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Ukraine titanium zirconium industry dilemma and the world titanium material impact
Ukraine titanium zirconium industry dilemma and the world titanium material impact

In the global economic landscape, Ukraine's United Mining and Chemical Companies (UMCC) have always stood out for their unique position. As the largest titanium zirconium mining and titanium smelting enterprise in Europe, UMCC not only holds high-quality mineral resources, but also has the world's top ten mineral processing technology level.

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Ukraine has the tenth largest titanium reserves in the world, with ilmenite and rutile reserves estimated at 5.9 million tons and 2.5 million tons, respectively. It is worth noting that United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC) is the main titanium mine in Ukraine. In 2020, its share of the global ilmenite, rutile and zircon markets will be 2.3%, 6.2% and 1.4%, respectively.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022, the UMCC has been in trouble and stopped normal operations. At the time, with more than 54,000 tons of ilmenite and 100,000 tons of crude ore piled up in its storage facilities, these resources were undoubtedly valuable, but under the double whammy of economic pressure and market volatility, UMCC's survival was in jeopardy. However, just as the UMCC was dying, a sudden change in the international situation brought it a turning point.

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With the sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russian titanium alloy companies, Russia's titanium alloy can no longer supply Western countries. In this context, UMCC's ilmenite concentrate and crude ore have become scarce resources, and their status has suddenly changed from "bleak management" to "saving straws".

Ferroalloy Online 2023-10-10: The joint stock company of the United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC) began shipping ilmenite concentrate from the Irshansk Mining and Processing Plant (Zhytomyr region) to the Czech Republic in October.

In 2023, UMCC entered into a cooperation agreement with Comus to supply 80,000 tons of ilmenite select ore per year to Comus, which will be smelted into titanium plates in the United States.

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This cooperation not only brings new life to UMCC, but also makes it one of the few "high-tech enterprises" in Ukraine.

After 850 days of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has once again taken unprecedented measures.

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According to the New York Times website reported on June 12, cash-strapped Ukraine plans to sell state assets to raise money for the war. UMCC is one of the businesses that the Ukrainian government plans to sell.

As for why the sale of state assets was taken, the New York Times did not hide that one of the reasons was that the Ukrainian government was short of money. According to the New York Times, the Ukrainian government has a $5 billion gap in its military budget this year, and is trying to fill it by selling off state assets.

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Ukraine's state-owned United Mining and Chemical Company (U.M.C.C) is also one of the government's biggest assets up for sale. Three auctions were cancelled due to a lack of bidders before the conflict broke out, and the Ukrainian government is now hoping that a fourth auction, scheduled for this autumn, will go ahead, with a starting price of about $100 million.

If the UMCC auction is successful, it will have a huge impact on the world titanium zirconium market.


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