Velta owns ilmenite mining and processing complex

Processing Plant was built in a record eight months and opened in December 27th, 2011. The deposit has 148,9 million cubic meters of titanium ore under JORC standart and 9,45 million tons of ilmenite.

In April 2012, the produstion started to Birzulivske mine with nameplate capacity of 185 ktpa. In November 2013 the second stage of MSC was completed.

The company also owns another titanium feedstock asset – Likarivske ilmenite deposit, located in Kirovograd region as well at 7 km distance from the operational plant at Birzulivske deposit. The geological exploration permit was obtained in 2011. The drilling works have been carried out since 2012 and the ilmenite resourse base is estimated at to 3 million tons. The MSC planned to the construction will have the capacity of 110 ktpa.

Birzulivske deposit

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Resource base of ilmenite

Ilmenite deposit was discovered in the 1960-th. In 2007 Velta has obtained the industrial mining license for 20 years for Birzulivske deposit. Since 2012 the mining and separation complex with the capacity of 270 ktpa has been operating at its base.

Byrzulivske deposit is situated in the centre of Ukraine, approximately at 200 km to the southeast from Kyiv and 250 km to west from Dnipropetrovsk. Main Black Sea ports are situated in 300 – 350 km distance from the deposit by rail. Velta has its own transportation and storage facility which is situated in Novomyrhorod – 27 km from the existing processing plant.

Likarivske deposit

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Resource base of ilmenite

Likarivske deposit is located to the south of Likareve village of Novomyrgorod district of Kirovograd region, and 6 km east of the existing mining and processing complex, Byrzulivske deposit of ilmenite placer ore, and is in fact an eastern extension of this deposit.

It was discovered in 1970s together with Byrzulivske deposit by South Ukrainian Geological Expedition, as a result of prospecting works on ilmenite placer in the lower cretaceous deposit of Lebedyno-Balakliyiv depression.

Likarivske deposit is considered as an additional raw material base of Byrzulivske mining and processing complex. In 2011, Velta received a special permit for the geological study of this deposit for a five-year period, and started the exploration in 2012. The study was completed in December 2016. The company is currently designing a mining a processing complex.

In the spring of 2017, Velta signed a memorandum with the American company CMC Cometals. The preliminary arrangements concern the financing of development and construction of the complex in the amount of $30 million.

On August 22, 2017 Velta received a special permit for the utilization of underground resources from Kirovograd Regional Council. After receiving all permits, it is planned to build a mining and processing complex based at Likarivske deposit with a nominal capacity of 110 thousand tons of ilmenite concentrate per year. The capital investment in construction will be about $30 million.

Director of Public Relations and Communications of Velta

Velta is carrying out the mining operations based on open-pit method. Before starting mining fertile soil layer is sheared and removed for temporary storage aimed to further rehabilitation.

In the open-cast sands are mixed with water by hydraulic monitors and pulp is pumped by the slurry pipe from deposit into processing plant.

Processing of the ore at the plant is carried out without any chemical additives. It has three stages:



Removal of ore slimes in hydrocyclones.


Gravity separation

Disintegration of quartz sand and crude ilmenite (HM) by gravity separators.


Magnetic separation

Disintegration of quartz sand and crude ilmenite (HM) by roller magnetic separators.


Ilmenite of Byrzulivske deposit has a unique origin. The mineral features lightly rolled grains of irregular shape. The size of ilmenite grain vary from 0.05 mm to 1.50 mm.

70% of Byrzuliv ilmenite falls into grain-size category of -0.8 – +0.25 mm. Due to different stratification depth of ilmenite layer, the mineral sands have different leucoxenezation level.

In November 2012 Velta has introduced a new product separation programme based on the different magnetic features of the material. Two product Grades (Grade 1, Grade 2) have been launched into production with different content of the main elements: TіO2, FeО, Fe2О3.

This step enabled the company to provide more customer-oriented service and meet at best the requirement of chemical industry as well as metallurgical one. The approach makes Byrzulivske ilmenite completely suitable for different industrial sectors – production of titanium dioxide by sulphate as well as chloride methods, production of slag, synthetic rutile and electrodes.

Characteristics of ilmenite

Grade I

Mass share, % Min, % Max, %
Ilmenite 95,0 97,5
TiO2 54,0 57,0
Fe2O3 16,0 20,0
FeO 18,0 27,5
V2O5 0,24 0,26
P2O5 0,035 0,11
Cr2O3 0,025 0,050
SiO2 1,5 2,5
Al2O3 0,40 0,50
MnO 0,75 0,85
CaO 0,10 0,12
MgO 0,35 0,55

Grade II

Mass share, % Min, % Max, %
Ilmenite 95,0 97,5
TiO2 56,5 59,0
Fe2O3 20,0 25,0
FeO 15,0 23,0
V2O5 0,24 0,25
P2O5 0,060 0,11
Cr2O3 0,030 0,055
SiO2 1,5 2,5
Al2O3 0,40 0,80
MnO 0,70 0,80
CaO 0,11 0,15
MgO 0,35 0,45

Development prospects

Velta is dynamically moving ahead and is successfully implementing its development plan. The first stage realized by now is the increase of the nameplate capacity of ilmenite concentrate production to 300 ktpa by construction of the Plant #2

The next stages planned are:

  1. Commissioning of Likarivske mining and processing complex.
  2. Horizontal expansion by increasing the feedstock base.
  3. Further expansion through vertical integration.
  4. Introduction of innovations.