Sibelco Nordic Oy AB

With an extensive portfolio of minerals and long history behind it, Sibelco Nordic Oy AB remains true to its core values and looks set to capitalise on important opportunities
Mineral rich

With an extensive portfolio of minerals and long history behind it, Sibelco Nordic Oy AB remains true to its core values and looks set to capitalise on important opportunities

Originally founded in 1872 supplying silica sand from Flanders to the Belgian glass industry, Sibelco has grown into a global company with a portfolio of minerals to serve most applications in most industries. Strategically growing through acquisition, the company works towards the ultimate goal of being the worldwide market leader with a full mineral portfolio. With innovation forming the basis of Sibelco’s continued success, it is able to serve a range of applications including agriculture, metallurgy, glass, construction, coatings and polymers, energy, ceramics, environmental and sports turf. In the early 2000’sSibelco acquired SP Minerals in Finland, rebranding it Sibelco Nordic Oy AB.

“The Finnish subsidiary serves a mix of export and domestic markets with particular demand from Europe and Russia,” says Sibelco Nordic MD, Kim Michelsson. “We are also able to import a lot of Sibelco products into the domestic markets as traded goods.” With such a large global portfolio behind it, the company is able to serve most mineral needs for most applications across the world. Sibelco Issue 116 bSibelco in Finland is spread across five sites, enabling it to supply a range of minerals. “We have Nilsia, a quartz quarry and enrichment plant; Kimito, a Feldspar plant with several quarries and enrichment plant; Nakkila, which processes slag for abrasive products; the Kristinastad plant has a Bentonite milling plant, and then we have Karvian, which is based on natural sand for different applications like biofuel and paints,” explains Kim.

Two areas where Sibelco Nordic is a specialist are in silica and feldspar. With glass serving as the main industry for silica minerals there is a large demand for it. Sibleco produces the crystalline forms of silica, quartz and Cristobalite, as both sands and flours. As a hard, chemically inert mineral with a high melting point, silica is a valuable material with uses in a range of industries and applications. The Finnish reserve of feldspar is only one of four sites for Sibelco across Europe, and forming the basis of most ceramic everyday items, it is a crucial part of the Finnish activities. With both alkaline and alumina content, feldspars are valuable within a range of industrial processes acting as fluxing agents in ceramics and glass production. Functionally, the minerals are used as fillers in paint, plastic, rubber and adhesive industries.

On a group level, Sibelco has a strong environmental responsibility policy that involves careful management of the natural resources it serves to the market but also demonstrating awareness and responsibility for the surrounding area. Kim highlights a particular project the company is involved in within Finland: “We have just started a big environmental project where we are supplying Bentonite for a very big slag dump site. It’s a big two-year construction project and we have sold out of Bentonite at the moment.”Sibelco Issue 116 c

Operating on such a large scale across the world, with over 10,500 people operating across 200 production sites and 26 technical centres in 41 countries, Sibelco has taken care to define and adhere to its core values. The first is a commitment to deliver – with such an expansive supply chain the company utilises its infrastructure to ensure all customers are served to the right specification wherever they are. Following this, Sibleco is able to combine its specialist expertise with local customer service to ensure that customers are supported in order to get the best out of their minerals. Playing a major part in the mineral industry’s leadership the group then makes an effort to listen and develop on a continual basis. By developing strong local relationships, Sibelco is able to identify specific challenges and work with its portfolio and expertise to develop pioneering solutions. Following current market trends, the company has a major focus on energy reduction and efficient raw material use.

Confirming this commitment to continuous development, Kim says: “We have a lot of plans going on at a group level with some very interesting development projects for innovative products ongoing. We hope to start marketing some of these in the near future.”

With a long history and extensive group support behind it, Sibelco Nordic in Finland hasa positive outlook on the future. “In Europe we feel that business is improving all the time right across many of our markets,” expresses Kim. “In general we see the Russian market as having a lot of potential going forward and we also see a big opportunity in biofuel production as this is a very important growing market.” Ultimately, by staying true to the company’s values, Sibelco has a good attitude towards capitalising on these potential opportunities. By continuing to listen and develop its mineral portfolio, and maintaining its robust supply chain management the company as a whole is on the right course towards realising its goal to be a world leading mineral supplier.


Services: Mineral supplier