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  • Innovation and conservatism in technical ceramics IM February 2017

    Technical ceramics are opening up new possibilities in everything from spaceships to dentistry, but the closed nature of the industry’s raw materials supply chain may be holding the sector back, Davide Ghilotti, Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Junior mining: Back from the brink? IM February 2017

    Half a decade on from the collapse of the global mining boom, a rally in commodity markets last year caught many investors off guard and has created a weak but welcome tailwind for the stalled exploration industry, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Pure genius? How new technology could shake up HPA supply IM February 2017

    High purity alumina is typically produced via an add-on stage to traditional alumina extraction from bauxite, but at least two companies are on the cusp of breaking into the material’s supply chain with revolutionary new processing methods, Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Graphite – The only way is up IM December 2016-January 2017

    Temperature-resistant, unusually stable and unreactive, graphite is a key ingredient in refractories, lubricants, batteries, flame retardants and pencils. But oversupply has dragged the mineral’s value down to record lows and only controls on Chinese production complemented by a surge in demand from new applications can reverse its fortunes. Read More

  • Breaking down Silica Valley IM December 2016-January 2017

    Spruce Pine in the US state of North Carolina is the self-styled “silica valley” on which the more famous Silicon Valley of California relies for high purity quartz. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, investigates how the supply concentration of HPQ is causing concern and creating opportunities for other producers. Read More

  • E-scrap: A vicious cycle? IM December 2016-January 2017

    Every year, millions of tonnes of highly polluting electronic waste are sent to landfill, even though a high proportion of this material consists of valuable metals and minerals. Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, looks at how the changing makeup of electronic products poses problems and opportunities for e-scrap recycling. Read More

  • Chinese barite faces a growing market IM December 2016-January 2017

    Chinese barite production and exports enjoyed a heady few years when the US oil boom was at its peak three years ago, but the decline in drilling activity since 2014 has seen a slowdown in demand for the oilfield mineral. However, in November 2016 there are signs of a recovery with US rig counts higher and a likelihood of oil prices increasing to $50-55/bbl. This will lead to increased consumption of barite in 2017, Ian Wilson, Consultant, finds. Read More

  • 2016 Year in Review IM December 2016-January 2017

    A round up of the year's main events in major global industrial minerals markets such as lithium, agriminerals, rare earths and titanium dioxide. Read More

  • China’s rare earths policies struggle to stem supply IM November 2016

    The cancellation of export quotas and taxes on Chinese rare earths export last year spurred the introduction of a raft of new measures designed to control output and boost value. Albert Li, IM Analyst, discusses the progress of these plans. Read More

  • Nerves of titanium IM November 2016

    Although positive demand is beginning to feed through to titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments and its feedstocks, the supply landscape for the pigment will continue to shift as producers attempt to remain competitive and Chinese supply faces more stringent regulation. Read More

  • Australian legislators tighten up on miners IM November 2016

    A landholder ruling in New South Wales threatens new mines, a new mining law in Queensland facilitates opposition to resource projects and tax issues in Western Australia have the potential to affect lithium plays, Rose Pengelly, IM correspondent, writes. Read More

  • No respite for rare earths IM November 2016

    A commodities market rebound in 2016 left the rare earths sector largely untouched, but some companies are still determined to bring new mines online, writes IM Correspondent, Rose Pengelly. Read More

  • Land of the brave? IM November 2016

    Australia hosts many industrial minerals and has a rich and varied mining history, However as Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, discovers, the country is missing a chance to develop its agricultural sector alongside a wave of new mining claims. Read More

  • Russian fluorite: Future or failure? IM October 2016

    The future of Russia’s fluorite sector could all depend on whether the world’s second largest aluminum producer, Rusal, decides to rejuvenate its largest fluorite facility in the country’s far east. Without such decisive action by the domestic industry’s leader, other smaller projects will struggle to survive, writes Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent. Read More

  • Fluorspar: Survival of the fittest IM October 2016

    The fluorspar industry is undergoing a regeneration as low-cost suppliers from South East Asia have capitalised on a race to the bottom and China has emerged as a serious player in the downstream fluorine space. Shruti Salwan, market analyst, discusses the trends in the market and analyses the supply shift and what it means for the fluorspar industry. Read More

  • Kaolin’s opportunity IM October 2016

    Although kaolin has long been associated with the paper industry, new opportunities are presenting themselves in new markets, such as ceramics. Ian Wilson, Consultant, details how each producing country in the world is responding to new calls for demand. Read More

