The TiZir Titanium & Iron ilmenite upgrading facility (TTI) has a long and stable production history, having commenced operations in 1986. It is one of only six such operating facilities of its type in the world and the only one in Europe.
TTI upgrades ilmenite to produce a high-value titanium slag, primarily sold to pigment producers, and a high-purity pig iron (a valuable co-product) which is sold to ductile iron foundries.
Mining, processing & integrated logistics
TTI uses a process of pre-reduction, metallisation and smelting to upgrade ilmenite into high-quality titanium products and high-purity pig iron. TTI’s excellent positioning allows access to cheap & clean power, year round shipping & on-site ship handling, and quick access to world-wide customers.
Why upgrade ilmenite?
The titanium slag is predominantly sold to pigment producers. The pigment producers themselves are only interested in the titanium dioxide (TiO2) contained in their feedstocks. The lower the TiO2 content of the feedstock and correspondingly the higher the impurities content, the greater the waste products that are generated during the pigment manufacture which leads to potential environmental challenges and associated costs.
The smelting process at TTI involves the reduction of the iron oxides from the ilmenite with everything else reporting to the slag. The separation of the iron lifts the titanium dioxide content from approximately 54% in the ilmenite to approximately 87% in the slag.
High-purity pig iron – a valuable co-product
The high-purity pig iron produced as part of the smelting process (which is renowned for its low phosphorus and sulphur contents) is sold to a varied and large number of customers, and includes windmill, automotive and engine parts, as well as tools and heavy castings.
How ilmenite is processed
(A) Quay – Vessels arrive with raw materials
(B) Coal Storage – Coal is discharged by conveyor belts to the storage area
(C) Ilmenite Storage – Ilmenite is transported by conveyor belts and stored in concrete silos
(D) Pre-reduction Plant – Ilmenite is pelletised and pre-reduced in a kiln
(E) Filters – Gasses and fine particles produced in the kiln are removed in cyclones and electrostatic precipitators
(F) Smelter – Pre-reduced pellets from the kiln are smelted in a three phase arc furnace. Molten iron is collected at the bottom of the smelter and titanium rich slag is tapped from above the iron phase
(G) Continuous Casting Machine – Iron is tapped from the furnace into 80 ton ladles and refined to specific qualities before being cast into ingots
(H) Crushing Plant – Crushing and screening of titanium rich slag takes place
(I) Silos for Finished Slag – The crushed slag is stored in five concrete silos with total capacity of 43,000 metric tons
(J) Slag Shipping – From the silos the slag is transported by conveyor belts to vessels for bulk shipping
(K) Pig Iron Shipping – The pig iron is shipped in container loads
TTI is positioned on the edge of the Hardanger fjord in Tyssedal, Norway approximately 180 kilometres south-east of Bergen and 365 kilometres from Oslo. Norway has a low population and high standard of living with the third highest GDP per person in the world. The country has a highly educated workforce which has helped build strong industrial and service sectors whilst maintaining traditional Norwegian industries such as timber and fisheries.
Norway remains steadfastly independent and has not joined the European Union (EU) or adopted the Euro currency. Norway is a member of the European Economic Area and adheres to many environmental and other regulations issued by the EU.