Open/Close Mobile Menu Open/Close Mobile Menu


Latest News

  • Chinese industrial minerals: Falling prices, rising costs and fierce competition

    Wednesday, 02 September 2015

    A storm of anti-competitive problems are affecting the Chinese mining industry according to a report released by the country’s Ministry of Land and Resources. Export prices are too high, domestic prices are too low, taxes are now burdensome and low value added products are all contributing towards a difficult environment for Chinese mineral producers.

  • MGX Minerals starts phase two drilling at Driftwood magnesia project

    Tuesday, 01 September 2015

    The Canadian explorer is gradually ticking all the boxes and getting all the players in place to help with developments at its proposed Driftwood Creek magnesia facility in British Columbia, as it continues to test thick sections of magnesite at the western zone of the property.

  • IFGL’s Chinese subsidiaries resume operations in Tianjin one week after blast

    Wednesday, 19 August 2015

    Activity at India-based IFGL’s China-based companies has restarted at Tianjin port, exactly one week after explosions ripped through the town, killing more than 100 people and disrupting businesses.

  • K+S signs exclusive agreement supply Koch with Legacy potash

    Wednesday, 19 August 2015

    K+S, which recently rejected PotashCorp.’s takeover bid on the basis that it undervalued its business and Legacy project in Saskatchewan, has signed an agreement with Koch to supply it with 453,000 tpa potash from the project, with production expected to begin in 2016.

More from Latest News

Pricing News

More from Pricing News


  • Energy, mining and magnesia – a look at the industry’s power needs and uses

    Wednesday, 26 August 2015

    Global energy sources are evolving and minerals are bound up with this shift, both as users of power and as raw materials used in its extraction and generation. Vasili Nicoletopoulos* takes a look at the world energy market and discusses the place of the magnesia industry within this changing landscape.

  • Global resources and production of magnesite

    Wednesday, 26 August 2015

    Although prices and demand for magnesia are dwindling in line with slowing worldwide consumption of refractories, Ian Wilson*, Consultant, discusses how new high purity sources of magnesite are being developed to target markets that require the best quality material.

  • Chinese refractories sector consolidation is positive for the wider industry, says Magnesita chief

    Thursday, 28 May 2015

    With overall and specific consumption of refractories in the steel industry on a downward trend, producers of refractory and raw materials are keeping a keen eye on potential pockets of growth and wider trends in the market. IM spoke to Octavio Pereira Lopes, CEO of leading Brazilian refractory materials producer, Magnesita, to discover his views on the industry. Josie Shillito, Reporter

  • Magnezit: Putting Russian-made refractories on the global map

    Wednesday, 27 May 2015

    With a production history dating back to 1900, Russian refractories producer Magnezit Group has been exporting materials throughout its business life. The company is stepping up capacity and increasing the range and quality of its products and its CEO, Sergei Odegov, told IM that Magnezit expects to be a competitive supplier well beyond the CIS within the next few years.

More from Features

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.



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



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.