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  • Strict specifications: UK frac sand potential IM June 2015

    The UK is actively looking at the potential production of shale gas and, as a result, the country’s extractive minerals industry is looking at the role it can play in providing minerals that could be used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking). One such mineral is silica sand, which is used as a proppant, commonly referred to as “frac sand”. Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist, provides an educated guess as to where this frac sand could come from in the UK. Read More

  • What the future holds for US proppants IM June 2015

    The US has long enjoyed a successful fracking industry, having drilled more than a million wells to date. Yet, with plummeting oil prices causing some to question the short-term success of this process, Vasili Nicoletopoulos* provides an executive summary of IM’s latest research report on the US proppants market. Read More

  • Overcoming the oil price decline IM June 2015

    North America’s fracking industry was rocked towards the end of 2014 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls nearly 40% of the world oil market, failed to agree on production curbs. This, coupled with a US oversupply situation, sent the oil price tumbling. With rig counts, drilling activity and proppant demand taking a hit as a result, many began to question the impact this decision would have on the future of fracking and, as a result, proppants.* Emma Hughes and Vasili Nicoletopoulos Read More

  • Chinese refractories sector consolidation is positive for the wider industry, says Magnesita chief IM June 2015

    With overall and specific consumption of refractories in the steel industry on a downward trend, producers of refractory and raw materials are keeping a keen eye on potential pockets of growth and wider trends in the market. IM spoke to Octavio Pereira Lopes, CEO of leading Brazilian refractory materials producer, Magnesita, to discover his views on the industry. Josie Shillito, Reporter Read More

  • Re-elected UK government pledges support for domestic energy production IM June 2015

    The UK's Convervative party has pledged to support fracking in a bid to boost domestic energy production. Emma Hughes explores what this means for industrial minerals. Read More

  • Alteo: Abrasive ambition IM June 2015

    Gardanne, France-based Alteo is a leading supplier of speciality alumina products to the global refractories and ceramics industries, but its main focus is on abrasives, as it seeks to capitalise pockets of “tightness” in supply. In order to take advantage of slim opportunities in what is a fiercely competitive market, the company has had to reinvent itself as a business with a reputation for reliability and consistency, Diego Audemard, commercial director for Alteo ARC Fused Aluminas, told IM. Read More

  • Magnezit: Putting Russian-made refractories on the global map IM June 2015

    With a production history dating back to 1900, Russian refractories producer Magnezit Group has been exporting materials throughout its business life. The company is stepping up capacity and increasing the range and quality of its products and its CEO, Sergei Odegov, told IM that Magnezit expects to be a competitive supplier well beyond the CIS within the next few years. Read More

  • GCC resources, production and markets of Asia IM May 2015

    The biggest end uses for ground calcium carbonate are the paper, plastics, paints and sealants industries, with Asia representing one of the sector’s largest markets. Ian Wilson* looks at overall GCC production in Asia and assesses the industry by country and market share. Read More

  • Flame retardants continue to fire demand for MDH IM May 2015

    Modest end market growth and the gradual appearance of new competitor products for magnesium hydroxide-based fire safety solutions are unlikely to scupper the expansion of this market before 2019, IM discovers. Read More

  • Relative positioning: Magnesia producers adjust to new industry conditions IM May 2015

    With declining refractories consumption in key consuming sectors like steel and cement manufacturing, the balance of supply against demand is worrying many in the magnesia industry. Josie Shillito, Reporter, looks at the global trading picture and examines how magnesia companies are shifting their positions to adjust to new market dynamics. Read More

  • The silent treatment: How minerals are giving water a new lease of life IM May 2015

    With around 2m tonnes of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste discharged into the world’s waterways every day, it is crucial that wastewater is treated thoroughly. Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter, examines how minerals form a key part of many wastewater treatment systems. Read More

  • New projects set to boost Russian magnesia production IM May 2015

    Russia has historically depended on imports of magnesia for its refractories and other downstream industries, but the development of new projects in Siberia, the Far East and potentially North Korea could see the country become a net exporter of the mineral by 2020, Vladislav Vorotnikov, reveals. Read More

  • China adapts to ‘new normal’ of dwindling high grade phosphate reserves IM May 2015

    The decline in the amount of mineable high grade phosphate rock in China has prompted the country’s government to look at new ways of conserving its resources, which have included export quotas, cuts to domestic taxes and processing innovation – but more will need to be done to protect the industry from becoming uncompetitive in the next decade. Read More

  • India’s soda ash industry revs up on economic growth IM April 2015

    With installed capacity of around 3m tpa, India is already a significant producer of soda ash for its own domestic needs. But its main market players have ambitions to go increasingly global, Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Turkey’s soda ash projects today, and how they got there IM April 2015

