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Pricing News

  • Hegang City pledges to double graphite production in 2017

    Friday, 08 September 2017

    The city-level prefecture plans to push local graphite production to over 3m tonnes, after taking over a 1.21bn tonne mining reserve having these type of expansions triggered some negative comments within the industry in the past. Moreover, Chinese exports dipped throughout June according to Chinese Customs.

  • IM's August Price Movements

    Thursday, 07 September 2017

    IM's monthly price movements.

  • Price Briefing 18-24 August

    Friday, 25 August 2017

    Dwindling supply lifts Chinese calcined bauxite prices; Renewed supply pressure lifts Chinese antimony trioxide prices; Firm chromite prices amid improving demand; Stricter inspections in China force graphite prices up; Chinese brown fused alumina hit 1.5-year highs

  • Stricter inspections in China force graphite prices up

    Friday, 25 August 2017

    Government inspectors return to Shandong for a second round of checks, making production at local graphite operations intermittent, as limitations to acid-purification processes is affecting high-purity and plus mesh sizes in particular.

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Features

  • A rock and a hard place

    Friday, 08 September 2017

    Demand for refractory products is evolving, forcing suppliers to upgrade their offers and processes to stay ahead of the game, while Chinese-origin raw materials are appreciating on the back of supply shortages, making productions costlier, Davide Ghilotti, IM Chief Reporter, finds.

  • Not a Cinderella story: Half a century of Industrial Minerals

    Friday, 08 September 2017

    Long dismissed as the Cinderella of the commodities world, industrial minerals were regarded as high bulk, low value for most outside the network which makes up our world. But after 50 years IM is looking forward to a glittering future - and so are those at the top of the industrial minerals tree, interviewed in turn about the changing face of the industry.

  • Processing: Going green

    Friday, 07 July 2017

    Although the number of industrial minerals covered by IM is far reaching and the technology required for their production often varies by sector, the mining industry is seeing increasing calls for corporate social responsibility and greener technology, particularly in light of the growing role renewable energy has to play in the everyday lives of consumers.

  • US exiting Paris Treaty not expected to impact minerals sector

    Friday, 07 July 2017

    In the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the US will be pulling out of the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty, IM looks at the significance of this move and the possible impact this will have on the industrial minerals market. By Mark Rowe

  • Junior mining: Back from the brink?

    Thursday, 26 January 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.

  • 2016 Year in Review

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

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

  • Graphite – The only way is up

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

    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.

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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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