Graphite

Analysis

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Latest News

  • Price Briefing 18 – 24 April

    Thursday, 24 April 2014

    Frac sand supply remains tight while stable outlook confirmed in bromine chemicals

  • Graphite & Graphene News in Brief 18 – 24 April

    Thursday, 24 April 2014

    Ontario Graphite, Cadman Resources change names; global graphene developments accelerate

  • Charged for new graphite supply

    Thursday, 24 April 2014

    As graphite exploration company Energizer Resources gears up to deliver a feasibility study for its Molo project in Madagascar, IM travelled 5,600 miles overseas to find out more about the company’s developments in the flake graphite race.

  • Price Briefing 11 – 17 April

    Thursday, 17 April 2014

    Railcar availability puts breaks on bentonite while FMC raises price of lithium hydroxide

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Pricing News

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Features

  • The Great Occasion

    Friday, 21 March 2014

    The Industrial Minerals Congress launched 40 years ago, in 1974, and was attended by over 400 delegates from 36 different countries. As we prepare for the 22nd Congress, which will be held in Vancouver this month, IM approached several industry leaders and asked each of them the same five questions to get their perspectives on how the market has changed. Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor

  • Pricing sentiments diverge on downstream outlooks in March

    Friday, 21 March 2014

    Barite prices steady but strong on oilfield demand while TiO2 trends downwards in Europe during Q1

  • The many ways of making graphene

    Friday, 21 March 2014

    There are several ways of producing graphene, only some of which make use of natural graphite, a process featured in the November 2013 issue of IM. Marko Spasenovic* discusses some of the other methods for making the carbon wonder material and why some are considered to be better than others.

  • Refractory graphite: the large flake race

    Friday, 21 February 2014

    The drive for larger flake, higher quality graphite in refractories is pushing the industry towards reform, particularly in China. But raw material competition looms with the emerging battery industry.

  • LKAB Minerals looks to sustainability

    Friday, 21 February 2014

    LKAB Minerals highlighted the issue of sustainability in refractories at a number of events in the last 12 months, emphasising the need for renewable energy and more recycling.

  • Canada Carbon vein graphite tests show nuclear potential

    Friday, 21 February 2014

    Graphite exploration company, Canada Carbon Inc. has reported the first in a series of laboratory results from its vein graphite Miller property, in Quebec, which shows the potential for new material to enter the nuclear industry.

  • Scandinavia’s graphene potential

    Friday, 21 February 2014

    Scandinavia is known for its iron ore deposits and fossil fuels, but it also holds vast amounts of graphite which could be used to develop a graphene industry in this exciting hub

  • Diary Dates March 2014

    Friday, 21 February 2014

    Industry Events for the industrial minerals market

  • Africa – open for business?

    Friday, 24 January 2014

    Besides a long-envied geological resource abundance, Africa boasts many attractions for mining companies. Yet development has been hampered by political turmoil. Now, as much of the continent begins a concerted drive to increase investment in its mining sector, IM Staff take a look of some of the industrial mineral projects on the African horizon.

  • Will China see the blue skies?

    Friday, 24 January 2014

    In this month's comment Editor Siobhan Lismore-Scott discusses whether or not China is taking its pledge to be a more environmentally-friendly miner seriously and outlines opportunities in ceramics markets and, ahead of this month's Indaba meeting, in Africa.

  • Year in Review 2013: Just when we couldn’t sink any further, we did

    Friday, 20 December 2013

    It has not been a good year for the industrial minerals industry. There have been some shining lights, of course Ñexploration continues at an astonishing rate in some markets despite falling demand and, consequently, prices - but on the whole producers and suppliers have felt the pinch.

  • Year in Review 2013: Graphite and graphene

    Friday, 20 December 2013

    Graphite markets have focused on growing demand and new innovations in graphene, which this year moved closer to commercialisation.

  • Powering ahead: battery minerals face a robust future

    Monday, 25 November 2013

    The modern world is powered by lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in their many guises. It’s hard to imagine life without handheld powertools, rechargeable vacuum cleaners, electric vehicles and personal electronic devices – yet five years ago this space was still burgeoning. But what does the future hold?

  • Vietnam’s untapped graphite resource

    Wednesday, 30 October 2013

    Vietnam has been exploiting a small portion of its — potentially world-leading — graphite resources since 1915, but so far this century a lack of investment and regulation has meant that the majority has been left unexploited. Recently, new laws have been introduced, which appear to open more doors for investors, and as Tran Kim Phuong, of Vietnam’s Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources explains, there is plenty of opportunity.

  • Prices continue to fall as the summer lull takes hold

    Monday, 22 July 2013

    Barite prices move down as demand softens; Ilmenite producers continue to struggle

  • China opens door for Australian graphite

    Tuesday, 02 July 2013

    New Chinese policies and changing market demands have seen a gap opening in the graphite sector – and Australia is keen to fill it. Cameron Chai looks at graphite developments in the country, and talks to some of the key players.

