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  • Rare earth prices steady on weak demand suggestive of lower inventories 22 October 2014

    Chinese magnet manufacturers reported to be idling capacity as market continues soft. Read More

  • DuPont and Honeywell face antitrust scrutiny over HFO car refrigerant 22 October 2014

    The two US firms’ joint venture to develop manufacture the fluorspar-derived hydrofluoroolefin refrigerant R1234yf, which is the only car coolant compliant with an EU emissions directive for new vehicles, may have limited the chemical’s availability on the market and could see DuPont and Honeywell fined 10% of turnover. Read More

  • Russia plans global rare earths domination 22 October 2014

    Russia claims to have the world’s second largest rare earths reserves after China, and before 1990 the country was a significant producer. New government and private enterprise plans could see the nation regain its influence in the rare earths market by the end of the decade. Read More

  • UK cannot afford to abandon mining, experts warn 22 October 2014

    The nation has a long history of mining, but has largely given up the development of its mineral resources over the last century as it became cheaper to import from international suppliers. The UK Minerals Forum Working Group has argued that mineral supply security cannot be taken for granted, however, and urged decision makers make plans for exploiting domestic reserves. Read More

  • UK select committee highlights importance of reliable water supply to mining industry 21 October 2014

    Access to water is a basic human right. It is also a basic requirement for mining. The conflict between these competing demands was discussed by the UK’s House of Commons Extractive Industries Select Committee, which considered how the situation could be managed through sound regulation and procedure, particularly in dry regions of the world like Chile and in areas where fracking is causing concern to communities. Read More

  • Galaxy looks to sidestep protracted sale of Chinese lithium plant to Tianqi 21 October 2014

    The Australian miner today said it hopes that proposed changes to China’s M&A regime will help it to close the sale of its Jiangsu facility more rapidly, which is important for the miner’s financial position as it pushes ahead with a lithium project in Argentina. Read More

  • China discusses magnesia market and 2015 quotas 21 October 2014

    Following the meeting held by China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, the government will plan 2015 export quotas for Chinese magnesia producers, in view of the domestic and global market demand. Read More

  • Israel Chemicals strongly criticises updated Sheshinski tax proposals 21 October 2014

    The strongly-worded statement released by ICL is not just corporate bluster — the proposed tax measures would be some of the most punitive natural resources taxes imposed by a government anywhere in the world. ICL stands to lose substantial proportions of its revenue and will have to cut back significantly on domestic and foreign investment if the taxes are brought in. Read More

  • StratMin secures five-year offtake with major graphite buyer 21 October 2014

    The UK-listed, Madagascar-focused company had a nervous few months over the summer as it sought to tie down a buyer for its Loharano graphite. Securing an offtake agreement is a vote of confidence in the project’s quality and reliability and prompted a long-awaited rally in StratMin’s share price. Read More

  • China lays down new plan to tackle illegal rare earths mining 21 October 2014

    Through a coordinated action involving eight government institutions, Beijing is developing a six-month strategy to tackle the rare earths ‘black market’, showing its determination to address environmental problems caused by domestic producers and stabilising its domestic market. Read More

  • AkzoNobel income increases owing to efficiency programme 21 October 2014

    Though other companies have been reporting an increase in paints and coatings demand, AkzoNobel attributes its positive results to cost cutting and restructuring in the business. It added that market conditions remain challenging – a view that will be disappointing for raw materials producers to the industry such as rutile, ilmenite and TiO2, which have been waiting for conditions to rebound. Read More

  • Antimony trioxide prices stable while metal prices dip 20 October 2014

    Standard grade II metal values fall as traders attempt to kick-start market Read More

  • Jordan Phosphate Mines opens fertiliser-gypsum plant in Indonesia 20 October 2014

    JPMC is engaging in industrial projects outside its native Jordan for the first time. The company is planning to expand from its role as a phosphate rock supplier, to an integrated local and global beneficiator of its raw production material. Read More

  • China's refractory consolidation: a year on 20 October 2014

    A year after Chinese authorities took the decision to clean up the refractory industry in China, IM takes a look at progress made so far and the impact of the shut downs on the industry as a whole. Read More

  • IM Rare Earths News in Brief 14 – 20 October 20 October 2014

    Northern Minerals expands rare earth resources at Browns Range; Avalon halts plans to build separation facility in Louisiana; Ucore to evaluate proposals for bank feasibility study of its Bokan Mountain project in Alaska. Read More

  • Halliburton income increases as North American oilfield activity accelerates 20 October 2014

    The increase in net income and revenue for Halliburton highlights that growth in the oilfield sector is not abating, which is good news for producers supplying minerals to the industry such as barytes (barite), bentonite and frac sand. Read More

  • ERECON 2014: Recycling rare earths from e-waste in Europe 20 October 2014

    Owing to increasing rare earths demand in Europe, which has one of the largest markets of auto vehicles and mobile phones, companies called for a concerted effort from all institutions and governments to explore the potential of recycling rare earths and magnets from e-waste. Read More

