Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) operates an open cast titanium dioxide mine at Lac Tio near Havre-Saint-Pierre and, at its metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, extracts high-quality titanium dioxide feedstock, pig iron, steel and metal powders from the ore.
RTFT has operated in Quebec for 70 years and pioneered the process of removing iron from ilmenite.
Innovation at RTFT
Throughout our history, we have continually improved the processes at Rio Tinto, Fer et Titane. After first pioneering a new technique for processing ilmenite, we took on the challenge of diversifying our product line as RTFT targeted the metal powder and steel markets.
Several technological breakthroughs then sharpened the competitive edge of our products. In the last decade, we have focused on developing, marketing and fine-tuning the UGS process, which produces slag with a very high titanium dioxide content. By developing UGS™, an enriched titanium slag sold to pigment producers that use the chloride process, and RTCS (Rio Tinto chloride slag) a slag made from Madagascar mineral sand, RTFT has secured a strong position in a flourishing market.
Research & Development
RTFT was founded on research and development and it continues to drive our growth strategy. The founding of our Technology Centre in 1967 underlined the strategic role that R&D plays at RTFT and its mission is to improve processes to expand our markets and build the value of our products. Our team of specialists in a wide range of fields of science and technology is a key strength for our business.
Research has an impact on all areas of activity at RTFT, from mining to the finished products. Strong links between research staff and operations personnel guarantee the continual improvement of our processes. Whether at the laboratory, the pilot plant or the production facilities, all research is conducted on site. The Technology Centre features state-of-the-art equipment and highly specialised instruments, such as inductively coupled plasma spectrometers, X-ray machines, atomic absorption units, gas and image analysers and scanning electron microscopes.
RTFT is one of the 50 most active Quebec companies in research and development, and its Technology Centre is among the ten largest in the Canadian metallurgical industry.