Rutile is a mineral composed primarily of titanium dioxide, TiO2. Rutile is the most common natural form of TiO2. Rutile has among the highest refractive indices of any known mineral and also exhibits high dispersion. Natural rutile may contain up to 10% iron and significant amounts of niobium and tantalum.
Rutile, when present in large enough quantities in beach sands, forms an important constituent of heavy mineral sands ore deposits.
Finely powdered rutile is a brilliant white pigment and is used in paints, plastics, papers, foods, and other applications that call for a bright white color. Titanium dioxide pigment is the single greatest use of titanium worldwide. Nanoscale particles of rutile are transparent to visible light but are highly effective in the absorption of UV light. Hence, they are used in sunscreens to protect against UV induced skin damage.
Small rutile needles present in gems are responsible for an optical phenomenon known as asterism. Asterated gems are known as "star" gems. Star sapphires, star rubies, and other "star" gems are highly sought after and often more valuable than their normal equivalents. Rutile is widely used as a welding electrode covering.
The sands of Sankaramangalam in Kerala were found to contain several rare earths like Ilmenite, Zircon and Rutile. KMML is involved in the harvesting of these minerals from the seas, which are used as basic raw materials for a variety of industries. The Mineral Separation Unit (MS Unit) is engaged in the separation of Ilmenite, Rutile, Leucoxene, Monazite, Silliminite etc from the beach sand. The MS Unit employs Gravitational, Magnetic and High Tension Electrostatic Techniques for separation of minerals from the sand.
KMML is India’s first and only manufacturer of Rutile Grade Titanium dioxide by chloride process.