  • Kenmare confirms still in discussions with Iluka about possible takeover 17 October 2014

    Ireland-based Kenmare Resources rejected Iluka Resources’ share-based offer for the company back in June, but a statement published today that negotiations are ongoing may signal that the company is coming round to the idea of a takeover. Read More

  • Merger talks discontinued between CF Industries and Yara International 17 October 2014

    A merger between CF Industries and Yara International would have created a nitrate fertiliser company close to the size of PotashCorp. Yara could have benefited significantly from CF’s access to low US gas prices in the deal. This, combined with the loss of its CEO and incoming CEO, will render the ending of the talks a big disappointment to Yara. Read More

  • Baker Hughes Q3 revenue up as oilfield demand driven by Latin and North America 17 October 2014

    The results from Baker Hughes show that demand from the oilfield sector remains strong as drilling activity continues in the Americas, which will in turn drive demand for oilfield minerals such as silica (frac) sand, barite (barytes) and bentonite. The remainder of the year is also expected to be positive as activity returns to normal in the Gulf of Mexico. Read More

  • Industry survey suggests autumn fertiliser usage could fall by 50% in North America 17 October 2014

    This year will yield a record harvest for US crop producers, following a similarly strong 2013 yield. Fertiliser usage is likely to fall significantly for the North American autumn due to the five-year low crop prices, which have precipitated from these high yields, and have reduced the incentive for planting large areas of crops. Read More

  • Eagle Materials acquires CRS Proppants for $225m 17 October 2014

    The latest acquisition marks a further step towards being an integrated frac sand producer as acquiring CRS Proppants, which has contracts in place and is in the process of expanding facilities, will potentially mean that Eagle Materials no longer has to buy in frac sand to sell to its customers. Read More

  • Kenyan government moves to challenge Kwale County’s proposed mineral sands tax 17 October 2014

    Miners in Kwale County including Australia’s Base Resources have welcomed the national government’s intervention in the royalty plan, which the company says will damage its business and investment in the region generally if it is allowed to go ahead. Read More

  • Canpotex agrees to lease agreement with Prince Rupert Port Authority 17 October 2014

    Pacific Northwest export expansions are the subject of another announcement from the agrimineral marketing group, taking Canpotex’s total intended investment in export facilities to nearly $830m. The company appears to be betting on a significant rise in demand for its products, despite short term fertiliser demand concerns in North America. Read More

  • South Boulder completes PFS drilling, moves to DFS drilling 17 October 2014

    South Boulder and ENAMCO’s project is an asset that, even in tough times for potash, could prove highly profitable because of the low cost open pit mine plan presented, and the local hot, dry climate, which is beneficial for processing. The completion of a fresh round of drilling will push the project towards full resource definition. Read More

  • ERECON 2014: Hi-tech industry voices concern over future rare earths supply 17 October 2014

    After voicing strong concerns over the future stability of rare earth supplies, several industries taking part in the ERECON conference urged for new measures to add value to the European rare earth industry supply chain, and to support new mining projects through concerted action. Read More

  • Kenmare sales increase 24% as Iluka negotiations continue 17 October 2014

    The company’s total mineral sands shipments have seen an increase over the third quarter owing to stabilising zircon demand and improved economic activity in the US, which is driving TiO2 demand. However, strong TiO2 demand in China is failing to materialise into higher feedstock sales as the country continues to develop its own supply. Read More

  • AMMG completes JV for South West Titanium Project 17 October 2014

    The JV with Midas is part of the company’s strategy to spin out its priority projects to allow it to focus on the development of its HPA project. It will also bring the company one step closer to becoming a mineral sands supplier as Midas evaluates the economic viability of the project. Read More

  • Nepal Orind Magnesite future looks shaky as Minister delays plans 17 October 2014

    The Nepalese resource could be a valid supplier to the growing Indian market if it is able to be revived. At this stage it is unclear if the rumours of a delay to start up are true as neither the Nepalese government or Khetan Group could be reached for comment. Read More

  • Lynas passes regulatory hurdle, posts improvements in Q1 results 17 October 2014

    The results and the positive report from the IAEA must be a welcome breath of fresh air for the company and it comes within the first few months of CEO, Amanda Lacaze’s, appointment. Read More

  • BPC signs Brazil port deal 16 October 2014

    Agrimineral distributor Belarusian Potash Co.’s agreement with with Rocha Terminais Portuarios e Logistica for storage will help the company to serve customers in the South American country, which is one of the world’s largest importers of potash. Read More

  • American Rock Salt to expand logistics capacity following increased salt demand 16 October 2014

    After one of the coldest winters since records began, salt reserves are depleted across North America. American Rock Salt’s plans to increase its capacity should provide ample returns to the company, especially if the expansion is completed before the beginning of winter. Read More

