its intention of forming a joint venture with the Al Zayani Investments group to construct a plant in Bahrain. This will be the Group’s first industrial site in the region.
- The construction and launch of a specialty production line supplying the plastics market at the Sylacauga site (Alabama, United States).
- The adaptation of a production line in Lompoc (California, United States) to respond to the growth in sales of Celite Cynergy™, an innovative filtration and stabilization agent for liquid foodstuffs.
- The creation of a Filmlink™ production unit on the Ipoh site (Malaysia) to supply the Asian hygiene products market.
These last two investments will become operational during the first half of 2012.
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