Country Profile of Boron USA

Oct 10, 2021 | Company Profiles, MINING

Country Profile – Boron USA

Boron USA:The production of boron and boron extracted products – Borates in the USA – is a strategic activity. Borates extraction as high-end minerals contributes to the advanced technology of industries such as aerospace and defence. They are also important to secure food supply in domestic agriculture, and contribute to decarbonisation efforts. The USA is a net importer of borates given Eti Maden’s control of supply and declining production by Rio Tinto but new sources – the Fort Cady project by ABR – will address this imbalance

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Country Profile - USA

Country Profile – Boron USA

Source: André Muller – stock.adobe.com

Boron USA Reserves

While Turkey holds 62% of all boron reserves worldwide, approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, the United States and Russia both have 40 million metric tons of boron reserves.

Boron USA Mines

California is the main location in the United States where Boron is extracted. Primary sources are the Hector Basin, San Joaquin Valley, and the Mojave Desert.

Major Mining Operators of Boron USA

American Pacific Borates Limited

American Pacific Borates Limited focuses on mineral discovery and development in the United States. Its primary focus is on locating borates and lithium resources. American Pacific Borates Limited is a corporation established in Australia primarily focused on the Fort Cady Borate Project in Southern California. Fort Cady is a lithium-bearing colemanite deposit.

 Fort Cady R&R – S-K 1300 (US JORC Equivalent) 
Category Cut-Off (B2O3) Mt H3BO3 (%) Li (ppm) H3BO3 (Mt) Li2O3 (Kt) 
Measured 5% 35.7 11.6 331 4.2 57.5 
Indicated 5% 72.7 11.8 330 8.6 127.7 
Inferred 5% 11.6 11.3 326 1.3 20.1 
Total 5% 119.9 11.7 330 14.0 210.6 
Total 2% 296.2 8.2 323 24.4 509.3 

Source: Oracle Capital, Australia

The Fort Cady Borates Project is situated approximately 50 kilometers east of Barstow and four kilometers south of Interstate 40, near Newberry Springs (I-40). The Project region is located in the Barstow Trough of the middle Mojave, approximately 200 kilometers away from Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fort Cady mine site in Southern California could triple its boron production with increased head grade and a new mine plan. Company executives informed shareholders of a revised boric acid head grade assumption for the Fort Cady project called for in the bankable feasibility study. The new assumption is 5.1 percent, up from 3.7 percent.

Due to the increased grades, American Pacific has prepared a new mine plan for Fort Cady, lowering the cut-off rate from 5% to 0%, substantially impacting the overall amount of boron and lithium produced from the orebody.

American Pacific Borates (ABR) will soon change its name to 5E Advanced Materials, Inc. to pursue a main NASDAQ listing. ABR shareholders will have their shares transferred to 5E in return for 5E Shares or a 5E CHESS Depositary Interest (CDI). Following that, 5E will continue to have a primary listing on the NASDAQ and a secondary listing on the ASX (ASX). They will be relocated to Delaware, USA, and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of 5E. Consequently, ABR owners will receive one 5E share for every ten ABR shares they own or one 5E CDI for each ABR share they own.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto mines borates, a naturally occurring mineral, from their Boron, California mine, which they refine and turn into modern-day goods. Boron is used in fertilizers since it is necessary for plant development, but it is also utilized in glass manufacture, wood preservation, and insulating fiberglass, to mention a few.

Boron began mining in 1927, and now, the mine, which is home to one of the world’s most considerable borates resources, produces one million tonnes of refined borates per year, or around 30% of worldwide demand.

The mule teams who carted borates out of Rio Tinto’s first mines in Death Valley are long gone. Still, the 20 Mule Team® in Borax product name lives on as a sign of excellent quality and consistency, supply reliability, technical assistance, and service.

U.S. Borax is part of Rio Tinto. U.S. Borax has provided refined borates to industrial operations, agricultural and commercial uses for over a century and a half. Their goods, mined and manufactured in the United States, set the global standard for quality and purity, assuring the best results in every procedure.

Borax technical and scientific professionals in the United States are committed to ongoing research and product enhancement. They are continually exploring innovative methods to exploit boron’s unique qualities in your present applications and future breakthroughs in conjunction with industry, education, and community leaders.

Borates output in the third quarter was comparable to the same time in 2020, with increased refinery operating rates due to the effective execution of efficiency efforts that helped maintain system stability.

Source: Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has an extensive product profile of branded products covering the spectrum of borates compounds for applications across major industries. Rather than list all combinations here, this link refers latest offerings and information on product specifications and availability.

