The industrial minerals sector is mainly composed of small and medium-sized enterprises, but also includes some of the world's leading international companies. Unlike other mining sectors, the European industrial minerals industry and its markets are largely self-sufficient. Minerals are extracted from deposits found across Europe.
The European producers of andalusite, bentonite, borates, calcium carbonate, cristobalite, diatomite, dolomite, feldspar, kaolin, kaolinitic clays, lime, mica, quarz, sepiolite, talc, vermiculite and wollastonite - i.e. around 500 mineral companies or groups which are member of IMA-Europe - operate more than 700 mines and quarries and 750 plants throughout Europe. They offer direct employment to some 42.500 people and process an annual volume of some 180 million tonnes of industrial minerals, contributing a value of around Euro 10 billion to Europe's gross domestic product. If downstream industries such as glass, foundries, ceramics, paper, paint, plastic, steel, etc. are included, the figures are much higher.
The producers can be found in the members list or member associations sites. IMA Europe does not collect statistics. We refer to the EU Minerals Yearbook (available from the Office for Official Publications of the European Commission) for market data.