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  • The rigours of rare earths IM November 2015

    After yet another trying twelve months for rare earths companies, the future for the industry remains uncertain. James Sean Dickson, Reporter, looks at recent market developments and the prospects for Western and Chinese producers amid conditions of oversupply and soft demand. Read More

  • Australian mining: Down but not under IM November 2015

    The Australian resources sector is adjusting to lower commodity prices, which have necessitated a revision of cost structures and spending plans. IM gets a feel for the industry’s sentiments and looks at how the country’s miners are making plans to do business in a post-supercycle environment. Read More

  • New South Wales maps out industrial mineral opportunities IM November 2015

    The eastern Australian state of NSW is home to a large number of highly prospective industrial mineral deposits. Cameron Perks and David Forster* outline how the Geological Survey of New South Wales is producing an updated map of the region’s geology in order to showcase its potential to investors, geologists and the wider community. Read More

  • Indian talc: Moving up the value chain IM November 2015

    Home to some of the largest and purest talc reserves in the world, India has the potential to tap into growing markets for higher grade forms of the mineral. Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, gives an overview of the industry and its major players and reports how some have invested in the technology needed to increase the value of their products. Read More

  • Russia to revive Tyumen iodine and bromine project IM November 2015

    The Cherkashinskoye industrial site in Tyumen Oblast was assessed for iodine and bromine production from mineral-rich brines towards the end of the Soviet era, but a lack of funding and appropriate technologies scuppered the project. Now, locally-based Tyumen Resources Co. is seeking to deploy a unique new method for extracting iodine, with the support of the local university and regional government, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, reports. Read More

  • HPQ production in Russia gains momentum IM November 2015

    Russian Quartz LLC is ramping up its Kyshtym project in the southern Urals to produce 10,000 tpa high purity quartz concentrates from the beginning of next year. In cooperation with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., the company hopes to turn the previously uneconomic project into a major supplier to Asia’s high-tech industries, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Rough year for global rare earths as illegal mining takes its toll IM November 2015

    The continuation of illegal mining in China, low prices and substitution made 2015 a difficult year for the rare earths industry and miners face a challenging year ahead, Rachel Carnac, discusses. Read More

  • Kaolin’s shifting end markets IM November 2015

    Paper, the largest consumer of kaolin, has seen declining demand in recent years in developing nations, owing to the increase of e-media. However, there are still growth opportunities for the clay mineral in a number of consuming industries, Kasia Patel, North American Editor, finds. Read More

  • Calcined bauxite: In the hands of a few IM November 2015

    Change is a constant in the industrial mineral world, but it is accelerating in some sectors in particular – a fact that has implications for the calcined bauxite supply chain. Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter, investigates. Read More

  • Europe’s SMEs told not to fear tightening REACH chemicals legislation IM November 2015

    The 2018 phase three deadline for registering chemicals made or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more threatens to add administrative and financial costs to a layer of small companies, which until now have been below the REACH radar. However, policy experts say that the legislation will not unduly encumber Europe’s chemical competitiveness, Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, finds. Read More

  • TiO2: False bottom IM October 2015

    Repeated predictions of a return to health in the titanium dioxide pigments and feedstock industries have so far disappointed market participants. James Sean Dickson, Reporter, examines the industry and considers what might be necessary to bring about a brighter future. Read More

  • Mining in Turkey – now and then IM October 2015

    Turkey’s mineral diversity is well known and the country is home to some of the world’s leading producers of borates, soda ash and magnesite. However, political uncertainty and recent instability in Turkey’s mining legislation has hindered its development as a mining nation, Aykut Karaca, IM Correspondent, explains. Read More

  • Ukraine’s TiO2 industry buckles under pressure IM October 2015

    Weakness in the domestic economy, international sanctions against Crimean companies following Russian annexation and poor demand for feedstocks has pushed Ukrainian TiO2 to the edge, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Borates industry vigilant as REACH trundles forward IM October 2015

    The EU’s REACH regulation has come under fire from a number of mineral producers for which Europe is an important market. Myles McCormick, Reporter, spoke to Hakan Kanli, operations, quality and regulatory affairs manager at Etimine SA, the European subsidiary of Turkish borates miner, Eti Maden, about where the borates industry stands in relation to the EU regulation and what the future holds. Read More

