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Construction, Chemicals

  • India’s mineral production index for April gains by 1.6% 24 June 2016

    The country’s mineral production for April 2016 increased by 1.6% compared to the same period last year as the consumption of minerals in downstream markets, such as steel, grows. Read More

  • Price Briefing 17-23 June 2016 24 June 2016

    Future of European markets uncertain as UK votes to leave the EU; fluorspar prices experience further drops; chromite market stabilises; oil price holds barite steady. Read More

  • Barite prices bottom out after long decline 24 June 2016

    Following 18 months of steady price declines, industry participants believe that barite prices have bottomed out, sustained by oil prices of $50/bbl. Read More

  • New lows set for fluorspar price negotiations 23 June 2016

    While the industry enters into negotiations for Q3 2016 contracts, discussions for acid grade fluorspar material have hit new lower price levels. Read More

  • Chromite suppliers see price stabilisation 23 June 2016

    Prices for most chromite grades have bounced back this year, but operators are sceptical that further meaningful increases will take place in the foreseeable future. Read More

  • US court rejects federal fracking rules 22 June 2016

    The court ruling is a blow to Obama’s plan for a clear regulatory framework for fracking practices in the US as he reaches the end of his second term in office. Read More

  • India cracks down on child labour in mica using digital tracking 21 June 2016

    Following heavy media coverage of child labour in recent years, India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has decided to use digital tools to track school attendance in the region, warning mica traders to discontinue trading with minors. Read More

  • Mexichem to pay for petrochemical blast damages 21 June 2016

    Local environmental authorities are holding Mexichem responsible for damage caused by an explosion at the company’s Pajaritos petrochemical plant in Veracruz, jointly owned with state oil company Pemex. If the company does not pay for the damage caused it will face criminal charges. Read More

  • Graphite prices see upward spike 20 June 2016

    Chinese producers have succeeded in lifting flake graphite prices on the back of growth in domestic refractories production and declining stockpiles. Amorphous could benefit from the government’s Lutang investment project, however overcapacity in the sector means prices are unlikely to make any gains in the short term. Read More

  • Investors set sights on Guinea’s bauxite 20 June 2016

    MENA private investment firms are taking a renewed interest in Guinea, which is estimated to hold about one-third of global bauxite resources, after years of political turmoil. Read More

  • Albemarle sells off Chemetall to BASF 20 June 2016

    The chemicals and lithium products manufacturer is selling off its surface treatment operation to BASF in a deal worth over $3.0bn as it seeks to focus on the development of its core assets in bromine, lithium and catalysts. Read More

  • Nabaltec pins hopes on flame retardants and Asia 17 June 2016

    The specialty alumina and technical ceramics supplier sees slow pricing conditions persisting in its core ranges for the rest of the year as it keeps its focus on diversification and looks to expand its presence in Asia. Read More

  • Pause in demand sets stage for fluorspar price fall 16 June 2016

    The seasonal acidspar buying period has stalled, however lower grade fluorspar saw an increase in demand as steel production inches up. Read More

  • UltraTech’s limestone mining project faces protest in Gujarat 16 June 2016

    While Indian cement producers are yet to get used to the regulatory changes proposed under the MMDR 2015 Amendment Act, which restricted the automatic transfer of mining rights, UltraTech Cement faces fresh protests against its limestone mining project from local farmers in Gujarat. Read More

  • Kenya's Kiambu calls for diatomite mine setup 16 June 2016

    Kenyan authorities are looking to develop the company's sizable deposits of diatomite – used in a number of applications such as agriculture, filtration and additives – as well as clamping down on illegal practices in the industry. Read More

  • Fluorspar industry awaits downstream expansion 15 June 2016

    Ongoing progress pertaining to the phase down of HCFCs under the Montreal Protocol has pushed industrial focus towards the new generation of refrigerants. Read More

  • IM23: Zeolite looks to new markets 15 June 2016

    Traditionally a relatively static industrial minerals industry, zeolite is searching for alternative applications to fuel growth in demand. Read More

  • IM23: Latest trends shaping China’s markets 15 June 2016

    As the biggest supplier and consumer of industrial minerals, China was a main focus of discussion at this week’s 23rd IM Congress in Prague, with attendees looking to understand the impact of the latest policies introduced by Beijing on the industrial minerals market. Read More

