Since 2014, TiZir has operated a mineral sand deposit by continuous dredging, through its subsidiary Grande Côte Opérations SA in Senegal. The world’s biggest mineral dredger works on an artificial basin, moving 7km per year along a 106km strip of dunes. A rotary blade, immersed in the sandy water, sucks in sand 24 hours a day. The 2% of heavy minerals is then concentrated, separated and dried. The extracted ilmenite is sent to the Tyssedal plant in Norway, where it is turned into titanium dioxide slag and high-purity cast iron.
2016 was a contrasting year. In Senegal, after a difficult start to the year, significant progress was made on engineering, management organisation, costs and safety. The year then went smoothly without the slightest lost-time accident and production increased to a record amount in the last quarter. In Norway, the processing plant’s ramp-up was suddenly interrupted by the operating incident that occurred on the TTI plant furnace on August 15th, 2016. This led to the total shutdown of the plant to repair the furnace’s refractory p-walls. It came back on stream in 2017 and resumed its ramp-up.
- 613,000 tons
of mineral sand concentrate extracted in 2016.
- 3 million
Dredging operations by Grande Côte Opérations in Senegal © GCO / ERAMET
GCO teams present cheques to Diogo and nearby villages in a ceremony as part of their community actions © GCO / ERAMET
Rehabilitation operations by Grande Côte Opérations in Senegal © GCO / ERAMET
TiZir’s Tyssedal plant in Norway © ERAMET