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Business Model

As the world’s leading supplier of mineral-based specialty solutions for industry, Imerys contributes to a vast range of products that touch every aspect of life. Our high value-added, functional solutions are used by a wide variety of industries, ranging from process manufacturing to consumer goods. 

Drawing on an understanding of applications, technological knowledge and expertise in material science, we deliver solutions by beneficiating mineral resources, synthetic minerals and formulations. In turn, essential properties are provided to our customers’ products including heat resistance, hardness, conductivity, opacity, durability, purity, lightness, filtration, adsorption and water repellency. 

We succeed through:

  • Best-in-class operations, delivering commercial excellence and market-driven innovation
  • A strong business model and value proposition
  • Unrivalled technological and industrial processes, solutions and leading positions in most of our markets
  • Understanding our customers’ applications
  • Meeting ambitious targets for being a responsible business

Learn more about our business model from our company introduction presentation.

    A STRONG BUSINESS MODEL

    The Imerys business model has many strengths

    - Organized around core markets

    - Mining resources

    - High quality minerals and industrial assets

    - Unrivalled technological and industrial processes

    - Innovative solutions

    - Leading positions in most markets

     

    HIGH QUALITY MINERALS AND INDUSTRIAL ASSETS

     

    We possess an extensive range of mineral resources, which effectively secures a large proportion of our supply and production costs, as well as highly effective industrial assets using a wide variety of exclusive industrial technologies and processes. 

    We operate over 100 mineral deposits throughout the world and continue to replace and develop our mineral reserves and resources to ensure we constantly hold an average of 20 years of reserves. We mine and/or process over 30 different minerals to provide mineral solutions which enhance the properties of their end-use applications and meet our customers’ specifications.

    EXCLUSIVE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES AND TECHNOLOGIES

    We have specialist expertise in the following transformation processes in order to produce key properties for our customers’ products and production processes:

     

    - Mechanical treatments: purification, refining, micronization by milling and screening, drying, molding, cycloning, elutriation, classification, flotation, mixing, etc.;

    - Heat treatments: very high temperature calcination, fusion, sintering, etc.; 

    - Chemical treatments: synthesis, crystallization, precipitation, etc.

     

    The mineral solutions we market account for a relatively insignificant portion of our customers’ production costs, but they add key properties to their products – such as purity, crystal structure, size and distribution of particles, shape and specific surface area – or industrial processes by making it possible to reduce energy consumption or accelerate production processes.

     

    The solutions are sold as powders, grains, granules, blends, pastes and aqueous dispersions. Depending on the product, production cycles range from a few days to several weeks.

    INNOVATIVE, RELIABLE AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

    Imerys offers solutions aligned with changing markets as a result of new lifestyles, new economic models, technological progress and changing expectations from stakeholders. Our innovation strategy builds on our ability to combine minerals with applications to provide customers with significant improvements in the properties of their products. 

     

    We deliver value-added solutions that are formulated to meet the technical specifications of each customer.  The solutions contribute to the performance of a multitude of products in three categories:

     

    - Functional additives: added to the mineral formulation of customers’ products (e.g. talc improves the rigidity of polymers used in the automotive industry and calcium aluminates are used in self-leveling, quick drying cement floor screeds).

    - Mineral components: essential constituents in the formulation of customers’ products (e.g. zirconia oxygen sensors in combustion engine management systems and fused alumina in industrial abrasives).

    - Process enablers: used in customers’ manufacturing processes, but not present in the end product (e.g. diatomaceous earth, which is used to filter liquid foodstuffs and extract proteins from blood plasma by fractionation).

     

    These serve many industries such as construction materials, mobile energy, steelmaking, agri-food, automotive and cosmetics.

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    Our development strategy

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    Imerys’ strategy is designed to deliver steady income growth for the Group to create long-term value. We continuously invest in and develop our Science & Technology program, industrial capacity, mining resources and geographic expansion.

    The various acquisitions we have completed over recent years have enabled us to become the world’s leading supplier of mineral solutions to industry. They have helped to broaden our business portfolio and provide access to new technology platforms, geographic regions, minerals and products. We also manage our business portfolio to build a coherent industrial Group centered around specialty minerals which may include, from time to time, divestitures of various sizes.

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