The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
Zirconium is the 20th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It occurs in a variety of rock types and geologic environments but most often in igneous rocks in the form of zircon (ZrSiO4). Zircon is recovered as a coproduct of the mining and processing of heavy mineral sands for the titanium minerals ilmenite and rutile. The sands are formed by the weathering and erosion of rock containing zircon and titanium heavy minerals and their subsequent concentration in sedimentary systems, particularly in coastal environments. A small quantity of zirconium, less than 10 kt/a (11,000 stpy), compared with total world production of 1.4 Mt (1.5 million st) in 2012, was derived from the mineral baddeleyite (ZrO2), produced from a single source in Kovdor, Russia.