Rio Tinto closes Richards Bay Minerals operation
Rio Tinto, Richards Bay Minerals (RBM's) controlling shareholder with a 74% stake, shut it's KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa operation on Wednesday the 4th December for an indefinite period. This follows 2 weeks of community violence related to a tribal dispute that threatened the safety of the mine's staff and contractors.
RBM is one of the largest producers of zircon and rutile minerals and an extended closure would lead to a tightness in supply of zircon sand in 2020. A spokesperson for the company said they did not expect the operations to be closed for more than a few weeks.
ZIRCOMET will be monitoring the situation closely and provide further updates as things develop.
Zircon sand is the starting raw material for the majority of zirconium chemicals, including zirconium oxychloride, zirconium basic carbonate and zirconium oxide.
Date : 10-12-2019