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Zircon industry conference sets new standards

September 2018

Entitled ‘The zircon industry – what’s just over the horizon?’, the conference was held in early September in Bangkok, Thailand, and attracted well over 100 delegates from more than 80 organisations in 26 countries.

Dr Keven Harlow, Executive Director, ZIA, said: “This year’s conference was the largest and most ambitious we have organised. The two-day event, held for the first time in Asia, exceeded expectations in terms of the number of delegates and the quality of the presentations. The programme was carefully designed for maximum appeal and utility, focusing on the latest developments and market trends affecting zircon production and use.”

Keynote addresses by Tom O’Leary of Iluka Resources and Dr Andrew Staples from The Economist Intelligence Unit opened proceedings on the first and second days respectively, heading up a total of 16 presentations. Topics ranged from the market dynamics of zircon and its various derivatives, to emerging applications, current R&D, and an expert macroeconomic overview of Asia that provided a valuable backdrop to regional developments and the possible impact of current geopolitical events.

“The presentation on very large ceramic tiles, or ‘slabs’, by Simon Brough from Zircon Minerals Malaysia, was particularly well received as this new demand, driven by architectural designs, uses innovative manufacturing techniques utilising the superior technical properties of zircon as an opacifier,” said Dr Harlow.

“Events like these require months of detailed organisation, but the incredible feedback from delegates tells us that it was very much appreciated. Moreover, it allowed them to extract full benefit from their time at the event, as well as to relax and enjoy the opportunity to network with industry colleagues from around the world.

“The ZIA is still a relatively young association, and the success of this year’s conference has helped to further establish our status as a credible and representative body for the global zirconium industry,” he added.

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Notes for editors

The Zircon Industry Association (ZIA) is an independent industry association. Our 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. Our members currently represent some 80% of the globally-produced zircon tonnage.

ZIA has a strict antitrust compliance policy which is announced before the start of meetings and which delegates are required to observe.

For further information and images of the event, please contact:

Alan Hughes / +44 7759 243969 / ahughes@zircon-association.org