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Magnesia

Latest News

  • 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.

  • China develops high-end magnesium hydrate

    Monday, 11 July 2016

    The breakthrough was hailed as a viable method to recycle bischofite that is generated during potash production in salt lake resources.

  • 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.

  • Chinese DBM exports, volumes down in 2016

    Wednesday, 06 July 2016

    Dead burned magnesia deliveries out of China fell substantially in the first five months of the year, as caustic calcined magnesia and fused magnesia exports recorded a more moderate slowdown.

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Pricing News

  • Price Briefing 22-29 July 2016

    Friday, 29 July 2016

    Existing inventory in brown fused alumina prevented prices gain amid supply tightness; Chinese TiO2 producers announced eighth price hike; fertiliser prices expected to remain low in 2016 while fluorspar prices held at five-year lows as supply far outstripped demand.

  • Competition sees cheaper fluorspar offers

    Friday, 29 July 2016

    As summer kicks in, market participants told IM that intensifying competition has brought about severe price undercutting in the market as producers aim to get rid of the stockpiles.

  • Anti-pollution efforts cut BFA supply in China

    Thursday, 28 July 2016

    The recent stricter anti-pollution checks in brown fused alumina producing regions in China are showing no sign of easing with production continuing to be impacted. While prices have not gained this week on tighter supply, market participants said it could rise when existing stock runs out.

  • Lithium carbonate, hydroxide spot prices steady

    Thursday, 28 July 2016

    The decline in Chinese spot prices appears to have stalled this past week following several weeks of declines. Prices remain at historically high levels though with market participants continuing to report strong supply-demand fundamentals.

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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.

  • Magnesia: A Sino-Soviet split?

    Friday, 18 March 2016

    China remains the world’s dominant magnesia supplier, but domestic overcapacity and shrinking international demand are unsettling the sector, particularly as the country looks set to lose one of its largest export markets – Russia. Albert Li, IM Analyst and Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, examine Chinese export trends over the last year and look at Russia’s efforts to establish its own magnesia industry.

  • Yukon’s mineral industry – looking back and moving ahead

    Wednesday, 24 February 2016

    Low metal prices are keeping a lid on exploration, but as the Yukon Government’s Department of Energy, Mines and Resources explains, the territory is using the downtime to improve the industry’s regulatory framework, ready for a turnaround.

  • Magnesite and magnesia in Turkey

    Monday, 25 January 2016

    Turkey is a magnesite-rich country and has a long history of mining the mineral, both for export and increasingly for its own internal refractories and speciality materials sectors. Aykut Karaca, IM Correspondent, gives an overview of Turkey’s geological background and profiles some of the country’s main magnesite and magnesia producers.

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Market Brief

Magnesia is the term for magnesium oxide (formula: MgO). Magnesia is produced by mining and processing mainly the hard rock mineral, magnesite, which occurs in two main forms: cryptocrystalline and crystalline.

 

Rarely, magnesia may be produced from other hard rock minerals such as dolomite, brucite, huntite, and serpentinite.

 

Another commercially important source of magnesia is from chemical processing of seawater and magnesia-rich brines, which produces what is sometimes referred to as synthetic magnesia.

 

Grades produced include:

·         Crude magnesite

·         Caustic calcined magnesia (CCM)

·         Dead burned magnesia (DBM)

·         Fused magnesia (FM)

·         Magnesium compounds derived from CCM, eg. magnesium hydroxide, magnesium sulphate.

 

The source of the magnesia determines critical chemical and physical characteristics of the derived magnesia, such as MgO purity (ranges low to high, 85%-99% MgO), ratio of CaO:SiO2, bulk density, and magnesia crystal size.

 

Supply

The world’s total resource of magnesite, the main source of magnesia, is about 13bn tonnes. Six countries host 92% of this, in descending order: China (26%), North Korea (23%), Russia (21%), Slovakia (10%), Australia (7%), and Brazil (5%).

 

World magnesia production (derived from the magnesite) is about 8.5m. tpa, and is dominated by China (49%). Other leading producers include Austria, Brazil, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey.

 

World synthetic  magnesia production (derived from seawater, brines) is about 925,000 tpa, from Brazil, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Russia, South Korea, and the USA.

 

Leading magnesia producers include:

Grecian Magnesite – Greece

Houying Group – China

Kumas-Kuthaya Magnesite Works Corp. – Turkey

Magnesita Refratarios – Brazil

Magnezit Group – Russia

Martin Marietta Magnesia Specialties – USA

Nedmag Industries Mining & Manufacturing – Netherlands

Queensland Magnesia – Australia

SMZ Jelsava – Slovakia

Ube Material Industries – Japan

 

Markets

Each end use requires different specifications of the preferred magnesia form, so there are many different grades of magnesia on the market. Certain magnesite deposits are better suited to produce certain magnesia grades than others.

 

Crude magnesite: agriculture, glass and ceramics.

 

CCM: agriculture; environment; cement; abrasive binder; pulp and paper; fillers; feedstock for DBM, FM, and magnesium compound production.

 

DBM: refractories.

 

FM: refractories; steel coatings; ceramics.