Zircon Sand Market

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 - By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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Industry: Chemicals & Materials

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Zircon Sand Market: Overview

The market size for zircon sand was USD 1,953.4 million in 2021, and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9 percent during the forecast period. Zircon sand is a typical auxiliary to trace mineral components of most granite and felsic igneous rocks. Excellent qualities of hardness, endurance, and chemical inertness characterize this sand. Zircon is a frequent component of many different types of sand and endures in sedimentary layers. It is a mineral that is nesosilicate in nature. Zirconium silicate is what it is known as chemically, and its chemical formula is ZrSiO4. Silicate melts containing significant amounts of incompatible elements with high field strengths give rise to zircon sand. For instance, zircon sand frequently contains 1% to 4% hafnium in terms of component particles. Zircon sand has a tetragonal crystal system for its crystal structure.

Zircon sand can be colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, or green in its natural state. Zircon sand is a common accessory mineral in igneous rocks (as major crystallization byproducts), metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks. Heat and corrosion are not a problem for zircon sand. It contains uranium and thorium. The ornamental ceramics industry is known to use zircon sand, which is mostly used as an opacifier. Despite its limited utility, it is a major precursor for all zirconium compounds, including zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). The zircon sand market is being driven by factors including the rise in demand from the ceramic sector due to rapid urbanization and the surge in consumption of ceramic tiles. The foundry industry's growth in demand for zircon sand is also projected to fuel the zircon sand market. The zircon sand industry, however, is anticipated to be hampered by factors like the imbalance between supply and demand. Furthermore, the market for zircon sand is anticipated to be hampered by high tariffs and strict mining regulations.

A high-volume expansion of the zircon sand market is anticipated during the anticipated period. The market is anticipated to be driven in the next years by rising demand from the ceramic sector, the growth of nuclear power plants, and an increase in the use of the surface coating. The market is expanding due to the expansion of the ceramic sector and the increased usage of granite and tiles in various nations. Additionally, a rise in zircon sand demand in the foundry sector is anticipated to fuel the market. However, the market's expansion is anticipated to be hampered by high tariffs, the disparity between supply and demand, and government regulations on mining.

Zircon Sand Market: COVID-19 Impact

The global COVID-19 crisis has hampered the expansion of numerous industries. The demand for ceramic items has decreased due to the global lockdown. This has had an impact on the market expansion for zircon sand. Similar to how the construction sector is being threatened with closure due to the virus outbreak, the demand for tiles is falling. However, after the infection has healed, the market is projected to expand. Market demand and sales have significantly decreased due to the lockout, and a full recovery is anticipated to take some time.

Zircon Sand Market: Drivers

Increasing Demand in Ceramic and Foundry Industry to Drive Market Growth

The Zircon Sand Market is being driven by factors including an increase in ceramic tile consumption and a rise in demand from the ceramic sector due to rapid urbanization. The foundry industry's increased need for zircon sand is also anticipated to fuel the zircon sand market. Due to several qualities, including its ability to bind with all organic and inorganic sand binders, low thermal, low acidity, growth coefficient, high spatial stability at augmented temperatures, chemical stability at high temperatures, and good recyclability, zircon is widely used in ceramics and foundry, typically in the form of sand and flour. Due to its exceptional qualities, such as its capacity to give ceramic bodies and glass matrices higher mechanical strength, durability, and toughness, zircon sand demand is rising.

Increasing Application in Electronics and Industrial Growth in Major Countries Driving Market Growth

Manufacturing glazes, opacifiers, frits, ornamental and floor tiles, steel and glass refractories, and specialized glass and metal castings heavily rely on zircon sand as a raw material. Zircon goods are increasingly used to make faceplates for computer screens and TV monitors, especially in developing nations like India. China has been at the forefront of building new production facilities to serve these industries as the surge in the usage of zircon sand in a variety of applications continues. The development of numerous forthcoming nuclear power plants will increase the demand for zirconium metal in this highly specialized sector. In Asia and Europe, where several consumer industries have experienced widespread growth, zircon demand is clearly driven primarily by these regions. As a result, worldwide demand now surpasses global production capacity.

Zircon Sand Market: Restraints

Stringent Mining Regulations, Supply-Demand Gap, and Increasing Prices to Hamper Market Growth

The zircon sand market is projected to be affected by factors, including the supply-demand gap. Furthermore, high tariffs and strict mining regulations are projected to constrain the zircon sand market. There has been a global regulation surge in transportation, the environment, and health and safety in recent years. Regulations are getting stricter, while harmonization is becoming a worldwide trend. Rising zircon sand prices will probably constrain the market expansion in the upcoming years. For instance, the price of zircon sand has been steadily rising due to Iluka Resources upping its prices by USD 70/mt for delivery in Q2 2021. Other significant producers have followed suit and increased their pricing by a comparable proportion, including Tronox and RBM. Currently, prices range from USD 1490 to USD 1520 per mt CIF China port. Due to strong demand for downstream zirconium products, prices are predicted to rise until Q3.

