Nicolene Roux, PhD student at the Graduate School of Technology Management received the Oral Presentation Runner-up award at the Conference of the South African Advanced Materials Initiative 2019 with her presentation on the Fragmentation within the Titanium Industry.
Authors: Nicolene Roux, Elma van der Lingen, Anthon.P. Botha and Annelize Botes
Keywords: Titanium, Fragmentation, Production-fragmentation, South Africa
Abstract: Production fragmentation is referred to as the production of goods across two or more countries. This type of fragmentation is evident in the global titanium industry. This study aims to investigate the fragmented nature of the titanium industry. Globally South Africa has the fourth most abundant titanium reserves, but the country is not optimally benefitting from its resource. South Africa exports titanium ore and imports valuable titanium products. In order for the country to benefit from its titanium reserves, the fragmented nature of the titanium industry should be understood and an attempt should be made to enter this industry at a specific point. Information on the fragmented nature of the titanium industry was collected by means of a desktop study. The study revealed that limited information has been published on the fragmented nature of the titanium industry and therefore the study was not limited to peer-reviewed articles, but also included reports, newsfeeds or any relevant sources. The information collected indicated that the leading countries operating within the industry are the United States of America, China, Japan, Russia and Kazakhstan. The key drivers that caused the fragmentation were identified as technology, markets, production costs and the availability of titanium mineral reserves. An important outcome of this study is the identification of the local need for a technological foundation in regards to titanium processing. This foundation is needed in order to ensure market competitive products on a local and a global scale.