  • Focus on downstream graphite to transform China's industrial base 14 June 2016

    China's Council for the Promotion of International trade in Heilongjiang has stressed the need to focus on value-added downstream graphite projects. Development of this sector will help to transform coal cities and upgrade traditional industry in northeast China. Read More

  • IM23: Borates market to remain steady 14 June 2016

    Key to a number of diverse industries, boron-based products are not expected to see expansive market growth in the near future. A number of areas of potential exist, however. Read More

  • IM23: Czech mineral industry output stabilises 14 June 2016

    The country is an important producer of kaolin, bentonite, feldspar and silica. While general clay production contracted, the stabilisation of mineral output in the Czech Republic is positive news for the country, which may look at developing and reinstating past-producing graphite. Read More

  • Graphite market splits over traded prices 13 June 2016

    Specialised graphite grades experience more stability at higher price levels than natural flake graphite as traditional buying markets resist market upturn, Read More

  • New mining policy to rate mines in India 10 June 2016

    Indian mines are to be assessed on the basis of their performance and compliance under a new mining and exploration policy, which will be finalised and announced next month as the government aims to regulate operations, curb illegal mining and enhance output. Read More

  • Silica dust and Europe's quest for clean air 09 June 2016

    A decade in the making, European authorities are finally on a set path to restrict exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in the workplace, a move that will force a number of sectors, crucially construction, to adjust their operations and keep exposure levels in check. Read More

  • Chilean authorities accuse SQM of environmental breach at iodine project 08 June 2016

    The allegations intensify the standoff between SQM and the Chilean government, with attempts to terminate the company’s lithium lease at the Salar de Atacama still ongoing. But local sources indicated to IM that the cases may be interrelated and part of a larger attempt to drive down SQM share price ahead of a likely sale of its controlling stake. Read More

  • Graphene Nanochem prepares for upsurge in oilfield activity 07 June 2016

    The nanomaterials producer has commercialised a number of graphene-based solutions for the oilfield services market and expects to see activity in the sector picking up soon. Its progress illustrates potential avenues of success for graphene, which has so far struggled to find viable end markets, disappointing investors who had been promised a “miracle material”. Read More

  • India’s beach sand miners sceptical about new rules 06 June 2016

    The new draft of Atomic Mineral Concession Rules 2016 has raised concerns among private miners as they fear that the proposed changes – mainly pertaining to the threshold limit value of monazite and mining concession – are a threat for the survival of the nascent beach sand minerals mining industry. Read More

  • Magnezit to supply refractories to EVRA 06 June 2016

    The Russian manufacturer is to supply refractory products to EVRAZ for its rolled metal facilities, but cooperation will also include product testing and the development of new linings designs. Read More

  • Chemours refutes bankruptcy predictions 06 June 2016

    Following a report released by Citron Research, which described Chemours as the most “morally and financially bankrupt company” the firm has reported on the last 15 years in Chemours. Chemours, in turn, has refuted predictions of bankruptcy, pointing to its five-point transformation plan and developments in its fluorochemicals products. Read More

  • Zimbabwe’s new mineral bill targets irregular exports 03 June 2016

    The government of Zimbabwe aims to regulate exploration and trading of minerals from the country by introducing a bill which places control with a committee set up by the bureaucracy. Failure to adhere to the new regulations will result in a fine or imprisonment. Read More

  • Mineral Resources takes key stake in Mt Marion 03 June 2016

    The operating partner of the Mt Marion spodumene joint venture has exercised an option making it a leading stakeholder in the project. Product shipments from the Western Australian project are expected to ease the tight lithium market, although buyers have indicated this may take time. Read More

  • Indian government to auction 25 mineral blocks by August 03 June 2016

    The Indian government is planning auction 25 additional mineral blocks, including limestone and bauxite, despite a lack of interest from potential bidders in earlier initiatives. Read More

  • Graphite inactivity limits hopes of price rebound 02 June 2016

    Price Review: While the prices remain steady industrial inactivity continues to suppress regular trades with global demand showing few signs of recovery Read More

