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Magnesia

Latest News

  • Nabaltec sees Q3 revenue growth due to solid performance in refractories and flame retardants

    Wednesday, 26 November 2014

    By posting another sequential revenue increase in Q3, which follows solid growth in the previous quarter of this year, the German refractory and flame retardants producer is strengthening its position as a world-leading supplier of alumina products, despite lower growth targets in Germany’s economy.

  • China to open mining to foreign investment and assess domestic efficiency

    Wednesday, 19 November 2014

    The announcement of more minerals opened to foreign investment policies by China’s Ministry of Commerce shows the country’s intention to adapt to the new economic globalisation, while actively promoting more efficiency in its mining industry.

  • IFGL and Orient Refractories posted solid growth in India

    Tuesday, 18 November 2014

    The positive results recorded by two of the major Indian refractory producers show a robust demand for refractory products in the country, despite a continuing slow growth in the steel industry, which has not yet reached full capacity.

  • Magnesita to suspend graphite investment, but broaden talc reach

    Friday, 14 November 2014

    The Brazilian refractory producer is starting to see the benefits of its sales strategy outside its domestic market. The company will continue to pursue this strategy in its core businesses and will temporarily halt graphite exploration to cut costs and increase profitability.

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Pricing News

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Features

  • 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

  • Raw materials trends in refractories

    Wednesday, 03 September 2014

    Over the last two years IM has reported on the shifting trends in the refractories industry, with China looking to reduce wastage and increase energy efficiency. Ted Dickson* explores these various trends and asks – how will this shift impact raw material supply?

  • Summer holiday for agriminerals, no break for mineral sands

    Tuesday, 29 July 2014

    Agrimineral demand recovery continues as flame retardant chemical price growth stutters; no gains in sight for mineral sands

  • Latin America - a land of missed opportunity?

    Friday, 27 June 2014

    Latin America’s geology makes it a region with the potential to become a heavyweight in the global mineral industry. However, problems ranging from regulatory uncertainty to corruption and bureaucracy have historically prevented it from realising its immense potential, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor, explains.

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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.