    Until 1979, Turkey was unaware that it was sitting on two of the largest deposits of trona ore, the main source of natural soda ash, in the world. Since then, the industry has moved in fits and starts to sit on the cusp of becoming a top contender in the global soda ash market. IM takes a look at the history of Turkey’s soda ash industry and how it hopes to develop in the future. Read More

  • REM: A song for Sonora IM April 2015

    UK AIM-listed Rare Earth Minerals Plc has taken Bacanora Minerals Ltd’s Sonora lithium project under its wing and is now singing, or rather shouting, from the top of the wall about the project’s credentials. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, speaks to REM’s CEO, Kiran Morzaria, about his company’s ambitions for the Mexico-based deposit. Read More

  • Recharging lithium supply IM April 2015

    With much of the lithium industry transfixed by demand projections based on new market growth, James Sean Dickson, Reporter, examines the ability of the existing lithium suppliers to meet these forecasts. Read More

  • Lithium’s ‘traditional’ markets and their price buffer role IM April 2015

    Attention to lithium’s traditional applications in ceramics and glass has been usurped by a focus on the energy storage market. However, non-energy storage uses like greases and ceramics continue to take up at least two thirds of worldwide lithium production. Josie Shillito examines how this may change as demand for lithium in energy storage grows. Read More

  • Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre IM April 2015

    Manchester is looking to lead the UK in its efforts to keep up in the global graphene race. Read More

  • The importance of Manchester’s “Graphene City” IM April 2015

    Graphene has continued to generate a buzz in both research and mining communities over the past year as companies search for that killer application that will bring the nano-material out of laboratories and into the commercial mainstream. Emma Hughes, Special Projects Editor, looks at how Manchester is leading the charge in the UK. Read More

  • Coatings turn to new products IM April 2015

    Changes in regulation and customer preference are driving the emergence of exciting new products in the coatings industry, but behind the headlines many producers are concerned about weaknesses in key consuming sectors. Read More

  • Leaving lab status: Graphene’s various routes to industrial application IM April 2015

    The commercialisation of graphene is complicated by the many forms in which it can be obtained as well as its multifarious potential applications. Marko Spasenovic takes a look at the present state of the industry and assesses how the material is progressing from the research market to industrial products. Read More

  • Growth markets for new fertilisers IM March 2015

    As a raft of new sulphur deficiency-addressing fertilisers hit the international market, James Sean Dickson, Reporter, examines the reasons for their emergence, and the future of the specialist crop nutrient industry. Read More

  • Thorium and the rare earth value chain – a nuclear renaissance solution? IM March 2015

    Rules covering thorium discharge in many of the world’s top rare earths-consuming countries have prevented the development of potentially valuable domestic resources in these regions and helped cement China’s monopoly over the sector. James Kennedy* and John Kutsch** discuss the social and economic disadvantages of this situation and outline how a new nuclear strategy could help solve the problem. Read More

  • Critical minerals: booms, busts and price spike indicators IM March 2015

    As the growth in next generation technologies – most notably green energy – continues to gain momentum, scrutiny is intensifying on the supply and sustainability of the raw materials that are facilitating these developments. IM Research analyses the market sensitivity of eight of these critical minerals. Read More

  • Feeding the world: the future role for minerals IM March 2015

    As the global population continues to expand rapidly, there is a growing need to increase crop production. Frank Hart* examines the role minerals can play in achieving this goal. Read More

  • Iron oxide: build, or it won’t come IM March 2015

    Iron oxide pigment demand is benefitting from growth in new markets such as batteries and cosmetics, but the industry’s main demand driver is the construction sector, where consumption has been hurt by weaker economic growth. Kasia Patel, Deputy Editor, takes a look at what construction forecasts might mean for iron oxide and discusses varying preferences for natural and synthetic material. Read More

  • Lithium – an over- hyped commodity? IM March 2015

    Lithium has been one of the poster minerals of the green energy revolution, but slower than expected growth in EVs and other battery applications has put a dampener on the industry. IM examines lithium’s rise to prominence and discusses whether the element will be able to fulfil the expectations of its advocates. Read More

  • The Tesla effect: one year on IM March 2015

    Tesla’s Gigafactory will create extra demand for lithium and graphite when it comes on line in 2017, but there is question over where it will source its raw materials from. Junior producers will need to look to new and innovative ways of financing their projects to be ready for Tesla, possibly even tapping the electric vehicle maker and other end users, Josie Shillito, reports. Read More

  • Financing still a challenge for junior miners IM March 2015

    Stubbornly low mineral prices and virtual paralysis in spending in the mining sector means juniors are likely to have little to live on until commodities demand recovers, Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, finds. Read More