  • Fluorspar trades normalising at current lows 02 June 2016

    Market Commentary: With total consumption rate across fluorspar downstream markets creeping down and low-priced offers surging, the race to compete is having a knock-on effect on prices limiting any chances of potential market upturn. Read More

  • Chinese rare earth industry stimulated by favourable policies 02 June 2016

    New regulations on rare earth mining, smelting and supply are expected to enforce output quotas in China, with national and local governments coming together to tackle illegal production. Read More

  • Race towards battery grade graphite accelerates 01 June 2016

    Continued stagnation in traditional end-markets of natural graphite has encouraged producers to turn to higher grade spherical graphite, for which demand is expected to surge driven by Li-ion-powered EVs. While China dominates this space, many graphite mining and exploration companies are racing towards securing a position in the market. Read More

  • Shanshan bearish on 2016 lithium demand figures 01 June 2016

    The cathode material producer – which has been highly critical of the price and quality of lithium bought from its supplier Tianqi over the past year – has written off demand predictions made by the China Inorganic Salt Industry Association as being “completely unreasonable”, insisting true demand levels in 2016 will be significantly lower than predicted. The industry association has said demand should reach 210,000 tonnes lithium carbonate this year, with prices holding steady or increasing slightly. Read More

  • India to publicise mining data to boost exploration 01 June 2016

    The Ministry of Mines has agreed to supply digital mining data in conjunction with India's Ministry of Defence to attract potential explorers and investors – an initiative likely to support the country’s new mineral policy which proposes to offer large tracts of land to private and public explorers. Read More

  • Dakota Minerals: Lithium demand could increase ten-fold by 2025 31 May 2016

    Cameron Perks, IM correspondent and consultant, spoke to Francis Wedin, executive technical director at Australian exploration company Dakota Minerals Ltd on the sidelines of this year’s IDC Technologies Lithium Battery Conference held in Sydney, Australia, about the company's growth expectations for lithium and the reasons it is focusing on spodumene. Read More

  • Tertiary Minerals optimistic on fluorspar market despite losses 31 May 2016

    Growth in the fluorspar industry has been held back since H2 2012 owing to limited demand in the downstream market of fluorochemicals, which has narrowed the scope for new capacity in an already oversupplied market. However, despite the odds, Tertiary Minerals remains optimistic regarding a long term rebound as the company develops its fluorspar projects in Sweden and the US. Read More

  • Tata Chemicals reports improvement in Q4 performance 31 May 2016

    Tata Chemicals reported a 26% rise in EBITDA for the quarter ended 31 March, as sales in its soda ash and salt business drove higher revenues. Fertilisers however remained under pressure. Read More

  • India’s mineral production hindered by weak market 31 May 2016

    Mineral production figures for March 2016 were marginally down by 0.1% from last year as India missed its mineral exploration target for the fiscal year 2015-2016, with weakness in the global metals and mining markets limiting domestic recovery. Read More

  • Acid grade fluorspar price divergence to continue in Q3 2016 27 May 2016

    Excess capacities continue to plague fluorspar price recovery with low-cost producers pushing offers at new low levels; Chinese producers, however, continue to demand higher prices for their stockpiles causing disparity in the acidspar market. Read More

  • Graphite continues to feel the pressure of oversupply 27 May 2016

    Prices remain sluggish with a lack of demand leading to stockpiles mounting both within China and Europe. As a result, the hope of any price upturn remains limited before Q4 2016. Read More

  • Real estate revival to boost Chinese calcium carbonate demand IM June Issue

    The recovery in China’s real estate and construction markets is expected to drive up consumption of calcium carbonate materials used in plastic fittings, delegates at the China Calcium Carbonate Industry annual meeting heard in May. Read More

  • Mineral health check – what do Q1 results say about the state of the industry? IM June Issue

    IM looks at first-quarter performances of the leading industrial mineral companies and what the financials say about the state of the sector. Read More

  • Australian bauxite: Aluminium and beyond IM June Issue

    Australia is the world’s largest producer of bauxite, with the majority used to produce alumina for the aluminium industry. Non-metallurgical applications such as refractories, proppants, building materials and pharmaceuticals make up around 10% of bauxite’s end uses, however, and many Australian miners are looking at ways to diversify. Cameron Perks Read More

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

    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

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