Zirconium: resources, reserves and production-Metalpedia
  • Zirconium resources, reserves and production
  • Abundances of the element in different environments
  • % in Universe 5×10-6%
  • % in Sun 4×10-6%
  • % in Meteorites 0.00066%
  • % in Earth's Crust 0.013%
  • % in Oceans 2.6×10-9%
  • % in Humans 5×10-6%
  • zirconium reservesWorld resources of zirconium are associated with those of zircon and baddeleyite, though there are still another 30 recognized mineral types which contain zirconium to a greater or lesser extent. The dominant economic source of zirconium is the zirconium silicate mineral, zircon (ZrSiO4), which is found in deposits located in Australia, South Africa and India, as reported by the US Geological Survey (USGS). Identified world resources of zircon exceed 60 million tons.
  • According to the latest data from US Geological Survey (USGS),as at 2013 identified world resources of zircon exceeded 60 million tonnes and zirconium reserves totaled 67,000 thousand metric tons.
  • As shown in the table above, both Australia and South Africa possess substantial zirconium deposits. Australia now has the biggest share of zirconium reserves as a single country.
  • zirconium reserves
  • zirconium productionIn 2013, global zirconium production totaled 1.44 million tonnes,registering a 1.4% year-on-year drop. Nearly half of the world’s zirconium (42%) was produced in Australia, followed by 25% in South Africa and 10% in China.
  • The combined zirconium production volume of the top two producing countries stood at over 0.96 million tonnes in 2013, accounting for approximately 67% of all zirconium production.
  • The leading zircon producing companies were Iluka, Richards Bay Minerals, and Tronox Ltd. China was the leading consuming country. In 2014, producers continued to increase production and exploration and development efforts.
  • Major production areas: South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales (Eucla Basin, Narngulu, Murray Basin, Perth Basin and Tiwi Islands are in operation). The Richards Bay Deposit in South Africa and Florida in the US produces zirconium.
  • Hainan province is the principle zirconium production region in China.
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