Garnet positively impacts both our environment and workers occupational…

Our society will be better off with garnet mined by Arctic Mineral Resources because:
  • Garnet has unique capabilities for use as media in sand blasting and waterjet cutting
  • Use of garnet replaces usage of hazardous blast media and reduces occupational mortality
  • Garnet replaces less eco-friendly products and causes no pollution upon disposal
  • Garnet yields improved sustainability and cost-efficiency compared to alternative products
  • Replacement of pollutive and hazardous blast media is held back by lack of access to garnet
  • Quality garnet allows customers to further improve sustainability through recycle and reuse
  • Europe is dependent on significant import volumes due to lack of domestic mining

Garnet is used industrially in sand blasting and waterjet cutting. The term sand blasting originates from blasting with silica sand (beach sand). Silica sand is accessible, cheap, and functions quite well as blast media. However, it yields crystalline silica dust upon sand blasting. This dust is the main cause of silicosis (pneumoconiosis); a lethal lung disease and the oldest occupational disease known to man. Due to high mortality rates caused by silicosis, the EU and the US have banned the use of silica sand in sand blasting. Due to lack of access to sufficient garnet, silica sand remains the most widely used sand blasting media in poor countries.

In the EU and the US, the most widely used blast media is slags from coal fired power plants (coal slag) and metal smelters (metal slag). As waste by-products these slags are cheap. Some also feature fairly good performance. However, some are also carcinogenic and / or causes elevated risks of mortal lung diseases. Some also contain toxic substances like arsenic and beryllium. Contrary to silica sand, the availability of coal slag is quickly decreasing as coal-fired power plants are retrofitted with new technology that eliminates slag as waste by-product.

Garnet is extracted either from mineral sand or from hard rock. Garnet from hard rock features sharper edged crystals, in turn featuring faster cutting and blasting. Hard rock garnet yields superior performance with lower cost per square meter compared to alternatives. High quality hard rock garnet, as featured on our properties in Vevring, is a superior alternative for replacing silica sand and slag for sand blasting. In addition, garnet is the only industrially available media for waterjet cutting.

Global garnet mining increased exponentially from the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s due to access to new large mineral sources. Lack of new mines being brought into production since has led to limited new supply, and an export ban from certain deposits in India has led to a significant reduction in supply from 2017 onwards. Garnet still represents a modest share of the overall blasting media market and price levels are still dominated by more prevalent alternatives such as slags. This has, on the other hand, led to very stable market prices. Europe is heavily reliant on importing large quantities of garnet as coal slag supply continues to decrease and focus on more eco-friendly products and solutions continues to increase.

Our deposit Vevring contains large volumes of high-quality garnet. We have signed an MoU with an industrial minerals major for offtake of all garnet we plan to mine (solely underground).

Arctic Mineral Resources will contribute to garnet supply in Europe and adjacent markets, in turn contributing both to improving occupational health and reducing environment pollution.