Minerals for Ceramics, Refractories, Abrasives & Foundry
The business group comprises 5 activities: Minerals for Ceramics, Minerals for Refractories, Minerals for Petroleum Industry, Fused Minerals, Graphite & Carbon.
Diversity of resources and expertise
The Minerals for Ceramics, Refractories, Abrasives & Foundry business group has a wide range of extensive, high-quality mineral reserves.
With expertise in all the techniques needed for transformation, it also offers a diverse range of products that meet the specific requirements of the industries it serves: chemical composition, mechanical properties, thermal and chemical resistances. Relevant collaboration and resource-sharing take place across these activities on a case-by-case basis.
Front-rank market positions
- World #1 in raw materials & ceramic bodies
- World #1 in kaolin for fiberglass
- World #1 in alumino-silicate minerals for refractories
- World #1 in fused silica
- World #1 in fused minerals for abrasives
- World #1 in fused zirconia
- World #1 in graphite for alkaline batteries
- World #1 in conductive additives for Li-Ion batteries
- World #1 in lubricants for seamless tube protection
- World #1 for large natural graphite flakes
2012 Sales1,206 M€
The main strength of the Minerals for Ceramics, Refractories, Abrasives & Foundry business group is its control of very complex industrial processes using rare and well distributed mineral reserves, particularly in the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France and China. This makes it possible to offer customers a high quality service.
In 2012, Markets for Minerals for Refractories and Fused Minerals (steel(1), foundry, aluminum, cement, glass, etc.) evolved very differently. Driven by robust demand for capital goods and some consumer durables (machines tools, aerospace, automotive, electronics, etc.) in the United States, activity was conversely affected by the European economy’s continued slowdown; in Asia, growth continued at a slow pace. After very high inflation in 2010 and 2011, zircon prices shrank at mid-year. Graphite & Carbon businesses were boosted by the boom in mobile electronic devices. The Minerals for Ceramics activity (sanitaryware, floor tiles, tableware) held out well, thanks to its gradual geographic deployment to Asia, the Middle East and South America. The new proppant plant for shale gas and oil built in Andersonville (Georgia, United States) started, in a less favorable market environment, marked by a decrease in the total number of rigs operated after several years of increase.
After a 2011 characterized by the rebound in development capital expenditure (in particular with the proppant plant in Andersonville), new projects were initiated in 2012: capacity doubled at the Willebroek, Belgium carbon black plant (€20 million spread over 2012 and 2013) in response to the sharp rise in the demand from mobile energy segments; the construction of a fused alumina plant in Bahrein through a joint venture with the Al Zayani Investments group (US$30 million); increase in production capacity of the Ceramics activity in Thailand.
The business group relies on its inovation centers such as the Center for Abrasives and Refractories Research & Development (C.A.R.R.D, Austria) and the Graphite & Carbon R&D center in Bodio (Switzerland). In addition, the new Ceramic Center was inaugurated in Limoges (France) in April 2009 and is dedicated to minerals for uprange and specialty ceramics.
(1) World steel production in 2012: + 1.2% vs. 1st 9 months of 2011, of which: Western Europe: - 4.7%; North America: + 2.5% - source World Steel Association.)
Would you like to get more information about our products? Visit the websites of our Minerals for Ceramics, Refractories, Abrasives & Foundry business group or contact them by email.
|MINERALS FOR CERAMICS|
|MINERALS FOR REFRACTORIES & OILFIELDS|
|GRAPHITE & CARBON|