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  • Lynas achieves positive free cashflow for the first time in March 24 April 2015

    Lynas may be battling against a pricing poor environment for rare earths, but the company is making significant headway in improving the going viability of its business. A positive free cashflow is a further step in the right direction for the Australian miner. Read More

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 17 – 23 April 24 April 2015

    Valence reunites with UK sales agent after 25 years; BatteryLimits approves IMX’s Chilalo project plan. Read More

  • Storage solutions: why battery developments are forcing utility change 24 April 2015

    Disruptive technologies, including battery storage, smart meters and other energy gadgets, are driving change to the traditional utility model around the world, which could in turn increase the demand for critical energy minerals such as lithium, graphite and rare earths. Read More

  • Victory Nickel granted loan extension as frac sand conditions bite 23 April 2015

    Along with other frac sand producers, Victory Nickel has been forced to manage output from its plants and reorganise financing in order to weather the market downturn. Read More

  • Canada dedicates C$23m to rare earths and chromite research in 2015 budget 23 April 2015

    How much of the C$23m will be allocated specifically to the chromite industry remains unclear, but the 2015 Canadian budget allocation for rare earths research has been applauded by the industry. Money will be delivered to companies working in separation and development technology for rare earths, a significant development in a tough project finance market. Read More

  • Chinese State Council officially cancels rare earths export taxes 23 April 2015

    The reporting of the State Council’s decision by the Ministry of Finance will finally put to bed any uncertainty regarding the abolition of the surcharges on the technology metals shipped to overseas buyers. Whether or not the government will implement resource taxes in place of export taxes to retain control of the industry remains to be seen. Read More

  • SQM to elect new board members on Friday 23 April 2015

    The Chilean lithium, potash and iodine miner appears keen to sever its links to the former Pinochet regime, with chairman Julio Ponce, the former son-in-law of General Pinochet, absent from the nominees for election to the board. Read More

  • Baker Hughes posts Q1 net loss as a result of “extreme market forces” 22 April 2015

    Oilfield services providers such as Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger have been caught off guard by the faster than expected decline in demand for their products. Exploration activity has particularly slowed in North America, resulting in aggressive cost-cutting measures and more job cuts than previously anticipated. Read More

  • Halliburton posts Q1 net loss; predicts further rig count drops 21 April 2015

    Oilfield services major Halliburton saw a net loss of $643m for the first quarter of this year as oil prices and drilling activity continues to fall. Although the company has slashed 10% of its workforce and predicts further cuts will be necessary, it painted a grim outlook for North America with additional revenue declines expected. Read More

  • Lithium News In Brief 8 – 21 April 21 April 2015

    A clutch technology providers are supplying Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) using lithium-ion batteries to energy grids worldwide. Elsewhere, researchers are taking advantage of lithium-ion scaremongering stories to develop batteries using other minerals. Magnesium-ion batteries are being researched at the University of Illinois and Google itself is developing several lithium-ion batteries for use in technology applications. Read More

  • Lithium production is no field of dreams, says Galaxy Resources 20 April 2015

    ASX-listed lithium company Galaxy Resources has had a bumpy few years which saw the closure of its Mt Cattlin spodumene mine in Western Australia and the divestment of its Jiangsu lithium plant in China to Tianqi Industries. Now, the miner is sitting on around $30m cash from the sale and has leased Mt Cattlin for tantalum production, putting it in a position to rebuild its place in the lithium industry. Read More

  • Heilongjiang offloads second tranche of state-owned graphite mines 17 April 2015

    The auction follows an earlier divestment of assets by the northeast Chinese province, as the Chinese government looks to increase competitiveness in the domestic mining sector. Read More

  • Abrupt fall in oil and gas activity forces Schlumberger to slash 11,000 jobs 17 April 2015

    Schlumberger, the world’s biggest oilfield service provider, is to reduce the number of its employees by an additional 11,000, shrinking its total workforce by 15% since 2014. Oil and gas E&P spending in North America is expected to fall 30% in 2015, leaving suppliers to the industry – including frac sand, barite and bentonite producers – with no choice but to make further cuts. Read More