Searles Valley Minerals

In late 2007, Nirma, India’s top synthetic soda ash manufacturer, purchased Searles Valley Minerals (SVM) in Overland Park, Kansas. From the brines of Searles Lake in California, SVM manufactures refined borates, soda ash, sodium sulfate, and salt. The combined production capacity is 2 million tonnes per year

The Searles Lake business has a total capacity of roughly 2Mtpy, which is split between three plants:

  • Argus: Soda ash through sodium bicarbonate (power of 1.3Mtpy).
  • Westend: Lake brine fractional crystallization produces sodium sulfate/borax compounds.
  • Trona: Boric acid is extracted from lake brines using a solvent extraction procedure

The refined borates product range includes: The output is sold as the Three Elephant ® tradename, and the refined borates product range includes: PYROBOR ® anhydrous borax; V-BOR ® borax pentahydrate; Borax decahydrate; Boric acid.

 Rose Mill

Rose Mill is North America’s most prominent independent boric acid powder and borax powder manufacturer. Rose Mill’s 1,860m2 plant in East Hartford, Connecticut, manufactures boric acid, refined borax, and specialty borates for medicinal, industrial, and agricultural purposes.

They are not only a boric acid powder producer, but they also process borax powder and other materials regularly to provide a fresh, free-flowing product with a longer shelf life, allowing them to increase production output.

In addition to processing raw materials for other firms, the company sells the following boron compounds:

  • Boric acid technical grades, granular and powder
  • Borax pentahydrate
  • Borax decahydrate
  • Boric oxide
  • Anhydrous borax
  • Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate
  • Zinc Borate

Ioneer Ltd.

The Ioneer Ltd. name ioneer is a mix of the words ion and pioneer, and it refers to our goal of being the first to develop materials for a sustainable future. Their diversified staff includes professionals from the mining, finance, and energy industries eager to contribute their skills to benefit the environment and people. Lithium and boron are employed in various daily things and cutting-edge technology that make contemporary living possible. As more people benefit from current technology and cleaner, more efficient energy sources, demand will rise.

The Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project lays a solid basis for ioneer to become a responsible and lucrative producer of the materials required for a long-term future. Rhyolite Ridge is a vast, shallow lithium-boron deposit owned entirely by ioneer and located near existing infrastructure in southern Nevada, USA.

Dilute sulphuric acid may easily leach lithium and boron from the Rhyolite Ridge host rock, distinguishing Rhyolite Ridge from other sediment-hosted lithium deposits. The rock’s low-clay, low-carbonate, and high-searlesite (boron) concentration contribute to this.

The lithium and boron Mineral Resource is expected to be 146.5 million metric tonnes, with a 60.0 million metric tonnes Ore Reserve, a 280 percent increase in Reserves from the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS). Throughout the mine’s 26-year existence, the business aims to mine and process 63.8 million metric tonnes at a rate of 2.5 million metric tonnes per year. (Source:https://www.ioneer.com/rhyolite-ridge/overview)

USA Imports and Exports of Boron

Boron exports from the USA saw a significant increase in September 2021, when they increased by 33.7% over the previous year and imports were up 119%.The result is a constantly growing trade surplus of 108 million dollars for this period.

Major export destinations are…

(Source: https://oec.world/en/profile/bilateral-product/boron/reporter/usa?redirect=true)

Distributors of Boron in the USA

The most common use for boron is to make fertilizer, which can be used on farms or lawns for increased production of crops and grasses. Boron has other uses as well, including its use in making glasses, polishing metals like aluminum and stainless steel, cleaning ovens without using toxic substances, fireproofing materials such as polymers that are exposed to high-temperature conditions, or flame retardant properties. Boron is distributed in the United States by these companies:

CRS Chemicals

CRS Chemicals produces a vast array of chemical goods, including boron carbide and powder, are manufactured and distributed by this company. Aluminum powder, non-ferrous metal powders, ammonium pechlorate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, and ferrous sulfate are some of the other goods available.

Goodfellow Corporation

Goodfellow is a Boron distributor. They use pure metals and alloys, single crystals, ceramics, polymers, and composites for research, prototype development, and small-run applications. Cutting, finishing, and analyses are all provided on a custom basis.

Superior Supplements Manufacturing

Superior Supplements sell boron in capsules, tablets, powder, soft gels, and liquids. Formulation, compounding, and flavoring, blister, bottle, and folding carton packaging, are all capabilities. Small and big quantity orders are available. It’s safe to use in dietary, nutritional, and medicinal products. Label design and fulfilment services are provided.

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