Zirconium


The mineral zircon, zirconium orthosilicate, is the only commercial source of zirconium used nowadays. It is found in alluvial deposits, ocean beaches and old lakebeds throughout the world.

In Australia, ocean beaches are mined for rutile and at the same time provide the most important source of zircon. A second important source of zircon results from mining of ilmenite in old beach deposits in Florida.

There are at least 35 known minerals of zirconium, most of which have no commercial significance. Baddeleyte (zirconium dioxide) is an important zirconium ore that can be found mostly in Brazil.