  • Laixi graphite industry buckles under strictest Chinese water pollution law yet 17 April 2015

    New rules aimed at limiting pollution of public water courses by the graphite industry in Shandong could force the closure of a number of companies in Laixi city as the government moves to crack down on offenders. Read More

  • Cobre Montana produces battery grade lithium in Czech Republic 17 April 2015

    The production of battery grade lithium at the Czech Republic site has confirmed that Cobre Montana can move forward with commercial development of the project. Read More

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 10 – 16 April 16 April 2015

    StratMin ups monthly production while Eagle secures permit for Black Crystal project in BC. Read More

  • Chinese rare earths producers report first ever collective loss 16 April 2015

    Continued weakness in rare earths prices led to the Chinese industry reporting its first overall financial loss for the full year 2014. After showing signs of picking up from winter lows, prices now appear to be softening again. Read More

  • UKOG Horse Hill may not be such a good bet for oilfield minerals after all 16 April 2015

    The AIM-listed investment company has clarified its estimate of billions of barrels of onshore oil in Sussex’s Weald Basin, saying that the resource should not be considered as “either contingent or prospective” – a climb down which paints a less rosy picture for oilfield mineral demand in the UK. Read More

  • Bentonite prices remain flat despite oil market woes 15 April 2015

    Suppliers of drilling clay mineral stand firm over offers as buyers push for cheaper deals. Read More

  • Rainbow Rare Earths to offload entire production to ThyssenKrupp 15 April 2015

    The UK-based explorer has signed an offtake with a subsidiary of the German engineering group to supply 5,000 tpa rare earth oxides from its project in Burundi, which consists principally of lower value light rare earths. Read More

  • Siemens selects Molycorp as rare earths supplier for wind turbine magnets 15 April 2015

    In a welcome break from consistently poor earnings results and processing difficulties, Molycorp has signed a supply agreement with a large international conglomerate operating in the high-tech industries in which rare earths are heavily used. Read More

  • Uragold subsidiary signs MoU with Anzaplan to develop high purity quartz sands 15 April 2015

    The Canada-based junior says its new deal with Anzaplan represents a strategic step forward in its quartz strategy, as it claims that the material has become one of “today’s key strategic minerals” with applications in pharmaceutical, semiconductor and solar applications. Read More

  • Victory Nickel shuts Canadian frac sand plant just as full production reached 14 April 2015

    Following disappointing 2014 financial results posted at the start of April, Victory Nickel has announced the closure of its 7P frac sand plant in Alberta, which only reached nameplate capacity at the end of last year. Though it had predicted a market recovery a few weeks ago, the company today said that prices had reached levels which were no longer sustainable in the long term. Read More

  • Galaxy Resources left with A$50m following lithium plant sale 14 April 2015

    Galaxy Resources will have A$50m from the sale of its lithium plant to Tiangi Lithium Industries, which will help offset any operating losses occurring in its upcoming results.The company has been struggling with operating costs for a few years now and the sale is one of a number of routes Galaxy has pursued to generate extra cash flow. Read More

  • Saft lithium batteries to smooth out Faroe Island wind power issues 14 April 2015

    For the very first time, Li-ion batteries are being used in wind farm technology, with France-based Saft agreeing to provide a grid-regulating solution to the Faroe Islands. The energy storage capacity of a Li-ion battery can help iron out the fluctuations in wind power availability. Energy grids are traditionally used to coping with a steady supply of power, and not the peaks and troughs that come with a renewable energy source. Read More

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 8 – 13 April 2015 13 April 2015

    China North expands reach with New Damao stock acquisition; Montero reports encouraging results from bulk leach tests on Wigu Hill ore. Read More

  • China announces first rare earths production quotas for 2015 13 April 2015

    China’s MIIT is to allow increased output of rare earths from domestic producers this year as it forecasts a recovery in the sector. However, signs that major importers like Japan are looking to reduce their reliance on Chinese minerals may mean this move is over optimistic. Read More

