The Production of Pozzolans Heats Up in California

17th November 2022

Carbon-neutral cement is just around the corner for California, as Rio Tinto's US Borax facility in Boron begins to produce pozzolans from mine waste materials. 

An agreement between CR Minerals and Rio Tinto facilitated the production, enabling California to progress towards the decarbonisation of concrete and participate in the circular economy. 

As part of the new agreement, CR Minerals will be constructing a new facility to manufacture pozzolans on Rio Tinto's property. The cement replacement is intended to be produced from waste tailings present onsite.

Rio Tinto's operations in Boron, California are long-standing, having mined and manufactured products used in fertilisers, as well as participating in other industries including glass manufacturing, wood protection, and insulation fibreglass for nearly a century. 

Credit: Concrete Products - US Borax facility

President of CR Minerals, Jeffrey Whidden, speaks on his gratitude for the agreement, emphasising how this will fast-track the need to place the circular economy at the forefront of the construction materials industry, "We have been working with Rio Tinto for several years now to bring this concept to life. Taking what was once considered waste streams and turning them into usable products for the construction materials industry is part of the vision of our company. Manufacturing a low-carbon alternative to cement will be an exciting venture in the State of California that prides itself on being at the forefront of effecting positive environmental change," he said. 

Rio Tinto's General Manager for US Borax, Renny Dillinger, reiterates their stance on environmental practices, explaining "our commitment to the environment and leaving a lasting, positive legacy is fundamental to our sustainability goals. Finding new uses for our waste streams and by-products such as this is a key component to our goal of decarbonisation and also to achieving a circular economy," he said. 

To learn more about this new agreement, click here.