Zircon Sand Market: Segment Overview

Colorless Segment to Dominate Market due to its High Demand in Different End Use Industries.

Zircon sand is explored on a global scale for various products, including colorless, yellow-golden, brown, and others. The sector of products without color is likely to hold the biggest market share and expand significantly because of its strong demand in end-use industries. Zircon sands are rounded, naturally occurring sands utilized in precision investment casting, refractory, ceramic, and foundry applications. They are crucial in creating metal chills, wall tiles, shell molds and cores, glazes, coatings, and ladle brick. Thus, the expansion of the market is attributed to an increase in the usage of zircon sand in refractory, the steel foundry sector, weld fluxes, and ceramics applications.

With Increased Infrastructure Development Projects, Building and Construction Category Dominated Market

During the projected period, the building & construction sector is expected to account for a sizeable portion of the zircon sand market. This is mostly attributed to the increase in investment in the global building and construction sector. Additionally, the growing use of zircon sand in the ceramic sector is anticipated to propel market expansion in the upcoming years. Zircon sand is used quite frequently in advanced ceramics. Bricks and clays used in traditional pottery are frequently porous, tough, and brittle. Advanced ceramics are ceramic substances specially created to improve their characteristics.

Additionally, zircon sand is typically used as flour while making ceramic tiles. Zircon sand is occasionally utilized to improve the abrasion resistance of glazed surfaces, particularly floor tiles. Zircon has a high refractive index, which makes it a perfect opacifier. Ceramics seem opaque and white because tiny zircon grains scatter visible light. Zircon sand's great hardness, which aids in resistance to mechanical damage and scratching, is another quality that makes it desirable for ceramic manufacture.

Zircon Sand Market: Regional Landscape

Asia Pacific to Dominate Market due to Growing Investments in Building and Construction Sector

Asia Pacific now maintains the biggest market share for zircon sand due to rising investments in the building and construction sector, with North America trailing behind in revenue. The European market is anticipated to expand at a considerable CAGR over the forecast period. The continents of Africa and Australia are where most zircon sand is extracted. Currently, more than one million tonnes are produced worldwide yearly. Nearly half of the zircon produced worldwide is consumed by China, with significant amounts also consumed by Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and India. Lower-grade zircon concentrates with zircon content ranging from 65 to 85% (on average 75%) are transported, for instance, from Southeast Asia (Indonesia & Vietnam).

During the forecast period, the market in APAC is expected to develop at the highest growth rate. APAC will likely keep the largest market share during the projection period. In the upcoming years, the industry is anticipated to be dominated by nations like China and India. Most of China's end-use sectors are expected to experience significant development due to the country's expanding population and rising standard of living. China is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The nuclear power industry in China is expanding quickly, which should increase demand for zircon. China is also one of the major market leaders in the ceramic industry. The majority of refractories are consumed by the steel and iron industries.

Global Zircon Sand Market: Competitive Landscape

The National Titanium Dioxide Company Limited's titanium dioxide business was acquired by Tronox Holdings PLC in April 2019 from Cristal. To expand its position in the zirconium market, ERAMET announced in July 2018 that it had purchased 100% of the shares of TiZir, a vertically integrated zircon and titanium company.

Few of the players in the Zircon Sand Market include Alkane Resources, Allegheny Technologies, Australian Zircon, Neo material Technology, Kenmare Resources, Bemax Resources, Foskor, Luxfer Group, Molycorp, Richard Bay Minerals, Oxkem Limited, Tronox Limited, Eramet, Rio Tinto, Iluka Resources Limited.

Regional Classification of the Global Zircon Sand Market is Described Below:

North America

  • U.S.
  • Canada


  • Germany
  • France
  • Spain
  • U.K.
  • Italy
  • Russia
  • Rest of Europe

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • Japan
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
  • Rest of Asia Pacific

Latin America

  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Rest of Latin America

Middle East and Africa

  • GCC
  • South Africa
  • Rest of Middle East and Africa

*Regions and countries are subject to change based on data availability

Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Zircon Sand Market

  • Zircon Sand Market by Product/Technology/Grade, Application/End-user, and Region
  • Executive Summary (Opportunity Analysis and Key Trends)
  • Historical Market Size and Estimates, Value and Volume, 2018 - 2022
  • Volume Consumption at Regional and Country Level, 2023 - 2030
  • Market Dynamics and Economic Overview
  • Market Size in Value and Volume, Growth Rates, and Forecast Figures, 2023 - 2030
  • Competitive Intelligence with Financials, Key Developments, and Portfolio of Leading Companies 
  • Regional and Product/Grade/Application/End-user Price Trends Analysis
  • Production Output Analysis (Major Producing Regions)
  • Key Trade Statistics (Import and Export)
  • Value Chain and Five Force’s Analysis
  • Regional/Sub-region/Country Market Size and Trend Analysis
  • Company Market Share Analysis and Key Player Profiles

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