Ilmenite 56: a recycling-based product

GCO is working to reduce its quantity of mining residues and contribute to the circular economy with ilmenite 56, a recycling-based product.

GCO's mine

Our subsidiary Grande Côte Opérations (GCO), located in Senegal, runs several facilities: a mining basin that contains a dredger and a floating concentration plant, as well as a heavy-minerals separation plant, which separates and produces zircon, rutile, leucoxene and two categories of ilmenite (ilmenite 54 and ilmenite 58). These two products make up 95% of white pigments, a raw material commonly used to produce paints, plastics and paper.

Ilmenite stock at GCO

Producing these products generates around 12,000 metric tons of mining residues every year at GCO. As such, the Production and Marketing teams have been working side by side to give new life to what was previously seen as a form of waste.

The result: ilmenite 56, a new product made by recycling residues of ilmenite 54 and ilmenite 58, so-called because it is made of 56% titanium dioxide. In 2018, nearly 5,000 metric tons of waste were recycled into ilmenite 56. 61,000 tons of that product have been produced since 2019.

With this product, GCO is improving its environmental footprint while contributing to the circular economy.