- THE MAGAZINE
Rio Tinto Borax, the world's leading supplier of refined borates, announced plans to invest $2.6 million to construct a new boric acid plant adjacent to its current refinery operations in Campo Quijano, Argentina. Construction is scheduled to begin this month and the plant is projected to begin producing boric acid in 2003. The company recently announced a 12% productivity increase and a 7% reduction in fresh water usage at its primary boric acid plant in Boron, Calif., a plant that is reaching capacity. Borax is building its new boric acid plant to meet rising global demand fueled by regional economic recovery, growth in the textile fiberglass and borosilicate glass industries, and success in converting customers from raw mineral feed to refined boric acid, according to David Peever, Borax's chief commercial officer. "While we will continue to invest in improving efficiency and lowering our environmental impact at our current plant in California, we are also investing in additional boric acid capacity in Argentina -- an investment that should pay off for our global customers, as well as local employees and communities," said Peever.