- About Us
- Products and Services
- Community & Environment
- Our Team
Unimin mines quartz-rich rock and sandstone deposits throughout North America to produce industrial silica sand. These silicon dioxide resources run the gamut of mineralogical complexity from mature and nearly pure quartz concentrations to geologically "new" feldspathic sands. High purity SiO2 is an essential chemical component in glass, ceramic and silicate manufacture and a durable structural element in a wide range of building products, filtration and energy service applications.
Unimin mines a light-colored metamorphic rock deposit in Canada to product nepheline syenite. This important ore body, composed of nepheline with subordinate amounts of albite and microcline, yields a complex aluminum silicate with valuable physical, chemical and optical properties. Nepheline syenite lowers the melt temperature of many industrial processes for energy savings, and can be further modified to product functional filters for paint, powder coatings and plastics.
Unimin mines a coarse grained granitic rock unit in the Spruce Pine Intrusive Suite to produce high purity quartz. Unique deposit minerology and proprietary technologies yield ultra-pure grades with total impurity levels measured in parts per million. Chemical purity and heat resistance make high purity quartz an indispensable component of semiconductor chips, solar cell manufacturing and quartz lighting applications.
Unimin concentrates sodium and potassium feldspar by crushing and sizing select granitic rock deposits. Feldspar alumino-silicates act as a flux to lower the temperature of vitrification and provide alumina which promotes hardness, durability and resistance to chemical corrosion in ceramic wares, electrical porcelain, and all types of glass and fiber insulation.
Unimin produces high calcium lime (CaO) and hydrated quicklime Ca(OH)2 from high purity limestone ore bodies. Lime and limestone provide chemical functionality in a diverse range of industrial applications. Lime and limestone are used extensively in metallurgy to remove impurities and adjust final chemistry. Highly reactive and soluble lime is essential for pulp and paper manufacturing, water treatment and air quality management.
Unimin mines bone-white microcrystalline quartz deposits unique to North America and rare throughout the world. Composed of individual grains of microscopic quartz, the formation is concentrated in soft earthy beds intermixed with chert masses. Microcrystalline silica has a textural grape-like structure that adds functional performance to paints, plastics, rubber and composite materials.
Unimin mines kaolinite clays at multiple locations in Georgia. Kaolin clays mined from these weathered feldspar deposits provide a consistently uniform source of alumina. Air flotation and processing eliminates accessory minerals including quartz, feldspar, mica, calcite and sometimes pyrite impurities to yield superior fiberglass, ceramic and functional filler grades.
Unimin produces ball clays from its operations in Texas and Indiana. Kaolinite-rich deposits containing varying quantities of illite, sericite mica, smectite clays and organic matter are selectively mined and blended to fulfill plasticity and fired-strength specifications in ceramic applications. Ball clay also delivers structural, reinforcing and rheological functionality in rubberized products, membranes and flexible coatings.
High bightness calcite and calcium carbonate feedstocks are processed and air-classified for structural fillers in plastic, paint, adhesives and sealants. Engineered fillers and surface treated grades add reinforcing properties in PVC plastic, flexible film and paint applications.
Unimin's mineral portfolio reflects the wide diversity of physical, chemical and performance requirements of our customers. We employ a range of beneficiation technologies to isolate and deliver specific functional properties sought by our customers. Chemical purity, particle size management and other "critical to quality" parameters are statistically controlled for predictable results in the customer's application.
In the mine, strict selection criteria based upon performance requirements is used to identify ore bodies with specific mineralogical properties for processing and optimization. Continual exploration and reinvestment ensure that these essential raw materials remain a uniform and sustainable resource for our customers.
Products and their performance are supported by 26 technology centers worldwide
Unimin maintains strong customer relationships by delivering quality, service and expert technical support. A fundamental strength of the Company is its application-focused technical centers and customer teams. With hands-on industry experience these teams help improve productivity, create a performance advantage or develop next generation products in a wide range of customer applications.
To convert concepts into production realities, we operate one of the world's largest industrial mineral research organizations. Marketing and product development teams draw upon the expertise of PhD scientists and industry experts to optimize functionality, performance and value. Committed to both basic and applied research, this group has pioneered new and proprietary technologies that make it possible for Unimin to convert natural resources into engineered mineral solutions.
Our customers are at the center of our product and process innovation
Each Unimin plant is a multi-million dollar investment in quality, consistency and technical innovation. Mining and manufacturing processes are vertically integrated to convert natural mineral deposits into engineered products. With continuous feedback, Unimin employs proprietary processing, separation and refining technologies to deliver the physical, chemical and functional properties sought by our customers for their specific applications.
The collaborative development of cleaning booths to remove dust from worker's clothing, the use helmet mounted video cameras and direct-reading aerosol monitors to identify potential workplace hazards, and the refinement of Enhanced Video Analysis of Dust Exposures (EVADE) software are safety innovations envisioned or advanced at Unimin. We're particularly proud that the cleaning booth and EVADE innovations are employed outside of the mining industry to protect workers in the pharmaceutical, aerospace and construction environments.