Zircon is a valuable heavy mineral with uses in the ceramic, foundry, refractory, television, medical and chemical industries. It is prized for its thermal stability and reflective properties. More than 50% of the world's zircon is used to make ceramics (i.e. tiles and fixtures). Commercially produced Zircon is a co-product of most titanium minerals production and has become increasingly important to the economic success of titanium mineral projects today accounting for as much as 40% of total revenue for some projects today.
Zircon Market Supply/Demand
Zircon demand has been growing steadily and pricing has more than doubled since 2002. In 2007, demand was driven by ceramics and the specialty chemicals end-use markets, which includes fused and chemical zirconia. The demand growth came from Asia, the Middle East and South America. The price of zircon has increased from approximately US$299 per tonne in 2002 to around US$800 per tonne in 2008. End use demand for zircon remains robust.