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Magnesia

Latest News

  • Magnesia prices plunge after China scraps export quota

    Friday, 13 January 2017

    Magnesia prices have fallen in the wake of China removing previously enforced export quotas.

  • Price Briefing 6 -12 January

    Friday, 13 January 2017

    Graphite and magnesia prices fall after the cancellation of export duty, while antimony trioxide price increase on restocking. Despite rising raw material costs, calcined alumina prices remained largely unchanged.

  • Price briefing 30 December - 5 January

    Friday, 06 January 2017

    Graphite market weighs up scrapping of export taxes; China rare earth prices stable for January; alumina and bauxite supply reportedly tight in China; Chinese DBM, CCM export value drops; Chinese TiO2 producers hike prices again.

  • K+S resumes potash production at Hattorf site

    Wednesday, 04 January 2017

    Following a number of production issues in 2016, K+S has resumed full operations in Germany although the company said it cannot rule out further wastewater disposal restrictions.

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Pricing News

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Features

  • 2016 Year in Review

    Thursday, 15 December 2016

    A round up of the year's main events in major global industrial minerals markets such as lithium, agriminerals, rare earths and titanium dioxide.

  • Chinese magnesia and refractories: The new normal

    Monday, 22 August 2016

    The Chinese economy is entering a transition from a primarily export-orientated economy to a more consumer-driven economy. At the same time, increasing debt, slower growth and excess production capacity are contributing to what has been labelled as the “new normal” for China. Richard Flook and Ian Wilson examine the effect of this on the Chinese magnesia industry and the Chinese refractory industry.

  • India’s refractories industry: Ready to recover?

    Monday, 22 August 2016

    India’s economy and steel sector have been among a select few worldwide to post healthy levels of growth amid stagnant global GDP rates, but Chinese steel dumping and overcapacity have curtailed growth in the country’s refractories industry, Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, explains.

  • Smelting point? An update on major refractories for glass smelters

    Monday, 22 August 2016

    Fused cast blocks have dominated the market for glass refractories since the early 20th century. Carlo Ratto takes a look at some of the alternative products which have emerged over the years and assesses the future uptake prospects for these materials.

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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.