Indian talc producer Golcha Associated operates the single largest talc mine in India and is one of the leading talc producers worldwide with production levels of 300ktpy. Over the last ten years, the company has doubled its processing capacity and introduced high-efficiency jet mills, pulverisers, compactors and classifiers to produce a range of high-value grades to compete in new markets. Golcha Associated now operates six manufacturing facilities in and around Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan.
Golcha Associated has been expanding overseas and has seen growth in export markets, particularly to service the paint and plastics industries with new grades of purer and finer talc, enabled by its investment in upgrading technology and processing. Both the paint and plastics industries are taking finer and purer grades of talc, and there have been some inroads made into the tyre industry for specific recipes. There has also been a fall-out in the reduction of single-use plastics which is increasing talc demand in paperboard barrier coatings for food and non-food packaging. The advantage of talc-based coatings is that they are recyclable and provide a more environmentally-friendly alternative to wax, fluorochemical and petrochemical-based systems.
The flurry of legal activity in the USA over the last two years has driven a shift away from the use of talc in body powders and saw Imerys’ North American talc businesses file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the group sought a termination of talc product related liabilities from a series of law suits. However, it is not only the high-value market of cosmetics that is shrinking for talc, there have also been declines in other traditional talc markets such as a binding agent in paper, ceramics and roofing over the same period.