Production Lot and Batch Codes

U.S. Borax operations utilize a lot code and batch code system for traceability of all shipped product. In most cases, the lot code can be interpreted as a manufacture date. U.S. Borax operations uses different code configurations depending upon where the product is manufuctured. Quality assurance testing on the lot codes is performed to ensure conformance to specifications and maintain the reputation our products have in the market.

Boron and Wilmington operations

The following U.S. Borax products are manufactured at one of our California locations:

Borax Decahydrate Dehybor® Octabor®
Boric Oxide Fertibor® Optibor®
Borogard® ZB Firebrake® ZB and Firebrake 500 Polybor®
Cellutreat® Granubor® Solubor®
Composibor® Neobor® Tim-bor®


U.S. Borax Boron and Wilmington operations utilize a daily lot code and batch code system for traceability of all shipped product.  It is generally a five or six figure alphanumeric code based on production location (eg 8E29B). Taking the example code 8E29B, the letters and numbers represent the following:

  • The first number is the year identifier.
  • The first letter is a month identifier: "A" is January and "M" Is December. "I" is skipped to avoid confusion with the digit 1. In the example above, E identifies the month May.
  • The next two digits are the manufacturing day. 
  • The last, or right most, letter is for the decade of production. For example, "B" is 2010 to 2019 and "C" is 2020 to 2029.

So, the example code translates to: May 29, 2018. If a digit preceeds the year identifier, it indicates plant specific information for Wilmington products.

The lot code and batch code are both applied based on the date that packing is completed for all products produced at Boron and Wilmington operations. This includes filling the following:

1800 lb bags IBC bags
2000 lb bags 25 kg/50 lb bags
2500 lb bags Dry bulk containers
1000 kg bags Bulk rail cars
1200 kg bags Bulk trucks

For any products that are repacked (eg bulk railcar to bulk truck or IBC to 25 kg bags), the lot code and batch code of the initial pack date is used. A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is created for each packed product batch. Some of our products ship with pallet identification numbers on the product in addition to the lot and batch code. This additional identification is not part of the lot and batch code and is beyond the scope of the CoA.

For many of the production lines, a storage silo sits in between the continuous production process and the packing process. As a result, the true date of product manufacturing is not fully traceable to an exact time due to potential product segregation and mixing in the silo. The storage also permits periodic maintenance and operational shutdowns of the production process. Regardless of these issues, U.S. Borax operations retain reasonable traceability of all products through practices of monitoring silo levels, production records, and packing rates.

Coudekerque operations

The following U.S. Borax products are manufactured at our Coudekerque, France site:

Ammonium pentaborate Optibor® EP and Optibor NF Sodium metaborate 4 mol and 8 mol
Borax NF and Borax SQ Potassium pentaborate Sodium pentaborate
Borax decahydrate EP Potassium tetraborate Solubor® Flow

Coudekerque products use a four figure alphanumeric code (eg A01E). Taking the example code A01E, the letters and numbers represent the following:

  • The first letter is the year identifier: "Z" is 2018, "A" is 2019, "B" is 2020, and "C" is 2021.
  • The next two digits are the incremental campaign number (01) sequenced by lot sizes as follows A01A, A01B, A01C, etc until A01Z when the campaign begins 02 so A02A, A02B, A02C, and so on. Some letters are excluded to avoid confusion.

Therefore, the example code translates to the fifth campaign in 2018. You can find lot information in the following locations:

  • Directly on the pack or the Certificate of Analysis (COA)
  • On the yellow label affixed to the outside of the stretch-wrapped pallet
  • On the white label inserted into the pocket on top of the IBC or glued on the IBC
  • Printed on a label glued to a drum or directly to a 25 kg bag
Note: The packing date and manufacturing date is the same date specified on the CoAs. When applicable on EP and NF products, the re-control date 36 months after the packing date is mentioned on each CoA. For the other products, the retest date is not applicable.

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U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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