  • Africa’s Industrial Minerals Map IM February 2015

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  • Africa: projects in the pipeline IM February 2015

    Africa has long been viewed as a continent of great possibility when it comes to mining, with vast mineral and metal resources spread throughout its 47 countries. Yet political unrest, financial corruption, community opposition and environmental issues have thwarted the true potential this region offers. Several industrial mineral mining companies have flocked to the region over the past several years in an attempt to overcome these issues. Read More

  • Mining Indaba: Putting capital to work in Africa IM February 2015

    With commodity prices down and fresh challenges in Africa, this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, has a lot of ground to cover. Jonathan Moore, managing director of Mining Indaba LLC, spoke to IM about the outlook for Africa’s resources industry. Read More

  • Mineral makeover IM February 2015

    Personal care is often a small part of an industrial minerals producer’s portfolio, with other markets accounting for the lion’s share of revenue and expenditure. However, as Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor, finds, this is a growing industry with ample opportunity for many minerals companies. Read More

  • Shaking up Shanxi’s bauxite industry IM February 2015

    China’s Shanxi province is the world’s biggest producer of refractory grade bauxite, but it is also one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional regions in the country. Albert Li, Shanghai Analyst and Laura Syrett, Prices Editor, examine the problems the region is facing and the measures being taken to reform the sector. Read More

  • Innovation and new markets heat up demand for technical ceramics IM February 2015

    Specific consumption of refractories in the steel, glass and cement industries has been steadily declining worldwide, while the market has increasingly shifted towards higher quality products. Antonio Torrisi explores how advanced technical ceramics can benefit from new market trends globally. Read More

  • Worldwide halloysite deposits, production and market developments IM February 2015

    Halloysite’s main application in ceramics is a traditional market, but new research into high-tech industries such as nanotubes will require scarcer, higher purity material. Ian Wilson* examines some of the main deposits around the world and discusses new opportunities. Read More

  • Critical materials show mixed price performance in 2014 IM January 2015

    Falling energy prices hit demand for cleantech minerals; CRMs on par with base and precious metals in 2014 Read More

  • Drilling grade barite: the global outlook IM January 2015

    As unconventional shale oil and gas exploration and development continues at pace in North America and further afield, Andrew Scogings, Industrial Minerals Consultant, provides an executive summary of IM’s upcoming research report on drilling-grade barite. Read More

  • How did the Middle East become so important to industrial minerals? IM January 2015

    As well as importing more minerals into the region, countries in the Middle East also started to concentrate on developing their own minerals industry, here, Siobhan Lismore-Scott details why this has happened and where. Read More

  • Lithium: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    It has been an interesting year for lithium markets with two major mergers taking place and news of a Gigafactory, which ignited interest in the sector. Read More

  • Magnesia: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    It has been a year of ups and downs for the magnesia industry as demand has waned and supply has remained robust. Read More

  • Potash and Phosphate: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    Compared with 2013, 2014 was a quiet and settled year in agriminerals, though again defined by movements in the potash sector Read More

  • Bauxite and Alumina: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    Antonio Torrisi tracks the highs and lows of the bauxite and alumina industry in 2014 Read More

  • Lessons from 100 years of mineral data IM January 2015

    With the recent publication of data for 2012, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has 100 years of continuous mineral production data - but what do they tell us about worldwide industrial mineral production? Teresa Brown analyses some of these trends and what they say about the industry as a whole. Read More

  • TiO2: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    Last year was undoubtedly a turbulent one for the titanium dioxide (TiO2) industry. 2014 was characterised by further consolidation among the market’s top players in response to poor market demand, juxtaposed to positivity from new and hopeful feedstock producers, who maintain that additional supply is needed to meet future demand. Read More

  • Rare Earths: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    Despite new production coming online from US-based Molycorp in 2012 and Australia-based Lynas Corp. in 2013, China still retained almost 90% of global rare earths production in 2014. Read More

  • Oilfield Minerals: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    An increase in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) over the past few years means that demand for oilfield minerals has never been stronger. Continued drilling and exploration kept demand high for minerals such as frac sand, bauxite, kaolin, bentonite and barite over the course of 2014. Read More

  • Graphite: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    2014 has been a tumultuous year in graphite markets. While steel demand has edged up, this has not translated into volume or price growth for graphite. Meanwhile, the hype that has surrounded potential growth in the Li-ion battery sector has also failed to deliver short-term demand increases. Read More

  • Tough times for many in 2015 IM January 2015

    Energy minerals still waiting for battery lift off; chromite market bearish over next 12 months Read More

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