Titanium Ore


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Titanium Ore

 

any mineral formation containing titanium in compounds and concentrations such that commercial use is both technically and economically warranted. The principal titanium minerals are ilmenite (43.7–52.8 percent TiO2), rutile, anatase and brookite (94.2–99.0 percent), leucoxene (56.3–96.4 percent), loparite (38.3–41.0 percent), titanite (33.7–40.8 percent), perovskite (38.7–58.9 percent), and titanomagnetite.

Deposits of titanium ores are classed as magmatic, exogenous, or metamorphogenic. Magmatic deposits occur in association with ultrabasic, basic, and alkalic rocks and contain 7–32 percent TiO2. Titanium ores can be either solid or disseminated, and the minerals can occur in layers or veins. The transitions between disseminated and solid ores are usually gradual. In addition to ilmenite, the ores contain titanomagnetite and hematite. Large magmatic deposits are located in the USSR, Canada, the United States, Norway, the Republic of South Africa, and India. Exogenous deposits are divided into ilmenite and rutile deposits in weathering crusts (3–30 percent TiO2), eluvial-diluvial and alluvial ilmenite placers (0.5–25 percent TiO2), and coastal and marine (early and recent) placers of ilmenite, leucoxene, and rutile (0.5–35 percent TiO2) and of zircon and monazite. Commercially, coastal and marine placers are the most important titanium ores. Here, the ore bodies typically form horizontal layers or lenses; thicknesses can reach tens of meters, lengths tens of kilometers, and widths several thousand meters. Large placers exist in the USSR, Australia, India, Brazil, New Zealand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Sierra Leone. Metamorphogenic deposits include sandstone with leucoxene (8–10 percent TiO2), ilmenitemagnetite deposits in amphibolites (12.2 percent TiO2), and rutile deposits in gneisses and chlorite schists.

Apart from Ti, titanium ores usually contain Fe, V, Zr, TR, and Sc. Ores are dressed by flotation and by magnetic and gravity separation. Reserves of titanium ores in capitalist and developing countries total approximately 660 million tons. In 1971 3.6 million tons of ilmenite concentrates and 420,000 tons of rutile concentrates were produced. The major foreign producers of titanium concentrates are Australia (1.18 million tons), the United States (660,000 tons), and Norway (640,000 tons). Canada produced 770,000 tons of titanium slag containing 70 percent TiO2.

REFERENCES

Malyshev, I. I. Zakonomernosti obrazovaniia i razmeshcheniia mestorozhdenii titanovykh rud. Moscow, 1957.
Borisenko, L. F. “Mestorozhdeniia titana.” In Rudnye mestorozhdeniia SSSR, vol. 1. Moscow, 1974.

L. F. BORISENKO

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