DATE: 26 MARCH 2017
the dti BUOYED BY R4bn TITANIUM BENEFICIATION PROJECT The launch of the R4 billion titanium beneficiation project for the manufacturing of titanium pigment at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) next month is a significant and commendable milestone in South Africa’s mineral beneficiation and industrialisation paths. This is the view of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies. The project will see Nyanza Light Metals, a South African company, extracting titanium from the waste steel slag and beneficiating it to produce titanium dioxide pigment which is a critical ingredient in paint manufacturing
“As government, we are delighted that our investment, both in terms of human and financial resources will come to fruition when the titanium beneficiation project is launched in one of SA’s industrial zones. This is a significant milestone in the implementation of the country’s Industrial Policy Action Plan and the national beneficiation strategy. the dti pulled out all stops to make sure that the project was a success because we realised the huge impact that it would have on the country’s economy,” says Minister Davies.
He adds that the R4 billion investment by Nyanza is good news for the country in general and the Richards Bay IDZ in particular. The project will be the largest single investment in the Richards Bay IDZ. About 550 permanent jobs will be created when the plant is operational while 1 200 indirect and 800 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase of the plant.
The construction of the plant will commence next year, while production is expected to begin in late 2019. the dti extended a grant of R17,1 million to the company for feasibility studies from its Special Economic Zones Fund. It has also approved an investment allowance of R900m and training allowance of more than R10m from its 12i Tax Allowance Programme.
Last year the dti conducted a scoping study to assess the economic viability of exploiting the bushveld complex magnetite deposits to produce iron-ore or steel and titanium through linking existing plants and projects. The outcome of the study included the identification of industrial opportunities to produce pig iron, vanadium redox batteries as well as titanium pigment from the bushveld magnetite deposits. Amongst the identified opportunities was the Nyanza Light Metals project, developed to produce titanium pigment utilising the Evraz Highveld Steel waste slag which was dumped for over 45 years in the bushveld complex as feed stock.
South Africa has the second largest titanium reserves in the world and produces approximately 19.5% of global titanium slag. SA exports most of the titanium in the form of titanium dioxide or slag to Australia and Europe where the value addition happens and then re-imports the final finished product. SA consumes 35 000 Tonnes Per Annum (tpa) of titanium pigment mainly in paint manufacturing. The Nyanza project will produce 50 000tpa of titanium dioxide pigment which it will sell locally and export into the rest of Africa and Middle East.
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF NYANZA LIGHT METALS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Nyanza Light Metals Ltd (“Nyanza”), a South African company jointly owned by Arkein Capital Partners (“Arkein”) and DBF Capital (“DBF”), concluded a favorable prefeasibility study (PFS) report paving the way for a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) which will culminate in a US$ 300 million titanium dioxide pigment production plant in the Richards Bay IDZ. Nyanza was setup in 2011 by Arkein and appointed Hatch, a leading EPCM company, to perform scoping and conceptual studies on the possibility of extracting titanium from the waste steel slag produced by Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium and beneficiating it to produce the highly valuable and sought after titanium dioxide pigment.
The scoping and conceptual studies were completed in March 2012, and a prefeasibility study (PFS) subsequently commenced in July 2012 which it completed by 2014. With the funding provided by the Dti through the SEZ Fund, Nyanza has commenced with the BFS and is half way through completing the critical pilot and demonstration studies. This project has a favorable developmental impact, which includes the creation of approximately 550 permanent jobs when operational, 1,200 indirect and 800 jobs during construction. Construction is expected to start in 2018 with production late 2019.
About the Project
Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium (“Evraz”) has been mining and processing a titaniaferrous magnetite from the Bushveld complex and through the steel mill operations after taking out Iron and Vanadium generates a waste stream containing 32% TiO2. Nyanza was established purely to explore the technical and economic viability of producing TiO2 pigment from this waste slag stockpile which is measured to be about 45 million tons. To date with Hatch as the engineering company leading the technical feasibilities, Nyanza has produced TiO2 pigment in pilot plants and the economic and financial modeling show that Nyanza will be the lowest cost producer of TiO2 pigment in the world as it is using a waste material which is almost for free. The 45 million tons is equivalent to 200 years of project life making this waste slag dump a strategic resource to Nyanza with potential of reshaping the global manufacturing landscape and competitive dynamics.
About Titanium Dioxide Pigment and the Industry
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment is produced from the beneficiation of rutile mineral sand and ilmenite based slags. It is the most widely used white pigment because of its brightness and very high refractive index. When deposited as a thin fillm, its refractive index and colour make it an excellent reflective optical coating for dielectric mirrors and some gemstones like “mystic re-topaz”. TiO2pigment is also an effective opacifier in powder form, where it is employed as a pigment to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, coatings, plastics, papers, inks, foods, medicines (i.e. pills and tablets) as well as most toothpastes. Today, TiO2 pigment pigment is by far the most important material used by the paints industry for whiteness and opacity. Global demand of TiO2pigment is around 6 million tons per annum.
South Africa has the second largest titanium reserves in the world (behind China) at approximately 16.9%, and produces approximately 19.5% of global titanium slag production. South Africa is also the second largest producer of mined titanium ore. South Africa currently exports most of the titanium in the form of titanium dioxide or slag to Australia and Europe where the value addition happens and then re-import the final finished product such as TiO2 pigment which is the most critical ingredient in paint manufacturing. In South Africa, the major producers of this raw material include Richards Bay Minerals (Rio Tinto), Tiomin, KZN Sands and Namakwa Sands (Tronox).
South Africa’s main TiO2 pigment producer was Huntsman Umbogintwini with a capacity of approximately 22,000tpa but recently shutdown. The current imports into Africa are in the region of 130,000tpa and with South Africa consuming 35,000tpa. Nyanza will produce 50,000tpa of TiO2 pigment which it will sell locally and export into the rest of Africa and Middle East. The top 5 producers of TiO2 pigment in the world in order of size are Du Pont Chemicals (Chemours - American), Huntsman (American),
Projects Benefits to South Africa
This project embodies the DTi’s mineral beneficiation and industrialization strategy for South Africa. Successful implementation of the project will see the following benefits for South Africa:
- Installation of manufacturing and mineral beneficiation capacity worth more than US$300m in South Africa to do value addition on raw material previously exported;
- Import substitution to the value of more than US$60m per year;
- Export of value added product in excess US$90m per year;
- 550 permanent skilled jobs, 1 200 indirect and 800 jobs during construction;
- Replacement of lost production capacity in Richards Bay IDZ;
- Access to manufacturing technology predominantly owned by Americans and Europeans; and
- Reprocessing of material that had been classified as waste to generate high value products.
International Technology Partnerships & Collaborations
Nyanza’s overall manufacturing process is novel and unique as a whole and will be the world’s first. This is largely due to the fact that conventional processes use purer feed stocks with titanium contents of above 60 and in some cases at 96% TiO2 content while Nyanza’s feed stock is 32% TiO2 content. The focus of the feasibility studies has been to develop a unique process and demonstrate that we could use this 32% TiO2 waste slag and produce a world grade pigment. Nyanza has managed to do this using a combination of technologies sourced from Avertana Limited (New Zealand) and Kronos Inc. (American - German).
New Zealand trade commission and High Commissioner have expressed support of such an initiative and Nyanza has been in touch with them. Same dialogues are now being initiated with the American and German Ambassador as the companies have been liaising through their embassies regarding the developments of this corporation. It is these conversations that have culminated in this event were we would like officially introduce the collaborating countries to our project and have our South African Minister give a key note speech on the day acknowledging and showing importance of such collaboration between the countries through Nyanza project.