Sherbourne Consulting

Case Study: Research of Supply Chain for Industrial Minerals

Minerals have a wide variety of critical applications in industrial sectors such as aluminium, ceramics, foundry and glass. Each is selected for specific properties such as thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance.



Our client was a British SME, engaged in manufacturing refractories and supply for the glass industry around the world.

  • We analysed the supply market for a range of minerals — including micronised zircon, tabular/calcined alumina, andalusite, and calcined kyanite.
  • The problem was that the client was mostly sole-sourced for each product, and prices were trending upwards. Thus, a clear understanding of viable alternatives, specification compliance, and price trends was required.
  • For micronised zircon, a range of potential suppliers were identified in the USA, Europe, China and Japan. These were shortlisted based on their ability to meet the strict requirements for chemical composition, particle size, and surface area.
  • Savings of 17% against the incumbent source — coupled with the essential, increased security of supply and manufacturing — were an immediate outcome for this essential input material.
Photograph of Graham Barker, China consultant

For enquiries, please contact: Mr. Graham Barker
Research Consultant
+44 (0)1789 731 803
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Sherbourne Consulting has extensive, global experience — with specialist consultants able to research industrial markets around the world. Please contact us with any enquiries.