According to a study published by Business Communications Co., Inc., Norwalk, Conn., RGB-246: Minerals as Additives and Functional Ingredients, the total annual consumption of the minerals studied in this report is estimated to be nearly 181 million metric tons. About 69% of that figure, or 125 million metric tons, are used as additive minerals. The market for minerals is expected to rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 1.6% during the five-year forecast period to reach 195 million metric tons by 2005. The amount used as additives will increase at an AAGR of 1.7%, thereby exceeding 136 million metric tons by 2005.
Another criterion of analysis presented in this report is based on the functions that additive minerals serve. Six distinct functions are selected: abrasion, absorbent, body, coating, filler and flame-retardant. Most of these functions are demonstrated in products from at least two of the different market segments. For example, the coating function includes minerals used in paints and in paper coating.
Several of the market categories use minerals as the main constituent or "body" of their product, such as silica use in glass, or clay use in ceramics. It is recognized that this use does not meet the strictest definition of the term "additive." However, these figures are included in the report for the sake of continuity. Mineral use that does not fall into the additive definition encompasses materials to facilitate manufacturing or other processes.