  • Organik Madencilik to open Turkey’s first vermiculite mine IM October 2015

    A JV between Turkey’s Yildrim Group and Greek miner S&B, Organik is planning to produce vermiculite from the Karakoc deposit in central Turkey and is intending to tap into markets where shortages have seen the mineral substituted for perlite in the past. Read More

  • Kaltun: Feelers out for new feldspar markets IM October 2015

    The mining arm of Kaltun Madencilik Sanayi ve Ticaret is one of the biggest feldspar producers in Turkey, with output of around 2m tpa as well as smaller quantities of mica and quartz. The company is seeking to build on its strong position in the Turkish market by reaching new customers in regions including the Middle East, Africa and Russia. Read More

  • Eti Soda looks to quell doubts over expansion plans IM October 2015

    The company, which is controlled by the Turkish conglomerate, Ciner Group, has seen its two major expansion projects delayed time and again for reasons to do with financing and construction issues. Now, Eti Soda says that its plans that will make Turkey the biggest soda ash producer in Europe by 2018 are back on track. Read More

  • Fluorspar: Made in China? IM October 2015

    China has been dominant in the fluorspar chain over the last 20 years, but recent challenges including downturns in commodity prices and a weakening economy are changing the face of the industry as Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter, and Shruti Salwan, IM Analyst, discover. Read More

  • Indian mica: A glittering past but an uncertain future IM October 2015

    Mica production in India has a proud history, but changes in end market demand have raised a question mark over the industry’s future. Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, takes a look at trends in the domestic industry and how Indian suppliers are being encouraged to produce more value-added products for new markets in an effort to offset falling global demand. Read More

  • UK Salt: Too little of a good thing? IM October 2015

    Despite having more than 14,000 uses, media attention given to salt tends to focus on the issues of salt in diets and de-icing applications. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, spoke to the secretary general of the UK Salt Association, Peter Sherratt, about how the industry is working to bust myths and promote understanding of the industry. Read More

  • Energy, mining and magnesia – a look at the industry’s power needs and uses IM September 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. Read More

  • Global resources and production of magnesite IM September 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. Read More

  • Cofermin Group: Trading confidence IM September 2015

    Essen, Germany-based Cofermin’s dispersed yet nimble network of operatives can expand the market reach of suppliers and multiply sourcing options for buyers of speciality minerals. With the recent launch of two new businesses, the group is delving into even more niches than it was in before. Cofermin spoke to IM how people are at the heart of its reputation for transparency, efficiency and trust. Read More

  • URC: A private eye on global refractories IM September 2015

    While some refractories producers are seeing revenue decline, Pittsburgh, US-headquartered United Refractories Co. is maintaining its sales. Kasia Patel, North American Editor, spoke to the company about its strategy of creating new product blends according to customer requirements and remaining diverse in a number of markets. Read More

  • Firing up the old with the new: Preparing refractories for the future IM September 2015

    A strong US dollar, China’s economic slowdown and environmental issues are just some of the challenges that today’s refractories producers are having to contend with. Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter, looks at what companies in the sector are doing to stay ahead of the game. Read More

  • Chinese soda ash: Mission creep IM September 2015

    Rising supply and contracting domestic demand for Chinese soda ash is upping the rate of overspill into exports. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, looks at how this trend is threatening the market share of other exporters, including the highly influential North American trade body, ANSAC. Read More

  • Rank and file: Assessing graphite projects on credentials IM July August 2015

    The fervour for graphite exploration shows few signs of letting up, but with more and more companies piling into the industry, despite warnings about the comparative narrowness of the future demand window, judging the quality of projects is tricky. Andrew Scogings, Jason Chesters and Bill Shaw take a look at the field and suggest some parameters for assessing individual developments. Read More

  • Far Eastern promise: Dalgraphite to boost Russian graphite production IM July August 2015

