Vertically integrated from mine to market, Applied Minerals' Dragon Mine property, located in Utah, has been recently discovered to contain one of the purest in-situ resources of iron oxide in the world, the company reported. The resource has been independently measured to contain more than three million tons of Iron Oxide Hydroxide in the form of limonite, goethite and hematite, grading 95 percent on average and can be selectively mined for a wide range of end uses. Chemically, the iron oxide resource is uncharacteristically low in trace metal impurities, enabling its use in market applications that have been traditionally served by synthetically produced iron oxides.
According to research from SRI Consulting (now HIS Inc.), "Characteristics and specifications of natural iron oxide pigments may vary greatly depending on their origin. It is therefore important to mention that there is a class of so-called advanced natural iron oxides, with characteristics that fall in neither of the usual classes 'natural' and 'synthetic' iron oxide. Advanced natural iron oxides are characterized by a high content in Fe2O3; exceptional chemical purity, fine grains and good dispersability; good tinting strength and color saturation; low color variation; and a low content of heavy metals -- they are lead-free."
Rogerio Galante, head of Applied Minerals Iron Oxide Business Unit, commented: "We are excited to commercially launch our AMIRON brand of advanced natural iron oxide products. The market for natural iron oxides has traditionally been constrained due to inconsistent feedstock quality which result in inferior properties as compared to those of synthetic iron oxides. Our AMIRON line of products breaks that paradigm, exhibiting a consistent level of purity and demonstrating performance characteristics that exceed those of competing natural iron oxides."
Galante continued, "We have preliminarily sampled AMIRON to select customers for several targeted applications and have been encouraged by the initial technical feedback. We look forward to penetrating not only the typical natural iron oxide market but also markets that have traditionally been served by synthetic oxides to which AMIRON offers a compelling value proposition."