LEUCOXENE

  • Leucoxene
  • Mines Producing Leucoxene

Also Known As : Anatase - Rutile

Leucoxene is not regarded as being a mineral in its own right, rather, the name 'leucoxene' is a term applied to products containing a TiO2 titanium content of between 70 to 93 percent. It is a fine granular alteration product made up of titanium minerals, varying in colour from brown to yellow.


Extensive Weathering Forms Leucoxene


Leucoxene is formed in nature through the weathering of ilmenite over an extensive period of time. This weathering removes ilemenite's iron content and increases its titanium content. Leucoxene grains are often found in mineral sand but is not regarded as a mineral in its own right as it doesn't have a defined crystal structure. Its chemical composition is also so varied it can not be expressed as a chemical formula. This phenomenon means it is basically an alteration product containing minerals bearing titanium, such as titanite, rutile and ilmenite.


Leucoxene is an Economic Claytons Mineral


Because leucoxene is a mixture of many minerals that include goethite, hematite, anatase, pseudorutile and rutile its colour can also be variable. It can be a reddish colour, orange, yellow, brown or light gray. Its earthy appearance comes about because of it being a mixture and never forming a crystal. It is therefore an economic mineral , a titanium ore, usually mined with ilmenite.


Uses of Leucoxene:


Leucoxene is used as a feedstock in titanium pigment plants.
In the welding field it is used as a fluxing agent in welding electrodes particularly in the shipbuilding industry and civil engineering generally.


Australia is the Worlds Leading Producer of Leucoxene


Australia is the world's leading producer of Leucoxene, followed by South Africa and the USA. The construction boom in China over the last decade has caused it to be in strong demand over that period. One of Australia's largest producers of leucoxene is mineral sands miner Iluka. Iluka produces a product it calls HyTi2 which is guaranteed to contain 90 percent of high grade leucoxene. Iluka sells leucoxene in bulk at the port in Geraldton in Western Australia. It also sells the product in bulk bags, bulk in containers, or in free bulk form, from its many international warehouses. Iluka mines Eucla HyTi at its Jacinth-Ambrose mine in South Australia and process it at its mineral separation facility at Narngulu in Western Australia. In 2012 it produced 30,000 tonnes of HyTi leucoxene.


Leucoxene is Non-toxic but can have Inherent Dangers


Leucoxene is non-toxic, although ingestion could cause irritation of the intestinal system because of its abrasive action. It can however cause problems if inhaled constantly that can result in shortness of breath and coughing. Leucoxene can contain crystaline silica which when inhaled in large amounts, or over a long period of time, can cause silicosis. Leucoxene can also contain low levels of uranium and thorium therefore making it slightly radio-active. This will only be a problem after prolonged exposure to low level gamma radiation from bagged stockpiles or in unprotected bulk supplies.

Australian Mines that produce Leucoxene

Ginkgo ( NSW )

The Ginkgo Mine, in the South West of New South Wales, was the first such mine to start production in the rich heavy mineral sand deposits of the Murray Basin.

Snapper ( NSW )

The Snapper mineral sands mine in the far south west of NSW is a natural extension of the older Ginkgo sand mine 10 kilometres to its north.

Cooljarloo Exxaro ( WA )

The Cooljarloo mineral sands mine in W.A. produces over 770,000 tonnes of heavy mineral concentrate annually using dry mining and dredging techniques.

Dardanupdoral ( WA )

The Dardanup–Doral mineral sands mine at Picton in Western Australia is owned by Japanese company Iwatani International Corp. through Doral Mineral Sands.

Gwindinup North ( WA )

The Gwindinup North mineral sand mining operation near Bunbury in Western Australia is owned by Saudi Arabian company Cristal Mining Australia Limited.

Wim 150 ( VIC )

The WIM 150 mineral sands project, 20 kilometres south east of Horsham, in the Wimmera Region of Victoria, is to be developed by Australian Zircon NL.

Atlas Campaspe ( NSW )

The Atlas-Campaspe heavy minerals sand mining project in far west New South Wales being developed by Cristal Mining has received both state and federal environmental approval.

Keysbrook ( WA )

When the Keysbrook heavy mineral sand mining project gets underway in November, 2015, it will be the worlds largest producer of leucoxene.

Mindarie ( SA )

The Mindarie Heavy Mineral Sands Project in the Mallee Region of South Australia produces mineral sands for export to China.

Coburn ( WA )

The Coburn Zircon deposit located north of Geraldton in Western Australia has had all necessary approvals granted and is expected to begin production in the near future.

Thunderbird Project ( WA )

The Dampier mineral sands Thunderbird Project in the Canning Basin region of Western Australia will become one of the largest and best quality heavy sands mines in the world.

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