  • Australian agricultural limestone: What’s eating Australia? IM October 2016

    With soil acidification eating at Australia’s multibillion dollar agricultural market, Richard Flook, Consultant, and Cameron Perks, IM Australian Correspondent,* take a look at what is being done to help farmers improve their productivity and the growth required in the Australian agricultural limestone industry. Read More

  • New Zealand agricultural limestone: Fertilising middle earth IM October 2016

    New Zealand may be best known as Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” but it is also a powerhouse in agricultural production. The lush green fields have long relied on agricultural limestone but recently more attention has been focussed on optimising performance. Richard Flook, Consultant, and Cameron Perks, IM Australian Correspondent examine how fine grades of agricultural limestone, either spread or granulated, are becoming increasingly popular. Read More

  • Phosphogypsum: Another Russian rare earths pipe dream? IM September 2016

    A plan to recycle waste from fertiliser plants to produce pure rare earths and gypsum is the latest to come out of Russia’s metallurgical science community, but this project is already facing many of the obstacles that have scuppered previous similar endeavors, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Cut and thrust in the global abrasives market IM September 2016

    The global abrasives market is a fairly steady one, but new innovations in application technology are helping to compensate for areas of shrinking demand, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Smelting point? An update on major refractories for glass smelters IM September 2016

    Fused cast blocks have dominated the market for glass refractories since the early 20th century. Carlo Ratto takes a look at some of the alternative products which have emerged over the years and assesses the future uptake prospects for these materials. Read More

  • India’s refractories industry: Ready to recover? IM September 2016

    India’s economy and steel sector have been among a select few worldwide to post healthy levels of growth amid stagnant global GDP rates, but Chinese steel dumping and overcapacity have curtailed growth in the country’s refractories industry, Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, explains. Read More

  • China’s refractories market: Managed decline IM September 2016

    A policy to reduce steel capacity in China has neutralised the impact that rising steel production might have had on refractories demand in the first half of this year, while the tough trading conditions have prompted some companies to exit the market altogether, Albert Li, IM Analyst, finds. Read More

  • World refractories industry: State of play in 2016 IM September 2016

    Jessica Roberts assesses the health of the refractory industry’s key consumers so far in 2016, and outlines longer term trends that look to influence the market this year and beyond. Read More

  • Chinese magnesia and refractories: The new normal IM September 2016

    The Chinese economy is entering a transition from a primarily export-orientated economy to a more consumer-driven economy. At the same time, increasing debt, slower growth and excess production capacity are contributing to what has been labelled as the “new normal” for China. Richard Flook and Ian Wilson examine the effect of this on the Chinese magnesia industry and the Chinese refractory industry. Read More

  • Oilfield minerals: Drums in the deep IM July-August 2016

    High volatility in energy prices shook commodity markets over the past year, with oil taking a dive headfirst to lows that had not been reached for over a decade. This had negative consequences for oilfield service operators as well as mineral suppliers, who saw demand and prices falling for proppants and barite, while bentonite was, to an extent, spared. Read More

  • When the lights go out IM July-August 2016

    At its peak in 2008, oil (WTI) was trading at $140/bbl, which in turn pushed up the price of natural gas. The high price of fuel prompted investment in alternative energy supply, with countries looking to become self-sufficient, at least in part. Now, Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, details how Australia has moved to diversify its supply mix and what this means for oilfield mineral markets. Read More

  • Bridging the Gulf IM July-August 2016

    As the US Geological Survey prepares to issue a special publication on the mineral resources of Iran, the international business community is kicking its heels in frustration about the snail’s pace of progress towards establishing trade links with the Islamic Republic, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, writes. Read More

  • Cobalt supply: Alternatives and additions IM July-August 2016

    With various issues surrounding the use of cobalt in batteries, IM Correspondent, Cameron Perks, looks at potential future supply possibilities as well as substitution of the material. Read More

  • A bright future for halloysite? IM July-August 2016

    HNTs are naturally occurring structures within deposits of the mineral halloysite. Although they are already widely used in ceramics, new research into HNTs is revealing their potential for use in applications ranging from cancer drugs to animal feed, Frank Hart explains. Read More

  • Grinding out: China’s GCC sector needs to work hard to change IM July-August 2016

    Valued as a plentiful source of cheap, basic ground calcium carbonate materials, China now wants to tackle its overcapacity problems by shifting its emphasis onto higher value products – a familiar story with an uncertain ending, as Albert Li, IM China Analyst, explains. Read More