  • Projects in the Pipeline: Australia — a sleeping giant?

    Tuesday, 02 July 2013

    Although somewhat overshadowed by its traditionally-recognised abundance of metallic, precious and fuel minerals, Australia’s importance as an industrial minerals source should not be sniffed at.

  • Price Briefing: Ilmenite prices are “unsustainable” say Kenmare

    Tuesday, 02 July 2013

    This month's price briefing looks at how metspar prices are sliding on the back of weak steel markets and discusses how Lynas aims to take control of rare earths prices

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Market Brief

Graphite is one of most versatile of non-metallic minerals. It is one of four main natural forms of carbon along with coke, coal, anthracite and diamond. Graphite can also be manufactured synthetically, primarily via the Acheson Process which utilises lower purity carbon-bearing raw materials blended with tar pitch.

Natural graphite is produced in three commercial forms: amorphous (60-85%C), flake (>85%C) and vein (>90%C). Vein graphite is only being mined in Sri Lanka.

Graphite’s main markets are a combination of traditional industry – refractories (high temperature bricks and linings utilised in metal production, ceramics, petrochemicals and cement industries) – as well as batteries and the main anode material. Other markets include steel-making (as a recarburizer), brake-linings for vehicles and lubricants.

Natural and synthetic graphite industries operate independently and have little crossover in market share and end-uses.

Natural graphite supply

Natural graphite production was 1.1m tonnes worldwide in 2012. Of this total, flake accounted for 55%, amorphous 44% and vein 1%.

The dominance of Chinese production is the main talking point in the industry. China accounted for 79% of total world output followed by Brazil, India, North Korea and Canada. Smaller levels of production are also seen in Norway, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.

The natural graphite industry is going through a corrective phase following over two decades of no new supply coming on-stream.

China is focusing on controlling its sprawling domestic graphite industry and improving pollution levels and mining practices. At the same time a macro-economic push to move from lower value exports to producing value added products is expected to see less graphite concentrate destined for export and higher production of downstream products such as spherical graphite and battery anode materials.

The 2011 exploration boom

The emergence of electric vehicles (EV) and the potential boom in lithium-ion battery demand has buoyed interest in graphite’s role as a major battery raw material. This led to an exploration boom between 2011 and 2012 which saw over 70 new companies being established, predominately focused on exploration in Canada.

Towards the end of 2012, the rush slowed as investment from the capital markets dried up.

Graphite is one of most versatile of non-metallic minerals. It is one of four main natural forms of carbon along with coke, coal, anthracite and diamond. Graphite can also be manufactured synthetically, primarily via the Acheson Process which utilises lower purity carbon-bearing raw materials blended with tar pitch.

Natural graphite is produced in three commercial forms: amorphous (60-85%C), flake (>85%C) and vein (>90%C). Vein graphite is only being mined in Sri Lanka.

Graphite’s main markets are a combination of traditional industry – refractories (high temperature bricks and linings utilised in metal production, ceramics, petrochemicals and cement industries) – as well as batteries and the main anode material. Other markets include steel-making (as a recarburizer), brake-linings for vehicles and lubricants.

Natural and synthetic graphite industries operate independently and have little crossover in market share and end-uses.

Natural graphite supply

Natural graphite production was 1.1m tonnes worldwide in 2012. Of this total, flake accounted for 55%, amorphous 44% and vein 1%.

The dominance of Chinese production is the main talking point in the industry. China accounted for 79% of total world output followed by Brazil, India, North Korea and Canada. Smaller levels of production are also seen in Norway, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Russia, Ukraine and Germany.

The natural graphite industry is going through a corrective phase following over two decades of no new supply coming on-stream.

China is focusing on controlling its sprawling domestic graphite industry and improving pollution levels and mining practices. At the same time a macro-economic push to move from lower value exports to producing value added products is expected to see less graphite concentrate destined for export and higher production of downstream products such as spherical graphite and battery anode materials.

The 2011 exploration boom

The emergence of electric vehicles (EV) and the potential boom in lithium-ion battery demand has buoyed interest in graphite’s role as a major battery raw material. This led to an exploration boom between 2011 and 2012 which saw over 70 new companies being established, predominately focused on exploration in Canada.

Towards the end of 2012, the rush slowed as investment from the capital markets dried up.

Major graphite producer highlights

Nacional de Grafite, Brazil
Timcal Ltd, Canada
Skaland Graphite
• Grafitbergbau Kaiserberg, Austria
• Tirupati Carbons, India
• Agrawal Graphite Industries, India
• Tamin, India

Major graphite processors

Asbury Carbons
Superior Graphite

Graphite exploration company highlights

Northern Graphite, Canada
Focus Graphite, Canada
Ontario Graphite, Canada
Energizer Resources, Madagascar
Syrah Resources, Mozambique
Standard Graphite, Canada
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Talga Resources, Sweden
Graphite One, Canada

To add your company to this list please email us