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ZIA 2019 Annual Conference is largest to-date

September 2019

This year’s Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) Annual Conference, titled ‘Zircon: where to next for downstream users?’, took place in Dubai from 3 - 5 September. The conference was attended by over 130 delegates, representing 96 organisations from 29 countries. During the two-day conference, delegates heard 15 presentations delivered by industry experts and academics on a wide variety of topics related to the diverse downstream applications of zircon

Keynote addresses from RAK Ceramics’ CEO, Abdallah Massaad, and Robert Ward, Editorial Director of the Economist Intelligence Unit, set the tone for each day of the conference. Whilst presentations on zircon market dynamics, supply & demand and the outlook for the Chinese market offered delegates a global update on the industry.

The conference also featured presentations on zirconium, including a new process for the clean manufacturing of high-purity Zr metal delivered by Professor Jong-Hyeon Lee, and the critical use of Zr-based alloys in the nuclear power generation industry presented by Simon Marshall.

Local Dubai architect Deepak Prabakaran mesmerised delegates with his insightful review of building design trends to watch in 2020, while Dr Javier Garcia Ten highlighted the results from a ZIA-supported project on the current trends in zircon thrifting and substitution in ceramic tiles. Of great interest was the presentation by Birmingham University’s Emma Jones, who highlighted her research on new and advanced techniques for the better understanding zircon quality.

Dr Keven Harlow, Executive Director, ZIA, said: “This year’s conference was our largest and most successful to-date. The high quality programme as well as the popularity of the conference ensured that ZIA’s annual event is now widely considered to be the ‘heartbeat of the industry’. The presentations’ content was carefully designed for maximum appeal, focusing on the latest developments and trends is the uses of zircon and its many derivatives.”

“We recognise that the benefits of attending our conference are not just gained from the presentations alone. This year, delegates also enjoyed a site visit to two key consumers of zircon in the UAE, RAK Ceramics and Ceramin, each offering an insight into an industry that is the largest worldwide consumer of zircon.“

“The success of this year’s event has continued to enhance ZIA’s status as the authoritative voice of the global zirconium industry,” he added.

View the ZIA Conference 2019 Conference Brochure

Notes to editors

The Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) is an independent industry association. Its mission is to represent and support the interests of the zircon, zirconia and zirconium value chains, from zircon sand production, to a wide range of downstream products including zircon flour, opacifiers, refractory materials, friction materials, fused zirconias and zirconium chemicals, metal and alloys. Its members currently represent some 80% of the globally-produced zircon tonnage.

ZIA has a strict Code of Conduct and Antitrust policy which is announced before the start of all meetings and events, and which delegates are required to observe.

For further information and images of the event, please contact:
Claire Caton / media@zircon-association.org