The heavy minerals contained in the oil sands deposits are concentrated by the bitumen extraction/recovery process (en route to oil production). The majority of these minerals are contained in the oil sands froth treatment plant (FTP) tailings stream. Titanium Corporation's process will intercept FTP tailings near their discharge into the tailings pond.
Two processing facilities will treat the material recovered. A Hydrocarbon & Water Recovery Plant will recover hydrocarbons and water and produce a Heavy Mineral Concentrate. This concentrate will then be separated in a Mineral Separation Plant into final products: ilmenite, leucoxene and zircon. These processing facilities are planned to be in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
The Hydrocarbon & Water Recovery Plant
The Hydrocarbon & Water Recovery Plant (HWRP) will recover hydrocarbons and water and concentrate the heavy minerals in this waste tailings stream. The heavy mineral concentrate will then be transported to the Mineral Separation Plant (MSP).
The Mineral Separation Plant
In the Mineral Separation Plant, the heavy mineral concentrate will be separated out as final mineral products: zircon, ilmenite and leucoxene. These final products will then be trucked to the railhead at Lynton just south of Fort McMurray where they will be railed to North American markets or to a port site for export. The major export markets are Asia and European regions.
Tailings and waste products from Titanium Corporation's mineral processing facilities will be returned to the existing tailings pond of the oil sands producer.
Due to strong world-wide demand and pricing for zircon, Titanium Corporation is focusing on the development of zircon markets. The larger prospective markets include zircon flour, ceramics and chemicals.