  • Twin Eagle opens fourth US frac sand terminal 13 April 2015

    Twin Eagle, one of the largest independent US frac sand terminal developers, has opened its fourth strategically located frac sand terminal in the DJ Basin, Colorado. However, while the company maintains that proximity to the wellhead and a reliable service is important to its sand customers, other logistics networks in North America are struggling in the wake of a faster than anticipated drop in demand for the hauling of oil and gas extraction materials. Read More

  • REM's stake increase in Sonora symptomatic of consolidation trend 10 April 2015

    REM's move to up its stake increase in Bacanora Minerals is the latest example of consolidation in the lithiun sector, as would be producers position themselves for an anticipated boom in demand led by new energy technologies. Read More

  • Midden Mining discovers bentonite in South Africa’s Western Cape 10 April 2015

    The discovery of a rich bentonite resource near Mossel Bay coincides with an interest in shale gas exploration in the Karoo, a semi-desert region of South Africa, where any prospecting activity is likely to require significant volumes of the drilling mud. Read More

  • Price Briefing 3 – 9 April 10 April 2015

    Barite prices confirmed as flat despite Indian market ructions; rare earths broadly steady as dysprosium rises. Read More

  • UKOG Horse Hill tight oil discovery to be drilled not fracked 09 April 2015

    The identification of 158m barrels of oil per square mile in the south of the UK has raised eyebrows with the announcement that despite being a shale oil resrve, the discoverers UKOG believe it can be extracted using conventional drilling muds, rather than by fracking. Read More

  • Low opex sweetens light rare earths distribution for Rainbow 09 April 2015

    Rainbow Rare Earths has just received a $12m investment from Pala Investments, which it expects will enable it to bring the Gakara project in Burundi to full production. The low capital intensity project will not suffer from its light rare earths-dominated product basket, owing to an industry-leading grade figure and low opex costs, its managing director told IM. Read More

  • Lobbyists push to change the shape of Nevada mining 09 April 2015

    Although Nevada has far better environmental regulation than many parts of the world, it is still the most lax jurisdiction in North America. Changes to regulation for gold mining in the US state will also affect industrial minerals such as lithium and graphite, which are being developed for extraction in the state. Read More

  • Rare earths prices hold on as market confidence gains 09 April 2015

    A belief that demand and prices for rare earths used in magnets is turning positive is backed by flat and even slightly stronger prices for the minerals, which saw a steady decline throughout 2014. Read More

  • Low oil prices hurt US frac sand producers as more states sour on fracking 08 April 2015

    The plunge in the price of oil has hit demand for frac sand in the US, just as many companies approach record output in the wake of the North American fracking boom. Meanwhile, fracking has come under renewed criticism in Maryland and California, while ONSOL Energy and Halliburton are seeking to improve the industry’s image with new low-emissions technology. Read More

  • IM Lithium News in Brief 27 March – 8 April 08 April 2015

    Stanford puts forward aluminium battery as rival to Li-ion; Tesla proposes new Gigafactory in Japan; explorers move ahead with shareholder and community approcals. Read More

  • Indian barite prices steady as Andhra Pradesh tender stumbles 08 April 2015

    The APMDC tender to mine barite in the southwest Indian state has so far not received any bids, as local exporters complain that floor prices are too high and that the conditions of the tender are impractical. International market sources have however confirmed that prices are within published ranges. Read More

  • Chinese rare earths producers report steep fall in profits 07 April 2015

    Price falls throughout 2014 had a negative effect on Minmetals and China North, some of the largest producers of rare earths in China. Spring Festival effects on magnet exports were relatively limited this year, indicating that the a rare earths magnet industry renaissance may be starting to become reality. Read More

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 31 March – 7 April 07 April 2015

    GWMG and Frontier look to restructure in tough rare earths and financing climate; Kvanefjeld project permitting on the horizon; Rare Earth Salts loses out on city funding. Read More

  • No takers for RB Energy's lithium and iodine operations 07 April 2015

    The lack of buyers for RB Energy's lithium assets is more of a reflection of the status of the company's own assets and operations than of the lithium market as a whole, say analysts. Read More

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