Torontos CN Tower was once the tallest
building, tower and freestanding structure in the world. At
553.33 metres tall it retains the title of the worlds
tallest tower but is no longer the tallest building or
structure in the world (now, the 829.8 m Burj Khalifa in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates).
The CN Tower took 1,537 workers almost four years (1973-1976)
to build , cost $63m and, when it was finally finished, with a
giant Erickson Air-crane Silorsky helicopter placing the final
piece of the antenna into place, it made history.
| The CN Tower: the tallest of them
all no longer
This Sunday the mining community will descend on
Toronto in droves. 50,000 people are expected to attend the
Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC),
along with the IM team. These
companies and these people will all, in their own way, be vying
to make their own piece of history. Each company believes, or
has believed at one point, that it holds the biggest, the best,
and the most profitable deposit.
But what is a mineral deposit without a market? A
geological anomaly. Which is why this week, more than most, all
eyes are on mineral markets.
Good news then for those with soda ash deposits
as long as its not in Australia. While FMC Corp.
proclaimed it was happy for other companies to continue
burning money in soda ash markets while it makes a
significant earning in the market, Penrice Soda
said that it would now import soda ash rather than producing
Admitting that soda ash imports could be up to 40%
cheaper than producing its own, CEO Guy Roberts said it would
mothballing its plant.
While it is unfortunate that the plant
closure will cause a number of staff redundancies, we will
maintain service standards and profitably supply our customers
with a quality product. Importantly, the restructure is
expected to enable the soda ash business to generate a profit
from FY 2014, Roberts explained.
Titanium dioxide markets meanwhile looked a little more positive
despite a spate of disappointing 2012 results recently
as Cristal became the latest producer to hike
The chloride-route titanium dioxide (
TiO2) pigment producer Cristal became the third
of the big five TiO2 producers to increase its
prices for 2013, leaving just DuPont and Tronox yet to take a
position on prices for this year.
The Saudi Arabia-based company will be increasing the prices on
anataseand rutile Tiona and Cristal TiO2
products sold in North America, Europe, the Middle East,
Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific sub-regions
effective 1 April 2013 or as contracts allow.
These price increases are necessary to compensate for the
escalation of raw material feedstock and other input costs that
have significantly compressed operating margins to
unsustainable levels, the company said.
markets meanwhile have looked decidedly bearish. The latest set
of results from Vale, Agrium and PotashCorp all pointed to
reduced demand in Asia, but reported higher prices.
This runs contrary to
reports from Intrepid, the largest US potash producer,
which told analysts at the Goldman Sachs 17th Annual
Agribusiness Conference that the company expects a
positive spring driven by high grain prices and increased
potash demand from India.
The average price of potash for the fourth quarter increased to
$552/tonne from $534/tonne in the third quarter
Valesaid, although volumes fell quarter-on-quarter to
143,000 tonnes from 146,000 tonnes.
revenues for the fourth quarter 2012 fell by 21% to $622m down
from third quarter revenues of $783m.
Agrium meanwhile said that it had placed its price of potash lower in Q4 2012, at an average of
$216/tonne, compared to $169/tonne in Q4 2011. Phosphate sales
prices were pegged at $722/tonne in Q4 2011, compared to
$813/tonne in Q4 2012. Production costs increased for the company
meanwhile, to $556/tonne, from $500/tonne in Q4
One sector which is definitely booming is in
US Silica reported record earnings for the fourth quarter
2012 on the back of a strong oil and gas sector.
Meet the IM team at PDAC
follow @slismore_indmin and @sdmoores on twitter for
INTERESTED IN OILFIELD
Then join us at our next IM
Proppant Prospects for Europe
Stationers' Hall, London, 30 April
Oilfield Minerals Outlook Houston
Hilton Houston Post Oak, Houston, USA 19-21 June