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Latest News

  • Black market graphite trading increases in China

    Friday, 05 February 2016

    Illegal trading of graphite is on the rise, with some producers looking to dodge taxes in order to offer lower prices that they hope will stimulate sales – a trend that is preventing legal producers from taking advantage of the seasonal slowdown in production by leveraging price increases.

  • Price Briefing 29 January – 4 February

    Friday, 05 February 2016

    Antimony ingot prices improve slightly but fluorspar and graphite values fall; TiO2 market expected to remain weak.

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 29 January – 4 February

    Thursday, 04 February 2016

    Kibaran and IMX sign MoUs with Asian buyers; Alabama clocks positive results from Coosa pilot plant; Valence cuts further staff as cash situation becomes critical.

  • China unlikely to increase graphite output as producers focus on spherical

    Tuesday, 02 February 2016

    A policy of reserving high grade flake graphite for value-added processing combined with weak demand from traditional markets means that Chinese graphite production and exports are unlikely to grow this year.

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Pricing News

  • Black market graphite trading increases in China

    Friday, 05 February 2016

    Illegal trading of graphite is on the rise, with some producers looking to dodge taxes in order to offer lower prices that they hope will stimulate sales – a trend that is preventing legal producers from taking advantage of the seasonal slowdown in production by leveraging price increases.

  • Price Briefing 29 January – 4 February

    Friday, 05 February 2016

    Antimony ingot prices improve slightly but fluorspar and graphite values fall; TiO2 market expected to remain weak.

  • Flake graphite prices feel strain of thin trading

    Monday, 01 February 2016

    Weak demand stifles price movements in cautious market.

  • CVD graphene is 99.9% cheaper today than in 2010

    Wednesday, 27 January 2016

    Spanish nanotechnology business Graphenea claims it has brought down the price of graphene from thousands of dollars per gram to just a few dollars in the space of five years, making the material competitive with other widely used nanomaterials.

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Features

  • Graphite: Year in Review 2015

    Monday, 21 December 2015

    A roundup of the year's main events in the global graphite industry.

  • Graphite exploration – the importance of planning

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    Graphite has become the focus for dozens of exploration companies since the mineral’s investment boom of 2011-2012. Andrew Scogings, Industrial Minerals Consultant, looks at the different exploration and testing methods and reporting conventions used by the graphite industry.

  • The black parade: Graphite companies continue to put on a show

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    Tanking stock values, falling prices and exasperation with the slow growth of new markets are just some of the litany of difficulties facing the graphite sector, whose junior companies were once the pick of the small cap investment world. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, takes a look at the industry and examines what schools of thought are informing its decisions.

  • China’s slowdown leaves graphite industry with unshakable hangover

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    Falling consumption of graphite in China as a result of weaker demand for steel, cement and glass refractories – which continue to represent the largest end markets for the mineral – looks set to ensure the sector remains on a downward trend until growth from batteries can take up the slack, IM Analyst, Shruti Salwan, discovers.

  • Which materials are “critical” and which are “strategic”?

    Monday, 30 November 2015

    The terms “critical” and “strategic” used to describe the importance of various minerals and metals to different countries and organisations are often applied without definition or context. George J Simandl, Carlee Akam and Suzanne Paradis outline the case for appropriate use of these terms to avoid misunderstandings and misrepresentations.

  • Cofermin Group: Trading confidence

    Wednesday, 26 August 2015

    Essen, Germany-based Cofermin’s dispersed yet nimble network of operatives can expand the market reach of suppliers and multiply sourcing options for buyers of speciality minerals. With the recent launch of two new businesses, the group is delving into even more niches than it was in before. Cofermin spoke to IM how people are at the heart of its reputation for transparency, efficiency and trust.

  • AMG Graphite: Bringing Bavarian intelligence to new markets

    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    Formerly known as Graphit Kropfmuehl, AMG Graphite traces its graphite mining routes in Bavaria back over 100 years. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, travelled to the company’s mine in Germany to discover how, following a recent equity injection by Alterna Capital, this seasoned company is moving to build on its already formidable stature as a processor of speciality graphite material, spurred by the prospect of growth in new, high value markets.

  • Battery minerals: A question of purity?

    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    Competition to supply raw materials to the burgeoning Li-ion battery market is hotting up. Josie Shillito, Reporter, spoke to experts in the industry to discover the importance of producing the appropriate purity minerals to manufacturers and whether sustainable provenance will hamper efforts to keep costs down.

  • Far Eastern promise: Dalgraphite to boost Russian graphite production

    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    Dalgraphite is developing the Soyuznoye deposit in Far East Russia. With infrastructural, investment and political hurdles to surmount, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, takes a look at the company’s chances of making it to 40,000 tpa production by 2018.

  • Rank and file: Assessing graphite projects on credentials

    Wednesday, 22 July 2015

    The fervour for graphite exploration shows few signs of letting up, but with more and more companies piling into the industry, despite warnings about the comparative narrowness of the future demand window, judging the quality of projects is tricky. Andrew Scogings, Jason Chesters and Bill Shaw take a look at the field and suggest some parameters for assessing individual developments.

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

    Thursday, 28 May 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.

  • Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

    Friday, 20 March 2015

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

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

    Friday, 20 March 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.

  • The importance of Manchester’s “Graphene City”

    Friday, 20 March 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.

  • Critical minerals: booms, busts and price spike indicators

    Friday, 27 February 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.

  • The Tesla effect: one year on

    Friday, 27 February 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.

  • Africa’s Industrial Minerals Map

    Saturday, 24 January 2015

  • Africa: projects in the pipeline

    Saturday, 24 January 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.

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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
• 
Talga Resources, Sweden
Graphite One, Canada

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