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The global zirconium market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 6.21% during the forecast period, 20182023. The major factor driving the market growth is the growing usage of zirconium in foundries and refractories. Furthermore, a strong growth in the global automobile production and mechanical engineering industries is stimulating the demand for cast parts, which in turn, accelerating the growth of zirconium market.
Intensive Properties Driving the Market
Due to the low acidity, high chemical resistance, high bonding capacity, and low thermal expansion coefficient of zirconium, it is being extensively used in the foundries and refractories as molding base material for sand casting and investment casting. The accelerating usage of zirconium and its promoters in surface coatings to improve the adhesion, heat and water/solvent resistance properties and as a keying agent between the body of coating and the substrate is also likely to drive the zirconium market.
Ceramics the Largest Application Type
The market can be segmented by application into refractories, ceramics, zircon chemicals, foundry sand, and others such as radio tubes and detonation caps, with zircon based ceramics being the major application. In 2017, approximately 50% of the total zirconium consumption by volume was contributed by the ceramics application segment. The chemicals segment is estimated to have the highest growth rate, owing to growing application of zirconium as catalytic converters for automotive and industrial exhaust systems.
China dominating the Zirconium Market
China has the largest market, accounting to almost 50% market share for zirconium globally. The consumption of zirconium will be driven by the nuclear power station in China. China consumes large amount of zirconium silicate. As per production, Australia is the largest producer of zirconium across the globe.
Key Developments in the Market
December 2017: Iluka Resources Limited approved the development of Cataby mineral sands deposit in Western Australia. It is expected to produce around 50 kilo tons per annum of zircon.
The key players are ILUKA RESOUCES INC., RIO TINTO, TRONOX, KENMARE AND CRSYTAL MINING AUSTRALIA LTD and other prominent players are MZI RESOURCES LTD., DORAL MINERAL SANDS PTY. LTD., LANKA MINERAL SANDS LTD., OREGON RESOURCES CORPORATION, INDSTRIAS NUCLEARES DO BRASIL S.A.
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