  • Soaking it up: Bentonite’s global reach IM June 2016

    Recent growth in bentonite consumption has been driven largely by foundry, oil drilling and iron ore pelletising markets. However, the latest downturn in oil and steel prices is likely to see volumes in the latter two markets decrease in the short to medium term. Andrew Scogings* gives an overview of worldwide bentonite production and consumption. Read More

  • Talk From The Top: What those at the helm make of the last two years in industrial minerals markets IM June 2016

    While the majority of industrial mineral market participants are bracing themselves for another tough year, IM spoke to key industry players about adapting to current conditions and seeking out new markets. Read More

  • Kyanite: A strategic alternative for Russia’s aluminium industry? IM June 2016

    As Russia looks at reducing its bauxite imports amid geopolitical tensions, developing the Bolshie Keivy kyanite deposits near Murmansk to supply alumina to the domestic aluminium industry is a possible, if unlikely, route to self-sufficiency, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, writes. Read More

  • Supply Security Report: Mineral Sands IM June 2016

    Mineral sands industry sentiment has been a mixed bag throughout 2015 and into 2016. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, takes a look at the ups and downs of 2015 and asks whether mineral sands markets will register any improvements in 2016. Read More

  • India's mining industry: Challenges and potential IM June 2016

    The Indian mining industry is best described as a success story still in the making. Despite holding reserves of 89 different minerals, Shruti Salwan, IM Analyst, examines why growth in the domestic mining industry has been relatively stagnant, failing to reap the benefits of an emerging middle class. Read More

  • Where the sun shines IM June 2016

    The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is at last experiencing its heyday after decades spent at the periphery of the energy market. Read More

  • Driving it forward: Buses in the EV Boom IM June 2016

    Often overshadowed by the automotive industry, the electric bus industry is set to soar in the coming years, writes Myles McCormick, Reporter. Read More

  • Europe funds domestic rare earths mining project I2MINE IM June 2016

    An EU-funded project has developed innovative deep-mining strategies that are set to cut Europe’s dependence on the imported rare earth elements (RE) within four years, while also curbing environmental damage. Read More

  • Lithium-ion continues to charge up IM June 2016

    With the battery boom continuing, electric vehicles are set to account for 35% of automotives produced in 2040, leading even big oil to embrace green technology. Read More

  • Growth in energy harvesting for ceramics picking up speed IM June 2016

    The increased uptake of EVs and the growing interest in various types of battery components is fuelling demand for ceramics in energy harvesting, which so far has accounted for a fraction of the industry. Kasia Patel Read More

  • Diary Dates IM June 2016

    Upcoming industry events Read More

  • Time to shine IM May 2016

    Siobhan Lismore-Scott, editor, highlights the features in this month's magazine which will inform and delight subscribers. Read More

  • How Australia’s silica industry is growing without fracking IM May 2016

    Unlike the US, Australia’s silica sand industry has not benefitted from a fracking boom. But as Cameron Perks*, IM Correspondent, explains, the country’s sand producers have a diverse range of expanding markets to choose from. Read More

  • ¡Vámonos!: South America’s lithium rush IM May 2016

    As excitement abounds around the potential of the “lithium triangle”, Myles McCormick visits South America to investigate the hype. Read More

  • SQM: Outside the box; inside the triangle IM May 2016

    The embattled lithium major is looking to reform itself as it deals with the fallout from a number of allegations, Myles McCormick, Reporter, writes from the company’s operations in northern Chile. Read More

  • Russia seeks incentives for lithium development IM May 2016

    All of the lithium raw materials consumed by Russia are currently imported from abroad, but the country is looking at advancing a number of potential internal sources. However, the uncertainty of domestic demand growth and questions over how production would fit into the global lithium market could constrain new developments, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Diary Dates IM May 2016

    Upcoming industry events Read More

  • Russia: Open for olivine IM April 2016

    JSC North Urals Dunites is planning to mine dunite as a source of olivine from the Iovinsky deposit in Russia’s Ural Mountains, which promises to be the world’s second largest project of its kind. Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, discovers how the company is dealing with environmental opposition and the challenge of finding new markets. Read More

  • Australian magnesite: Recovery and expansion IM April 2016

    Australia hosts some 95m tonnes magnesite reserves and has been a major supplier of the global market for much of the last century. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, and Richard Flook, Consultant*, examine the history of Australian magnesite and discuss some of the new projects underway that look set to restore the sector’s former glory. Read More

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