  • Soda ash and industrial salt prices on the rise in India 16 October 2014

    Rising salt values push up soda ash prices and narrow margins for glass makers Read More

  • Price Briefing 10 – 16 October 16 October 2014

    Iodine and rare earths fall while Indian soda ash prices climb Read More

  • Iluka mineral sands revenue stable y-o-y as market shows signs of recovery 16 October 2014

    With higher capacity utilisation rates from pigment producers and a rise in demand from the welding industry, Iluka is encouraged that zircon demand will continue to be relatively stable, while demand for TiO2 feedstocks seems to be recovering. Read More

  • Graymont submits revised Michigan limestone mine plans 16 October 2014

    Graymont has not supplied a production estimate for the proposed mine, but as the company is the second largest supplier of lime in North America, and the revised plans cover 30km2, the mine is likely to be a significant regional supplier for the construction industry if the application comes to fruition. Read More

  • PPG coatings sales increase 4% as North American recovery continues 16 October 2014

    Higher paint and coatings sales were driven by improved demand from the aerospace and the automotive sectors. Gains were seen in North America and Asia, reflecting recent trends in mineral sands, which are used in paint and coating production. Read More

  • IM Graphite News in Brief 09 — 16 October 2014 16 October 2014

    Kibaran starts feasibility study; Braille Battery named official Historic Sportcar Racing Read More

  • Minnesota asks for public opinion on frac sand air pollution 15 October 2014

    If the Minnesotan panel’s recommendations and methods are conducive to public policy procurement, the process may be rolled out across US states involved in the rapidly expanding fracking services industry. Read More

  • Rio Tinto production report shows TiO2 market still lagging 15 October 2014

    The latest set of figures from the Anglo-Australian miner show lower production levels in TiO2 feedstock’s and runs contrary to the optimism displayed in its company results, released in August, which stated that a slight upturn was expected in mineral sand markets. In borates, sales demand continues to increase, which is positive for the market as a whole Read More

  • Mineral Sands News in Brief: 8-15 October 15 October 2014

    Metallica Minerals subsidiary JV enters binding contract for the provision of a concentrator plant, Alkane Resources continues to improve its opex and capex definitions. Read More

  • Halliburton moves Argentina closer to fracking with new sand loading and storage facility 15 October 2014

    Argentina is second only to the China in terms of potentially recoverable shale gas. The US has proven the viability of fracking, and the industry has great potential to expand in the sparsely populated southern provinces in Argentina. A developing fracking industry could also lead the country out of its current economic malaise. Read More

  • Bacanora look to scale up boric acid production with new 25,000 tpa plant in Mexico 15 October 2014

    The potential of an extra 25,000 tpa boric acid will not disrupt the global supply situation, but rather feed growing demand in this area. According to a paper by Sinclair Associates and US Borax in 2012, boric acid demand is expected to grow by 150,000 tonnes by 2017. Areas which will see heightened demand include Asia, North America and the US. An extra supply source in Mexico is well placed to serve North America and Europe, and holds a lower opex than North American projects. Read More

  • Morgan Stanley voices concern over potential frac sand shortage 15 October 2014

    Proppant suppliers like Hi-Crush Partners and US Silica Holdings are already benefiting greatly from rapidly expanding US demand for frac sand. The market position of being a supplier in a rapidly growing industry struggling to keep up with demand is highly lucrative. Industry winners will be the companies that find a way to keep supply rates up with demand. Read More

  • Tata Steel to sell UK steel sites to commodities firm 15 October 2014

    The sale of Tata Steel’s UK sites could impact demand for associated refractory minerals. At the moment it is unclear how Klesch Group will run the sites being sold – whether output will be optimised to match demand, or continue at the same pace. However, the sale casts uncertainty on the market. Read More

  • Iodine price slide continues 14 October 2014

    Values track lower led by softer Chilean deals Read More

  • RB Energy starts restructuring proceedings 14 October 2014

    The latest move to start restructuring proceedings is not quite the final nail in the junior iodine and lithium producer’s coffin, but it shows that there is little hope that the financing that the company has been looking for coming to fruition. It does also mean that RB Energy can hang onto its assets for a bit longer, as it will be protected under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. Read More

  • China’s Dalian Morgan Refractory Co starts production at Liaoning plant 14 October 2014

    The opening of the new plant is a further step into Asian markets for UK-based Morgan Advanced Materials. The company is hoping to provide a range of high technology markets in Asia, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and electronics users Read More

  • OCP forsees further phosphate market improvement in coming years 14 October 2014

    L’Office Cherifien des Phosphates stands to benefit from the projected phosphate market expansion, with its large scale projects competing well with other producers on reserves and production costs. Read More

  • Base Resources upgrades resource estimate 14 October 2014

    The upgrading of the mineral sand miner’s resources shows that it can continue to develop its project and is well placed to continue to serve its customers. Read More

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