Perlite is a glassy raw material which, when heated in a furnace, pops like popcorn and expands by up to 20 times in volume into a white or pale coloured, low density material.
Expanded perlite is used in various industrial and household applications such as insulation, paint texturing, building materials, filter aids, insulating industrial cryogenic storage vessels and as a potting medium in gardening and horticulture to aid water retention and aeration of the soil.
According to the United States Geological Survey, 520,000 tonnes of raw perlite was mined in the USA and 590,000 used in 2017 with some material imported, primarily from Greece. China is the world’s largest producer with most of its production consumed internally.
The market for perlite is well established but in recent years the market for horticultural perlite has been invigorated by the growth in cannabis cultivation following the legalisation of cannabis in various US States and, most recently, in Canada.
Some perlite can also have pozzolanic properties and be suitable for use as a natural pozzolan.
The Company is a member of the Perlite Institute. For more information on perlite see: https://www.perlite.org/library/