How Titanium is Mined
Titanium metal is always bonded to other elements in nature. It is the ninth-most abundant element in the Earth's crust (0.63% by mass) and is present in most igneous rocks and in sediments derived from them (as well as in living things and natural bodies of water). It is widely distributed and occurs primarily in the minerals anatase, brookite, ilmenite, perovskite, rutile, titanite (sphene), as well in many iron ores. Of these minerals, only ilmenite and rutile have significant economic importance, yet even they are difficult to find in high concentrations. Because it reacts easily with oxygen and carbon at high temperatures, it is difficult to prepare pure titanium metal, crystals, or powder. Significant titanium ore deposits exist in Australia, Scandinavia, North America,South America and Malaysia. Large quantities have also been detected in the Kwale region in Kenya.