Business model

As the world’s leading supplier of specialty solutions for industry based on mineral or advanced materials, Imerys contributes to a vast range of products that touch every aspect of life. A wide variety of industries use our high value-added, functional solutions, ranging from process manufacturing or mobility to consumer goods.

Drawing on an understanding of applications, technological knowledge and expertise in material science, we deliver solutions by beneficiating mineral resources, synthetic minerals and formulations. In turn, our customers’ products benefit from essential properties including heat resistance, hardness, conductivity, opacity, durability, purity, lightness, filtration, adsorption and water repellency. 

We succeed through:

  • A strong business model and value proposition
  • Best-in-class operations, delivering commercial excellence and market-driven innovation
  • Unrivaled technological and industrial processes, solutions and leading positions in our markets
  • Understanding our customers’ applications
  • Meeting ambitious targets for responsible business

Learn more about our business model from our company introduction presentation.

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A strong business model

- Organized around core markets

- Mining resources

- High-quality minerals/advanced materials,  and industrial assets

- Unrivaled technological and industrial processes

- Innovative solutions

- Leading positions in markets

High-quality minerals and industrial assets

We possess an extensive range of mineral resources and advanced materials, which effectively secures a large proportion of our supply and production costs, as well as highly effective industrial assets using a wide variety of exclusive industrial technologies and processes. 

We operate over 100 mineral deposits throughout the world. We continue to replace and develop our mineral reserves and resources to ensure we constantly hold an average of 20 years of reserves. We mine and/or process over 30 different minerals to provide mineral solutions that enhance the properties of their end-use applications and meet our customers’ specifications.

We have specialist expertise in the following transformation processes in order to deliver key properties for our customers’ products and production processes:

- Mechanical treatments: purification, refining, micronization by milling and screening, drying, moulding, cycloning, elutriation, classification, flotation, mixing, etc.

- Heat treatments: very high-temperature calcination, fusion, sintering, etc.

- Chemical treatments: synthesis, crystallization, precipitation, etc.

The mineral solutions and advanced materials we market account for a relatively insignificant portion of our customers’ production costs, but they add key properties to their products—such as purity, crystal structure, size and distribution of particles, shape and specific surface area—or industrial processes by making it possible to reduce energy consumption or accelerate production processes.

We sell our solutions as powders, grains, granules, blends, pastes and aqueous dispersions.

Imerys offers solutions aligned with changing markets as a result of new lifestyles, new economic models, technological progress and changing expectations from stakeholders. Our innovation strategy builds on our ability to combine minerals with applications to provide customers with significant improvements in the properties of their products. 

We deliver value-added solutions that are formulated to meet the technical specifications of each customer. The solutions contribute to the performance of a multitude of products in three categories:

- Functional additives: added to the formulation of customers’ products (e.g. talc improves the rigidity of polymers used in the automotive industry and calcium aluminates are used in self-leveling, quick-drying cement floor screeds, graphite & carbon-based additives for batteries)

- Mineral components: essential constituents in the formulation of customers’ products (e.g. zirconia oxygen sensors in combustion engine management systems and fused alumina in industrial abrasives)

- Process enablers: used in customers’ manufacturing processes, but not present in the end product (e.g. diatomaceous earth, which is used to filter liquid foodstuffs and extract proteins from blood plasma by fractionation)

Our solutions serve many industries such as construction materials, mobile energy, agri-food, automotive and cosmetics.

Our development strategy

Man and woman checking laboratory data

Imerys’ strategy is designed to deliver steady income growth for the Group to create long-term value. We continuously invest in and develop our Science & Technology program, industrial capacity, mining resources and geographic expansion.

The various acquisitions we have completed over recent years have enabled us to become the world’s leading supplier of mineral solutions to the industry. They have broadened our business portfolio and provide access to new technology platforms, geographic regions, minerals and products. We also manage our business portfolio to build a coherent industrial Group centered around specialty minerals and advanced materials which may include divestitures of various sizes.

Man and woman checking laboratory data