Environmental groups that had been challenging the leading U.S. wollastonite producer’s proposed exploratory drilling program within the Adirondack Forest Preserve in New York decided not to pursue any further legal action. The 81-hectare property contains an estimated 1.2-1.5 Mt of wollastonite reserves, sufficient to extend the company’s mining operations in the area by an additional 10 years.
Domestic wollastonite consumption was estimated to have increased in 2015 (specific data not available). The plastics and rubber markets (thermoplastic and thermoset resins and elastomer compounds) were estimated to have accounted for more than 25% of U.S. wollastonite use, followed by ceramics (frits, sanitaryware and tile), paint (architectural and industrial paints), metallurgical applications (flux and conditioner), friction products (primary brake linings), and miscellaneous uses (adhesives, concrete, glass and sealants). Globally, ceramics were estimated to account for more than 30% of wollastonite sales, followed by polymers and paint.
Wollastonite sales to domestic construction-related markets, such as adhesives, caulks, cement board, ceramic tile, paints, stucco and wallboard, were likely to have increased in 2015 due to growth in residential and commercial construction. Demand to the manufacturing industries, including metal castings and processing, paint, plastics, and rubber, also likely increased. In Western Europe and Asia, demand for wollastonite likely remained unchanged or increased slightly due to the effect of economic uncertainties on construction and manufacturing.