An olivine processing plant started its operations in the Karpinsk City District of the Sverdlovsk Region. The Iovskoe deposit of the mineral is located there. The olivine sand can be used instead of quartz sand. It is widely used by foundries and for production of refractory materials. The olivine sand from the Iovskoe deposit is the only one in Russia that can be used for casting according to the criteria of its chemical and mineralogical composition.
Thus, a manufacturer appeared in the Russian market of casting sand that can procure olivine to the Russian major foundries.
The olivine (dunite) sand is used in casting as a mixture for producing iron and steel castings of all kinds. Unlike quartz sand, olivine provides for a high quality of casting without burn-ons and with a good surface.
“The sales strategy is based on the replacement of quartz sand used by the existing foundries with olivine sand. Our main customers are foundries improving the quality of casting. In addition to casting, the product has many other applications. Olivine is a natural fireproof material. It is used to produce firemen uniforms, as a propant agent in the oil extraction, for lining steel ladles in the metallurgy, to modify alloys in steel production. Olivine-filled concrete is an excellent heat accumulator in construction,” said Nikolay Kuzmin, Director of Dunity Severnogo Urala LLC.
Back in the 80s of the XX century, young foreman Nikolay Kuzmin watched the exploration of the vast reserves of the Iov dunite deposit (just approved rock reserves amounting to 150 million tonnes). It was at that time when he started thinking of establishing a mineral processing facility. But the idea did not find understanding or support.
“The Development Corporation of Sverdlovsk Region played a good role in the project promotion. In 2017, analysts of the Development Corporation of Sverdlovsk Region made a business plan, where the market was finally properly analyzed and all the project stages were detailed. That allowed the company to raise funds and, in general, make verified steps in accordance with the plan,” said Nikolay Kuzmin.
According to estimates of the Development Corporation of Sverdlovsk Region, taking into account the casting sand consumption of 1.5 to 2 tonnes per 1 tonne of casting, the need for casting sands of the major Russian foundries is 952 thousand tonnes.
“In the course of the business planning, we saw the undeniable advantage of olivine sand for foundries. While the project price of the olivine sand is set at the level of the average price for quartz casting sand. This project is very important for our metallurgical region and has big prospects of entering the Russian and global markets,” said CEO of the Development Corporation of Sverdlovsk Region Sergey Kiselev.
The project investments exceed RUB 240 million, part of which were allocated for the complex construction of a mountain road up to the Iovskoe plateau.