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Pyx Resources Limited (NSX:PYX) Commences Production and Sales of Rutile

on 1/11/2022
PYX Resources Ltd (LON:PYX) (NSX:PYX) is pleased to announce that it has started production and sales activity of natural rutile from its Mandiri deposit in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, as a by- product of its primary zircon production operation.
PYX's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Oliver Hasler said: "PYX has hit the ground running in 2022 having kicked off the production of rutile; this is an integral part of our growth strategy, which assists us in expanding the range of products available to our increasingly diverse customers worldwide. Like zircon, the rutile market is fast-growing, given its increased usage in the high-tech and automotive markets. Consequently, our timing to build PYX's Heavy Mineral Sands production capacity and global profile comes at an opportune time for the company."

PYX initially focused on producing and selling premium zircon but in November 2021, the Company announced that it had increased capacity at its Mandiri Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) to 24,000 tpa, which enabled the addition of titanium dioxide minerals to its sales profile as part of its five-year plan.

Accordingly, the Company has now commenced production and sales activity of rutile to customers in Indonesia with other by-products, leucoxene and ilmenite, to follow.

Rutile (TiO2) is used in the manufacture of titanium dioxide, which is increasingly used in many industries such as construction, automotive, packaging, and electronics for titanium oxide. Given its growing demand from different industries, the rutile market size is forecast to reach $4.1 billion by 2025, after growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during 2020-2025. Notably, the Australian Government identified rutile and ilmenite as critical minerals considered vital for the economic well-being of the world's major and emerging economies, yet whose supply may be at risk.

Rutile maintains one of the highest refractive indices at visible wavelengths of all known crystals, combined with its substantial double refraction and high dispersion, it is commonly manufactured for certain optical elements, especially polarization optics, for longer visible and infrared wavelengths up to about 4.5 micrometers.

Titanium dioxide is a deep coloured, dark mineral, which transforms into a white opaque powder when processed. This dusty white powder is utilised all over the globe, the pigment is a key component in the manufacture of paint, plastic, paper, and fibre. Titanium dioxide is a non-toxic whitener, which also provides UV and chemical resistance. The mineral is used in an abundance of different end of applications, including house and car paints, plastic pipes and packaging, laminates, inks, clothing, sunscreen, toothpaste, and make-up.

Titanium minerals are also vital in producing titanium metal. Titanium metal is chemically impervious, has a high melting point, low conductivity and has the highest strength to weight ratio of all metals. It is utilised across various applications including defence, aeronautics, medical implants, sporting goods and componentry in the offshore mining and petrochemicals industries.

Welding is another significant market of high-grade titanium feedstocks, used in the manufacture of welding flux wire cord, as utilised in the steel construction and ship building industries. Titanium minerals are favoured for their durability, strength, and exceptional chemical resistance abilities.

A modest, though fast-growing factor of titanium demand is in the nanomaterials sector. Numerous unique properties of titanium are taken advantage of in applications such as dye-sensitised solar cells, water purification, cancer treatment and noise absorption.
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