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  • EU takes action over China export duties

    Wednesday, 20 July 2016

    The European Union has launched another legal case against China’s restriction on raw material exports essential for the region’s downstream industries. However, China discounts any deliberate intentions claiming that the restrictions are merely an effort to protect domestic resources and the ecological environment.

  • Brexit: Mineral companies in “wait and see” mode

    Monday, 18 July 2016

    Financial markets in turmoil although market participants say it's too early to predict the long-term impact; ceramics sector expresses concerns over exports.

  • Price Briefing 8-14 July 2016

    Friday, 15 July 2016

    Chinese lithium spot prices continue to decline; iodine price declines show no sign of letting up; Chinese potash contracts signed; alumina prices fall

  • US takes action over China export duties

    Thursday, 14 July 2016

    US trade authorities have challenged China’s continued enforcement of export duties on nine essential metals and minerals, which the country agreed to eliminate after joining the WTO, pointing to deliberate efforts by China to increase its competitive edge in downstream product manufacture.

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Pricing News

  • Price Briefing 8-14 July 2016

    Friday, 15 July 2016

    Chinese lithium spot prices continue to decline; iodine price declines show no sign of letting up; Chinese potash contracts signed; alumina prices fall

  • Excess supply continues to stall graphite prices

    Friday, 08 July 2016

    Price Review: Dwindling consumption rates in traditional end markets have stalled any upward movement in graphite flake prices as an over abundance of supply leads the industry to an impasse.

  • Price Briefing 1-7 July 2016

    Friday, 08 July 2016

    Fluorspar prices fail to rebound due to weak demand; Chinese TiO2 operators signal yet another price hike; bauxite prices slow down amid persistent issues in consumption; Chinese silicon carbide export values point to lower prices; lithium prices see a degree of stabilisation.

  • Price Briefing 24-30 June 2016

    Friday, 01 July 2016

    Brexit leaves mineral producers in limbo; graphite prices hindered by weak refractory market; Chinese lithium price dip likely to be temporary; potash contracts signed at lower levels; TiO2 driven by improvements in Chinese housing and automotive sectors.

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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.

  • 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.

More from Features

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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