NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Dec 2, 2013) - Applied Minerals, Inc. (the "Company", "Applied Minerals") (OTCQB: AMNL) (OTCBB: AMNL), a leading global producer of halloysite clay and technical grade iron oxides, today announced the commercial launch of its AMIRON™ advanced natural iron oxide family of products produced from its domestic wholly-owned Dragon Mine. As part of the initial launch, four Amiron products are now commercially available on a global basis.
Vertically integrated from mine to market, Applied Minerals' Dragon Mine property, located in Utah, USA, has been recently discovered to contain one of the purest in-situ resources of iron oxide in the world. The resource has been independently measured to contain over 3 million tons of Iron Oxide Hydroxide in the form of limonite, goethite and hematite, grading 95% on average and can be selectively mined for a wide range of end uses. Chemically, the iron oxide resource is uncharacteristically low in trace metal impurities, enabling its use in market applications that have been traditionally served by synthetically produced iron oxides.
According to research from SRI Consulting (now HIS Inc.), "Characteristics and specifications of natural iron oxide pigments may vary greatly depending on their origin. It is therefore important to mention that there is a class of so-called advanced natural iron oxides, with characteristics that fall in neither of the usual classes 'natural' and 'synthetic' iron oxide. Advanced natural iron oxides are characterized by a high content in Fe2O3; exceptional chemical purity, fine grains and good dispersability; good tinting strength and color saturation; low color variation; and a low content of heavy metals -- they are lead-free."
Rogerio Galante, Head of Applied Minerals Iron Oxide Business Unit, commented: "We are excited to commercially launch our AMIRON brand of advanced natural iron oxide products. The market for natural iron oxides has traditionally been constrained due to inconsistent feedstock quality which result in inferior properties as compared to those of synthetic iron oxides. Our AMIRON line of products breaks that paradigm, exhibiting a consistent level of purity and demonstrating performance characteristics that exceed those of competing natural iron oxides."
Mr. Galante continued, "We have preliminarily sampled AMIRON to select customers for several targeted applications and have been encouraged by the initial technical feedback. We look forward to penetrating not only the typical natural iron oxide market but also markets that have traditionally been served by synthetic oxides to which AMIRON offers a compelling value proposition."
AMIRON Product Lines
Applied Minerals has initially launched two product lines: pigments and technical oxides. These include:
AMIRON Advanced Natural Iron Oxide Pigments
AMIRON™ Pigments are manufactured for use in pigment applications such as roofing granules, ready mix concrete, fiber cement, pavers, bricks & mortar, industrial paints & coatings, animal feed & colorants for plastic and rubber.
The AMIRON Pigments line consists of the following colors, all of which conform to standards established by ASTM International, a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards:
ocher, raw sienna, burnt sienna, natural red, burnt red, raw umber, and burnt umber
Premium Grade: AMIRON:ST Semi-Transparent Pigments
AMIRON™ Semi-transparent pigments are manufactured for use in pigment applications such as artistic paint, interior & exterior wood stains. Demand for semi-transparent iron oxide pigments is currently constrained, as they are traditionally difficult to stabilize and disperse and very high in cost. AMIRON, in contrast, is a natural cost competitive solution that offers excellent dispersibility, color consistency, and UV protection, all due to its inherent natural characteristics and proprietary processing techniques developed at Applied Minerals' state-of-art facility located at its Dragon Mine property in Utah.
Premium Grade: AMIRON:HP FDA compliant pigments
AMIRON™ High Purity pigments are manufactured for use in applications such as semi- transparent cosmetics, food contact colorants, and pharmaceutical applications. These industries maintain strict quality requirements, resulting in most suppliers being forced to utilize synthetic products. AMIRON:HP presents a natural alternative that complies with cosmetics industry standards, such as FDA 21 CFR 73.2250 subpart C:
Arsenic (as As), not more than 3 parts per million
Lead (as Pb), not more than 10 parts per million
Mercury (as Hg), not more than 3 parts per million
AMIRON™ Technical Oxides
AMIRON Technical Oxides are advanced natural iron oxide hydroxides, primarily limonitic in nature, consisting of a mixture of iron(III) oxide-hydroxides in varying composition with acicular goethite and hematite. The raw ore contains an intrinsically high surface area ranging from 25m2/g - 125m2/g and is micronized to reduce particle size for increased reactivity. Amiron Technical Oxides meet & exceed many of the strict specifications of iron oxides being used today for arsenic absorption from waste and drinking water, as well as for applications currently using iron oxide as an effective desulfurization catalyst
AMIRON Technical Oxide properties offer:
Ultra high purity (mineralogically consistent)
Very high surface area resulting in increased reactivity
Significantly low levels of trace metal impurities
The AMIRON Technical line consists of the following grades:
Applied Minerals Commercial Production Capabilities & Quality Standards
Applied Minerals' production plant is commercially equipped with fine and ultra-fine milling technologies to consistently produce a range of the highest quality products from batch to batch. The Company's commitment to product quality and consistency is further supported by a strong technical development team utilizing its on-site state of the art laboratory equipped with XRD, XRF, ICP-MS, sedigraph particle sizer, BET surface area, and Data Color color matching equipment.
The Dragon Mine contains an iron oxide resource of 3,300,000 tons of distinctive limonite, goethite, and hematite and formations situated adjacent to its Halloysite clay resource. The Company is able to mine iron oxide and Halloysite clay resources independently and synergistically of one another without interfering with the productivity of either operation. Initial processing capacity for iron oxide at the Dragon Mine is estimated at approximately 10,000 tpa with an ability to rapidly expand capacity if demand necessitates.
The global iron oxide market was estimated to be 1,350,000 mt in 2012 with growth forecasts of ~3.0% per year through 2017, according to industry research. Approximately 1,175,000 mt (87.0% of the total market) is attributed to pigmentary applications. The market is driven by color demand for construction materials, which accounts for approximately half of the market followed by paints/coatings and plastics. The United States consumed approximately 190,000 mt of total iron oxide in 2012 while importing over 140,000 mt.
Applied Minerals will produce AMIRON from its Dragon Mine located domestically in the United States. The Company believes its status as a vertically integrated domestic producer in a country reliant so heavily on imports provides an attractive opportunity to capture import demand. Due the product quality, the company believes that it strong potential to penetrate the global marketplace for iron oxides.
For more information on AMIRON products from Applied Minerals, please visit: www.amironoxides.com.
About Applied Minerals
Applied Minerals is the leading producer of halloysite clay solutions from its wholly-owned Dragon Mine property in Utah. Halloysite is aluminosilicate clay that forms naturally occurring nanotubes. In addition to serving the traditional halloysite markets for use in technical ceramics and catalytic applications, the Company has developed niche applications that benefit from the tubular morphology of its halloysite. These applications include carriers of active ingredients in paints, coatings and building materials, environmental remediation, agricultural applications and high-performance additives and fillers for plastic composites.
Applied Minerals' wholly-owned Dragon Mine also contains an advanced natural iron oxide resource consisting of Goethite and Hematite. Combining ultra-high purity and consistent quality, the inherent properties of iron oxide from the Dragon Mine allow for a wide range of end uses in pigment and technical applications. Additional information on Amiron can be found at www.amironoxides.com.
Additional information on the Company can be found on its website at www.appliedminerals.com.
Safe harbor statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for Applied Minerals, Inc.: Some statements contained or implied in this news release may be considered forward-looking statements, which by their nature are uncertain. Consequently, actual results could materially differ. For more detailed information concerning how risks and uncertainties could affect the Company's financial results, please refer to Applied Minerals' most recent filings with the SEC. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information.