Zircon is the mineral name given to the compound zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4). It is often found alongside other heavy minerals, most typically the titanium minerals ilmenite, rutile and leucoxene in which it can represent up to 50% of the mineral suite. As such, most zircon is produced as a co-product of titanium mining in heavy mineral sands deposits.
Zircon is processed for use in various applications such as ceramics, zirconium chemicals, refractory and foundry.
The zircon value chain
Mining and treating the ore to yield zircon sand
Further handling to manufacture milled zircon or simple zirconium chemicals
Incorporation of milled zircon or zirconia chemicals into complex final products