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Magnesia

Latest News

  • World steel output broadly flat in February

    Monday, 23 March 2015

    Peak steel in China is now being spoken of by many as a past event. Figures by worldsteel and continued projections from mining giant BHP Billiton may serve to lighten the gloomy atmosphere.

  • Magnesita 2014 results triumph over flat steel production

    Tuesday, 17 March 2015

    Magnesita overcame headwinds in the steel market to deliver robust 2014 earnings, half of which came from new growth markets. The company is looking to the stainless steel and mini mills end market in North America for its 2015 growth.

  • Orbite presses ahead with patents; installs HPA refractory system

    Tuesday, 17 March 2015

    Orbite has been active in getting its red mud technology patented, with notices of allowance now received for both Canada and the United States.

  • K+S potash price recovery sustains results

    Thursday, 12 March 2015

    K+S claims that potash price recovery will spill into 2015, despite demand for the product being forecast down. The agrichem producer's cost and operational efficiencies are up to scratch, protecting against any downside.

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Pricing News

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Features

  • Magnesia: Year in Review 2014

    Wednesday, 31 December 2014

    It has been a year of ups and downs for the magnesia industry as demand has waned and supply has remained robust.

  • Lessons from 100 years of mineral data

    Wednesday, 31 December 2014

    With the recent publication of data for 2012, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has 100 years of continuous mineral production data - but what do they tell us about worldwide industrial mineral production? Teresa Brown analyses some of these trends and what they say about the industry as a whole.

  • Australia: End of the mining gloom?

    Wednesday, 26 November 2014

    The downturn of the global “commodities supercyle” and slowing raw material demand in China has been felt keenly in Australia’s resources sector. But while proponents of Australian mining admit the industry isn’t quite as mighty as it used to be, they say that there are still plenty of reasons to be positive Down Under, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor and Laura Syrett, Prices Editor, discover.

  • Potash and barite supply tightens while fused magnesia faces overcapacity

    Wednesday, 29 October 2014

    Antimony, iodine suffer from slow China growth; Tough times continue for TiO2 pigment market; FM producers storing up trouble for the future

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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.