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Titanium Tradiong Company


Kenmare Resources: First export of product from the Moma titanium mine completed

Kenmare Resources is pleased to report the departure of the MV Tinos from the Marine Terminal at KenmareТs Moma Titanium Mine, loaded with 23,000 tonnes of Ilmenite product. The Tinos will proceed to Europe for unloading.

This shipment represents the first dispatch of products to customers from MomaТs operations and therefore represents a significant forward step for the project. Another customer vessel arrived at Moma today, for immediate loading.

Charles Carvill, KenmareТs Chairman, said: УThis is the big step which we have all been waiting for. Moma is now shipping to customers. It is a major milestone for Kenmare and whilst we had great confidence in the system we are all delighted to have the first load dispatched.Ф. Ц Press Release



India: Mining of titanium bearing minerals to be allowed

Even as the Indian government grapples with the complexities of the civilian nuclear deal with the US, the cabinet is all set to approve the mining of titanium bearing minerals, officials said.

The proposal is to permit, with prior government permission, up to 100 percent foreign equity in mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores, value addition and certain integrated activities.

But such permission will be subject to sector-specific regulations (as also the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act, 1957) in the present policy on foreign direct investment in atomic minerals, officials said.

The commerce and industry ministry's proposal after through consultations has been pending for sometime now and came up for review in May this year. Now it will feature as part of an overarching policy to review foreign investment across multiple sectors, officials explained.

India has one sixth of ilmenite (titanium bearing mineral or ore) and most of it is concentrated in Tamil Nadu, along the south eastern coast from Cuddalore to Vedaranyam.

Titanium is unique because of its high strength-to-weight ratio. While it is as strong as steel, it is also 45 percent lighter.

Analysts reckon that titanium can be used as a catalyst in the crucial first phase to trap hydrogen with a particular class of hydrogen storage materials. It is also very popular in the aerospace industry.

The present policy is governed by the Beach and Sand Minerals Policy of the Department of Atomic Energy since ilmenite was included as an atomic mineral. Given the furore over iron ore reserves being handed over to South Korean steel giant Posco in the past, the government is taking adequate measures for titanium mining.

Officials said foreign investment of up to 100 percent will also be allowed for mineral separation, but only if the value addition facilities are set up within India along with the necessary technology transfer.

Even more vitally, disposal of tailings shall be carried out in accordance with regulations framed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board such as Atomic Energy Radiation Protection Rules 2004 and Atomic Energy Safe Disposal of Radioactive Wastes Rules 1987. Ц Webindia123


Kobe Steel to start up new titanium melt shop in January; Investments in upstream and downstream operations raise production cap


Kobe Steel, Ltd. inaugurated a new 3.5-billion-yen titanium melt shop today at its Takasago Works in Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. After undergoing trial operation, the melt shop will go into full production in January 2008.

The melt shop uses the company's proprietary Kobe Method (a vacuum arc remelting method), which makes possible the use of titanium scrap. Kobe Steel aims to make the new facility the most cost competitive melt shop in Japan. The new melt shop is located adjacent to the current melt shop to stabilize production and improve the operational efficiency of both shops. Kobe Steel aims to steadily grow its business to effectively respond to the expanding demand for titanium mill products.

Since 2006, Kobe Steel has been increasing its overall integrated production capacity of titanium mill products. The inauguration of the new melt shop completes a series of capital investments that covers all of Kobe Steel's locations involved in titanium production: Takasago Works, Kakogawa Works and Kobe Special Tube Co., Ltd.

The other projects consisted of upgrading the counterblow hammer for closed die forging at Takasago and constructing a new welded tube line at group company Kobe Special Tube Co., Ltd. in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Both projects were completed in May 2007. Completed in 2006 was the expansion of the continuous annealing-pickling line for titanium sheet at Kakogawa Works in Hyogo Prefecture.

The higher capacity enables Kobe Steel to manufacture more titanium alloy forgings for next-generation aircraft engines and meet the growing demand in China and the Middle East for commercially pure titanium products used in infrastructure projects. Japan's titanium industry has been undergoing strong growth in recent years, and in the current fiscal 2007 (ending March 2008), production and shipments of titanium mill products are anticipated to be robust. Not only for Japanese manufacturers, this trend is similar worldwide. Bolstered by rising aircraft orders and growing demand from the energy industries, demand for titanium products is brisk.

Kobe Steel pioneered Japan's titanium industry when in 1949 it became the first company to begin research and development of this material. With over a half century of experience, Kobe Steel is Japan's only integrated producer of titanium mill products with operations ranging from melting to mill product manufacturing. The company contributes to the development of industry by supplying a wide variety of titanium mill products.

Other Capital Investments

Downstream capital investments

1. Upgrade of the counterblow hammer for closed die forging at Takasago Works

Location: Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture
Start-up: May 2007
Investment: Computer control and stabilization of hammer blow energy

Japan's largest counterblow hammer is used to manufacture closed die forgings for jet engine disks. Supporting the growing aircraft business of Japan's heavy industry manufacturers, Kobe Steel is meeting the need for value-added titanium alloy forged products used in aircraft engine disks and other applications.

2. Higher production capacity of continuous annealing-pickling line at KakogawaWorks

Location: Kakogawa, Hyogo Prefecture
Production capacity: 30% increase in throughput
Start-up: December 2006 (already in operation)

This dedicated continuous annealing-pickling line for titanium sheet is the only one of its type in the world. The hot and cold strip mills, located adjacent and used in steel production, also roll titanium sheet. The proximity to the strip mills contributes to maintaining and improving the integrated quality assurance system for titanium sheet products.

3. New titanium welded tube line at Kobe Special Tube Co., Ltd.

Location: Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Production capacity: 30% increase
Start-up: May 2007

The new dedicated line at Japan's largest titanium welded tube plant will help meet demand from power plants in China, seawater desalination plants in the Middle East, and other applications. In addition to the higher production capacity, the layout was improved, which further increased productivity.

About Kobe Steel, Ltd.

Kobe Steel is one of Japan's top manufacturers of aluminium and copper products. It is also a leading steelmaker in Japan. Other businesses include welding consumables, industrial machinery, engineering, construction equipment, and electronic materials. Ц Press Release


Iluka green lights $31m development

Iluka Limited (ILU) has approved the US$27.5 million ($31.3 million) development of the Brink mineral sands deposit in the US state of Virginia. The development provides Iluka with access to 1.2 million tonnes of Heavy Mineral Concentrate (УHMCФ).

Iluka also said the deposit is expected to produce approximately 780,000 tonnes of ilmenite and approximately 157,000 tonnes of zircon.

Project development is set to commence in January 2008 and first production from the deposit expected in April 2009.

Iluka said the development of the Brink deposit extends the economic life of the Virginia operations from 2012 to 2014.

УIt serves to offset the reduction in earnings and cash flow post 2008 associated with the decline in the Old Hickory deposit,Ф the company advised.

Managing director David Robb said the development of Brink represents a low risk, brownfield replacement for mining operations at the Old Hickory deposits in Virginia.

The project entails the relocation of the Old Hickory wet concentrator plant 48 kilometres to the south-west; the establishment of associated infrastructure and the initial mine development.

Mr Robb said that in Australia, Iluka has largely completed a feasibility study for its Murray Basin Stage 2 project but plans to undertake further engineering reviews and project risk mitigation activities, while at the same time moving to secure long lead items.

"I believe that the additional time taken in pre-execution planning will be time well spent given that the overall project schedule will be maintained, with first production still expected in the first quarter of 2009," he said.

At 1556 AEDT shares in Iluka had lost 10c to $4.51. Ц Egoli