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Latest News

  • Asia leads world steel production growth in August

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    While China registered a 3% y-o-y increase in crude steel production, Japan managed growth at 1.5% from corresponding figures in 2015, with India topping the chart with a 9.4% increase in its crude steel production.

  • Cheap freight rates make Chinese graphite attractive

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    Graphite buyers head towards China as low freight costs intensify competition amid weakening downstream demand; flake prices stable at current lows.

  • Price Briefing 16-22 September

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    Most minerals' prices remained stable with little trading activities following the mid-autumn festival holiday in China. Imerys has raised its sodium carbonate prices while Orocobre expects its lithium prices to reach $10,000/tonne.

  • China's largest flake graphite mine found

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    The resource is estimated to harbour over 300m tonnes flake graphite.

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Pricing News

  • Cheap freight rates make Chinese graphite attractive

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    Graphite buyers head towards China as low freight costs intensify competition amid weakening downstream demand; flake prices stable at current lows.

  • Price Briefing 16-22 September

    Friday, 23 September 2016

    Most minerals' prices remained stable with little trading activities following the mid-autumn festival holiday in China. Imerys has raised its sodium carbonate prices while Orocobre expects its lithium prices to reach $10,000/tonne.

  • Price Briefing 9-16 September 2016

    Friday, 16 September 2016

    Mineral sands prices moved up on increased activity in titanium dioxide and tighter supply from China; antimony trioxide continues to rise on the back of strength in antimony metal; suppliers of chemical grade chrome ore have raised their quotes further but the degree of acceptance from the market remains to be seen.

  • Excess supply keeps graphite prices down

    Friday, 16 September 2016

    Graphite producers have received few enquiries over the past week as excess supply, excessive capacity and growing competition looms large over the weak trading environment.

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Features

  • Talk From The Top: What those at the helm make of the last two years in industrial minerals markets

    Saturday, 21 May 2016

    While the majority of industrial mineral market participants are bracing themselves for another tough year, IM spoke to key industry players about adapting to current conditions and seeking out new markets.

  • India's mining industry: Challenges and potential

    Saturday, 21 May 2016

    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.

  • Carbon nanotubes: The next industrial revolution?

    Friday, 18 March 2016

    CNTs have the potential to revolutionise electronics, health and even sports equipment and the environment. Frank Hart* takes a look at the industry and examines the relationship of the nanotechnology to graphene and graphite.

  • Industrial minerals in British Columbia

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016

    Canada’s most southwesterly province has a long history of industrial mineral mining. George Simandl and Michaela Neetz of the British Columbia Geological Survey at the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines give a detailed over view of its non-metallic mineral activity and potential.

  • Ontario’s mineral sector: “Enriching the future”

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016

    Home to some of the world’s leading mining technology specialists, Ontario has long been at the forefront of the modern mining industry. Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Northern Development and Mines, outlines how the province is working to reinforce its status as a global mining destination.

  • 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.

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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

To add your company to this list please email us