Imerys Announces the Inauguration of a Proppant Production Unit and Steps up in the Minerals for Oilfield Services Market

PARIS, September 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


Imerys announces today the inauguration, in Andersonville (Georgia, United States) of a production unit for ceramic proppants. Produced from minerals owned and processed by Imerys, ceramic proppants are beads that keep fractures in hydrocarbon reservoirs open, combining great mechanical strength with low density. They are essential to unconventional oil and gas production. Already active in this market with rod shaped proppants (Propynite™) and mineral drilling additives, the Group is capitalizing on the broad range of functionalities of its portfolio of minerals and on its industrial know-how. Imerys is today significantly stepping up its presence in a new market with high growth potential.

This development also illustrates Imerys' strategy of growth through innovation focused on new, fast-expanding markets. It stems from the innovation program implemented by the Group in recent years and has resulted in 14 patent filings.

The proppant production unit, representing an investment of around $US 60 million, was built on the Andersonville site (Minerals for Refractories & Oilfield). It benefits from its infrastructures and ready access to mineral reserves. Annual production is in excess of 100,000 tons and is covered by multi-year contracts. After the commissioning and ramp-up phases, the new line will be fully operational by the end of 2011. In a context of firm growth in demand, the project should create value from the first year of operation.

The world leader in adding value to minerals, Imerys is active in 47 countries with more than 240 sites and achieved more than €3.3 billion in sales in 2010. Combining high-quality mineral resources with advanced industrial know-how and technologies, the Group designs, manufactures and sells mineral-based specialties that enable its customers to improve product performance or process efficiency. Imerys' specialties have applications in a wide range of industries, including construction, food, personal care, paper, paint, plastics, ceramics, telecommunications and energy. More comprehensive information on Imerys can be found on the Group's website (http://www.imerys.com).

Warning on projections and forward-looking statements: This document contains projections and other forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that such projections and forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties (many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Imerys) that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied.

Analyst/Investor Relations
Pascale Arnaud - +33(0)1-49-55-63-91
shareholders@imerys.com

Press Contacts:
Pascale Arnaud - +33(0)1-49-55-63-91
Matthieu Roquet-Montégon - +33(0)6-16-92-80-65


SOURCE Imerys




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