CRYSTAL PIGMENTOS DO BRASIL S.A., chemicals company, producer of white Titanium Dioxide pigment, was founded on January 25, 1966.
The project obtained support from the Northeast Development agency (SUDENE) and Brazil's economic development bank (BNDES) to build the plant with a 22,000 t annual output target.
The process technology was acquired by definitive assignment from Laport Industries Ltda., but the need for constant updating in this segment prompted the founding group to negotiate an association with Bayer do Brasil S/A in 1971.
In March 1978, the Company began construction works to increase its capacity to 50,000 t/a of Titanium Dioxide. This phase was concluded in November 1982.
In 1983, the company began operations at the Guajú (Paraíba) mine, which is responsible for the extraction of Titanium ore (Ilmenita) from the Cristal group in Brazil.
The mine is located in the Brazilian northeast, in the municipality of Mataraca, Paraíba, about 1,100 km from the Bahia plant - which is responsible for the transformation of the ore into TiO2 pigment.
It occupies an area of 1,050 hectares and consists of a floating plant, dredger and four fixed plants that produces, in addition to Ilmenite, Zirconite, used for the production of ceramics and refractories, Rutilo, applied in welding electrodes and metal alloys, and Kyanite, the raw material for refractories.
In April 1997, the plant was expanded to 60,000 t/y.
On March 29, 2004, Millennium Chemicals Inc. (the Company's indirect parent company) and Lyondell Chemical Company signed a contract to exchange shares and merge the companies to create the third largest publicly traded chemical company in the United States. On December 1, 2004, Lyondell Chemical Company concluded the acquisition of Millennium Chemicals Inc.
On September 7, 2006, Lyondell disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States of America that "Lyondell continuously seeks opportunities to generate value through commercial agreements, acquisitions, asset sales or partnerships. For example, Lyondell evaluated possible strategic alternatives related to its inorganic chemical segment."
On February 26, 2007, Lyondell announced that an agreement had been reached with National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd. (Cristal) in relation to Lyondell's proposed sale of its inorganic chemistry business, including therein Millennium Inorganic Chemicals do Brasil S.A.
Cristal's acquisition of Lyondell's titanium dioxide business was successfully completed on May 15, 2007. As a result, Cristal became the company's new indirect controlling shareholder through its acquisition of direct control of Millennium Inorganic Chemicals (MIC) in the United States of America, which is controlled by Thann Chimie SAS, a company belonging to the Tasnee Group ("Tasnee").
Cristal is now the world's second largest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment, with seven TiO2 plants across five continents, two in the United States, one in England, one in France, one in Saudi Arabia, one in Australia and one in Brazil.
Its Brazilian operation comprises three units: the Guajú mine in Mataraca, state of Paraíba; the plant in Camaçari, state of Bahia; and its commercial office in São Paulo.
On February 21, 2017, Tasnee entered into a contract for the sale of the group's entire titanium dioxide business to Tronox Limited ("Tronox"), which is subject to governmental and regulatory approvals. Since this transaction will involve the sale of the Company's control to Tronox, the latter must make a public offering for the Company's outstanding common shares, pursuant to Article 254-A of the Brazilian Corporate Law.