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Mineral Recycling Renaissance: Secondary Raw Materials to Become more Mainstream Source for Buyers

This trend has sparked increasing interest among certain mineral processors to invest in and develop production lines dedicated to recycling industrial mineral containing industrial wastes, or Secondary Raw Materials (SRM). This sector is expected to grow significantly over the next ten years. Leading SRM for industrial mineral markets include spent refractory bricks, steel slag, aluminium salt slag, fly ash, glass, construction products, and waste water. Recycling of some these SRMs, particularly glass, fly ash, and slag, has already been well researched and established for some years, while others like refractory bricks and aluminium salt slag have been initiated, but have been held back to a certain extent by technical and economic factors, until relatively recently. However, the level and sophistication of their recycling is now seeing a distinct uptick and these sectors are set for expansion. Recycling of spent refractories is being pursued with particular vigour, with refractory majors such as RHI AG/AT declaring raw material substitution and recycling as an integral part of its Strategy 2020. Meanwhile, refractory recycling processors are upgrading and expanding their facilities, such as Horn & Co. Group/DE employing an automated sorting system supplied by Secopta GmbH, based on laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS); and new plants, such as LKAB Minerals’ Moerdijk refractory recycling facility in the Netherlands, which opened in May 2015 after just seven month’s construction.


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