Natural Bitumen(Gilsonite)

GILSONITE or Natural Bitumen is a mineral substance composed of hydrocarbons. Gilsonite product occurs through certain geological patterns close to petroleum deposits in specific places in the world. Gilsonite
is also called Natural Bitumen, Natural  asphalt, Asphaltum, Asphaltite or, in some places, Uintahite (Uintaite).

 Solid Bitumen including Gilsonite goes by different names across the globe depending on the local names given and the industry which is the main consumer of natural bitumen. Below is an overview of the different names given

to Natural Bitumen:

USA: Gilsonite, Uintaite or Uinitite

Canada: Albertite

Latin America: Asphaltite or Asfaltita

Trinidad: Lake Asphalt

China: Bituminous Rock, Pyrobitumen

Middle East & India: Natural Asphalt, Asphaltum

All above names refer to a certain product that can be categorized as above table depending on the characteristics of the mineral which varies from one origin to another.


Gilsonite or Natural Bitumen was discovered for the first time in USA during the 19th century. Originally Native Americans resident in Utah were familiar with the material and used it for different purposes such as Teeth Cavities and Waterproofing.

Samuel H. Gilson who was in horse trading business initially learnt about Gilsonite from Native Americans. By checking this shiny black material at the Columbia College School of Mines in 1865, Gilson found out that the material has over 95% of hydrocarbon content.

Most efforts by Gilson was Not Successful, but as a pioneer for the item, the material was named after Samuel Gilson into the mineral Gilsonite. He finally sold his company under a firm in Saint Luis which renamed it to The Gilson Asphaltum Company.

There were developments in application of Gilsonite in Ink and drilling application and also big failures from John Kelly and American Gilsonite company to treat the material as source of Fuel.

Eventually Chevron was successful in promoting and researching Gilsonite and established the American Gilsonite Company which during 100 years has researched and supplied Gilsonite for variety of applications to over 70 countries.


Gilsonite formation routes to its origin which is crude oil. Basically, Gilsonite is formed when a proto-petroleum deposit is trying to elevate to surface and solidifying within the cracks and under pressure in millions of years the material becomes a solid shiny black source of Hydrocarbons.


Gilsonite has wide area of application depending on these specifications while it has superior advantages to many substitute materials (for example sea coal in Foundry) as it is originated from Crude Oil – Unlike Pyrobitumens – and many aromatic or aliphatic components of Crude Oil exist within the Natural Bitumen Molecular Structure.

The key to applying and taking advantages of these superior characteristics is based on knowing the conditions of Blend & Formulation of the product as an additive/raw material in each certain application from Oil Drilling and Foundry to more delicate ones such as Inks, Paints & Stains.
The mineral Gilsonite is categorized as a solvable material in oil solutions such as CS2 or TCE (Trichloroethylene). Major component of Gilsonite is Carbon, while it contains several other elements including Nitrogen and Sulphur and some volatile matters.
Gilsonite MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) proves the material NOT to be neither hazardous nor toxic, while its special chemical and physical characteristics creates the possibility of Gilsonite Usage in many different industries and applications.

Some of the applications of Natural Bitumen are as below:


Offered Grade

Oil Based Drilling Fluid Additive

NB-OI 210

Oil Well Cementing

NB-OI 100

Asphalt Binder – Gilsonite Sealer

NB-BA 410

Bitumen Blending

NB-BA 310

Bituminous Membrane Filler

NB-BA 420

Foundry Sand Additive

NB-FS 500

Ink Industry

NB-IP 600

In order to achieve the proper product for Gilsonite applications, it should be categorized by sensitivity to temperature, solvable matter in oil solutions and many other aspects which have been done at laboratories of Cacpo trading co Laboratories and the results have been processed to achieve the right product for each application of this unique natural bitumen.


There are numerous suppliers of Gilsonite from different origins including USA, Iran, Colombia and Albania. From USA major supplier with over 50% market share is American Gilsonite company while from Iran there are over 100 suppliers which can short listed into 5 companies eventually with the necessary infrastructure to export Iranian Gilsonite, Cacpo trading Gilsonite included as most of these suppliers are actually one advertiser for other company without having any financial nor technical resources.

In Colombia mining operations are active but exporters are few with the main target as USA for direct consumption or for blending with other materials and processing into final products in case of American Gilsonite company. Albania Gilsonite suppliers are still primitive and quality control is a big issue in addition to the commercial complexities of dealing with any Albanian Exporter .


 Cacpo trading co is in position to supply Gilsonite Lumps and also Gilsonite Powder in different mesh size in different packaging from 25 KG bags (Environmentally Friendly) to 1 MT jumbo bags resulting in convenient delivery terms and logistics, to provide the most economical supply to users and traders worldwide, while providing the right grade for each application.