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Unimin Corporation was founded in 1970 with the acquisition of local silica sand companies in Virginia and Minnesota. In 1973, SCR-Sibelco of Belgium became a major investor in Unimin, the majority shareholder in 1984 and the sole shareholder in 2006. The Sibelco Group is a privately held mineral mining and processing company with a long-range perspective that has guided the business for nearly 140 years. Unimin has inherited this rich history of longer-term strategic planning. As a privately held company, Unimin is afforded the luxury of looking beyond the quarterly demands and short-term trends for real opportunities for sustainable growth.
Unimin's operations are headquartered in New Canaan, Connecticut and we have 57 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including 46 mining and mineral processing sites and 11 offices.
Unimin's history is defined by extensive growth and product diversification. Unimin established long term relationships with the glass and energy services industries, which marked the beginning of a strategic campaign of acquisition, capital improvement and new construction that still continues today. In 1983, Unimin acquired Martin Marietta's industrial sand division, and in 1986, diversified further with acquisitions of high purity quartz, microcrystalline silica and feldspar.
In 1990, Unimin expanded into Canada with the acquisition of the nepheline syenite and silica sand operations, making it a global supplier to the glass, ceramic, paint and plastics industries. In 1997, Unimin acquired silica sand, feldspar and calcium carbonate operations in Mexico to form Grupo Materias Primas and in 1999 and 2000, added kaolin and ball clay to its product portfolio. Unimin further diversified its product offering in 2006 with the addition of calcined lime in the southeastern United States.
Today, Unimin is an application-focused company drawing from its deeply diversified product portfolio and the worldwide production capabilities of the Sibelco Group. Unimin continues to be a solutions provider for the global industrial minerals industry.