Contributor Since 2008
Applied Minerals, developers of the 267-acre Dragon Mine in Utah, which is rich in ultra-pure iron oxide (3.3M tons iron oxide hydroxide Measured, consisting of limonite, goethite and hematite) as well as the unique mineral Halloysite Clay, was excited to report the commercial launch today of an entire family of advanced natural iron oxide products coming out of their Dragon Mine.
The initial launch of the family of products, known collectively as AMIRON™, is now available to global markets and features four key offerings, all of which benefit the company's shareholders from tight mine-to-market economics made possible by AMNL's exploitation strategy for their wholly-owned Utah mine. Average grades of 95% iron oxide with exceptionally low trace metal impurities means the Dragon Mine resource can tap directly into market applications that are now dominated by synthetically produced iron oxides.
Head of AMNL's Iron Oxide Business Unit, Rogerio Galante, hailed the debut of the AMIRON family of advanced natural iron oxide products as a real paradigm-shattering event, given the fact that the market has been historically dominated by synthetic iron oxides. The consistent levels of purity and the performance characteristics exhibited by the Dragon Mine output smashes the competitors and AMNL has wasted no time getting samples into the hands of select clientele in order to rapidly vet a variety of important applications, generating the vital technical feedback data needed to penetrate target markets fully.
The four initial AMIRON offerings come in two lines, pigments, and technical oxides:
•Premium Grade: AMIRON:ST, Semi-Transparent Pigments for quality artistic paints, as well as interior/exterior stains, address a market where current dynamics would greatly benefit the company's natural oxides, with such pigments classically proving difficult to stabilize/disperse and thus being quite expensive. The AMIRON product offers significant savings over the typically high costs in this area and provides excellent color consistency/UV protection to boot, thanks both to the material's natural characteristics and to AMNL's advanced processing techniques, painstakingly developed at their state-of-the-art research facility on the Dragon Mine site.
•Premium Grade: AMIRON:HP, FDA-compliant pigments are a high-purity form of the raw materials processed for use in food contact colorants, pharmaceuticals, and semi-transparent cosmetics, roles that are once again dominated by expensive synthetics for a variety of reasons. Chief among those reasons are strict quality requirements, daunting for competitors, but right up ANML's alley, and the company now stands poised to offer a compelling natural alternative that still meets with stringent cosmetics industry standards.
•The AMIRON Technical Oxides are going to see huge traction in waste and drinking water arsenic decontamination, as well as in desulfurization, because the raw ore possesses a uniquely high surface area (in addition to being micronized in order to jack up particle reactivity). Both grades of the Technical Oxides, AMIRON:OH and AMIRON:H, also have extremely low levels of trace impurities as noted above.
AMNL's advanced processing facilities can handle even ultra-fine milling requirements and the company is thus able to target and hit extremely high tolerances on a batch-to-batch basis. Proficiency backed up by a top notch technical team and an on-site laboratory complete with a full suite of the latest analytical hardware, including XRD (X-ray diffraction), XRF (X-ray fluorescence), and ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) systems, as well as a sedigraph particle sizer, a BET surface area analyzer, and Data Color matching equipment.
With a 10k tons/year initial output estimate for iron oxides at the Dragon Mine and rising demand projected both at home and abroad, as a combined 1.35M mt global market (2012 figure) is slated to grow 3% per annum through 2017, AMNL is clearly sitting pretty on some of the finest material on earth. The company is looking like a shoe-in to capture a large chunk of the pigment space, which accounts for roughly 87% of the iron oxide market by itself.
Halloysite is a very important substance moving forward due to its intrinsic formation of natural nanotubes and the material also currently enjoys widespread use in ceramics and catalysts. AMNL has developed niche applications for Halloysite based on the naturally forming nanotubes as well, with applications ranging from carrier agent doping in paints and other coatings, to high-performance agricultural additives.
For more info on Applied Minerals visit AppliedMinerals.com
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