Titanium (Ti)

Titanium has a high refractive index, is highly resistant to corrosion, and imparts increased strength to metal alloys without adding significant weight, making it an essential metal in aerospace and marine technologies, paint and pigments, medical implants, and numerous other applications. Titanium is primarily mined from deposits containing ilmenite, rutile, and leucoxene. These minerals can be found in heavy-mineral sandstones and unconsolidated heavy-mineral placers, which account for the majority of TiO2  production worldwide, as well as in anorthosite plutons and layered mafic intrusions with titaniferous iron-oxide bodies (Woodruff and others, 2017).

Titaniferous magnetite
Titaniferous magnetite from the Laramie Mountains.

In Wyoming, titanium associated with magnetite and ilmenite is found in significant amounts in the Laramie Mountains, with magnetite forming the majority of the oxide bodies. Titanomagnetite in the Iron Mountain area is reported to contain 13.75–30.84 percent TiO2  (Curtright and others, 1971). Titanomagnetite is not typically mined for Ti due to its comparatively lower concentrations than other Ti-bearing ore minerals but advances in modern processing techniques have the potential to make this a viable source of titanium. Small heavy-mineral sandstone deposits are found in the Mesaverde Formation, Rock Springs Formation, and several other Upper Cretaceous formations. Heavy black sands in the Mesaverde Formation have been reported to contain up to 33.9 percent TiO2  (Sutherland and Cola, 2016).


Patty Webber, patty.webber@wyo.gov