    Dalgraphite is developing the Soyuznoye deposit in Far East Russia. With infrastructural, investment and political hurdles to surmount, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, takes a look at the company’s chances of making it to 40,000 tpa production by 2018. Read More

  • AMG Graphite: Bringing Bavarian intelligence to new markets IM July August 2015

    Formerly known as Graphit Kropfmuehl, AMG Graphite traces its graphite mining routes in Bavaria back over 100 years. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, travelled to the company’s mine in Germany to discover how, following a recent equity injection by Alterna Capital, this seasoned company is moving to build on its already formidable stature as a processor of speciality graphite material, spurred by the prospect of growth in new, high value markets. Read More

  • Rio Tinto: Global outlook for borates IM July August 2015

    Global borate consumption looks set to rise, based on positive trends in urbanisation, energy and worldwide food demand, according to leading producer Rio Tinto Minerals. Here, the company gives its outlook on the industry and discusses its reasons for confidence in consumption growth. Read More

  • Global talc production and markets IM July August 2015

    Growth in the plastics industry is helping to drive expansion in talc markets, particularly for high purity material used in making lightweight, high performing components for automobiles. Ian Wilson, Consultant, gives an overview of worldwide talc production and consumption and examines some of the key trends shaping the industry. Read More

  • Battery minerals: A question of purity? IM July August 2015

    Competition to supply raw materials to the burgeoning Li-ion battery market is hotting up. Josie Shillito, Reporter, spoke to experts in the industry to discover the importance of producing the appropriate purity minerals to manufacturers and whether sustainable provenance will hamper efforts to keep costs down. Read More

  • Frac sand demand holds out in drilling decline IM July August 2015

    While predictions for the oil and gas industry range between bottomed out to a distant turnaround as far away as 2017, so far frac sand has gained market share due to its availability, price and changing trends in fracking, Kasia Patel, North American Editor, finds. Read More

  • Strict specifications: UK frac sand potential IM June 2015

    The UK is actively looking at the potential production of shale gas and, as a result, the country’s extractive minerals industry is looking at the role it can play in providing minerals that could be used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking). One such mineral is silica sand, which is used as a proppant, commonly referred to as “frac sand”. Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist, provides an educated guess as to where this frac sand could come from in the UK. Read More

  • What the future holds for US proppants IM June 2015

    The US has long enjoyed a successful fracking industry, having drilled more than a million wells to date. Yet, with plummeting oil prices causing some to question the short-term success of this process, Vasili Nicoletopoulos* provides an executive summary of IM’s latest research report on the US proppants market. Read More

  • Overcoming the oil price decline IM June 2015

    North America’s fracking industry was rocked towards the end of 2014 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls nearly 40% of the world oil market, failed to agree on production curbs. This, coupled with a US oversupply situation, sent the oil price tumbling. With rig counts, drilling activity and proppant demand taking a hit as a result, many began to question the impact this decision would have on the future of fracking and, as a result, proppants.* Emma Hughes and Vasili Nicoletopoulos Read More

  • Chinese refractories sector consolidation is positive for the wider industry, says Magnesita chief IM June 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 Read More

  • Re-elected UK government pledges support for domestic energy production IM June 2015

    The UK's Convervative party has pledged to support fracking in a bid to boost domestic energy production. Emma Hughes explores what this means for industrial minerals. Read More

  • Alteo: Abrasive ambition IM June 2015

    Gardanne, France-based Alteo is a leading supplier of speciality alumina products to the global refractories and ceramics industries, but its main focus is on abrasives, as it seeks to capitalise pockets of “tightness” in supply. In order to take advantage of slim opportunities in what is a fiercely competitive market, the company has had to reinvent itself as a business with a reputation for reliability and consistency, Diego Audemard, commercial director for Alteo ARC Fused Aluminas, told IM. Read More

  • Magnezit: Putting Russian-made refractories on the global map IM June 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. Read More

  • GCC resources, production and markets of Asia IM May 2015

    The biggest end uses for ground calcium carbonate are the paper, plastics, paints and sealants industries, with Asia representing one of the sector’s largest markets. Ian Wilson* looks at overall GCC production in Asia and assesses the industry by country and market share. Read More

  • Flame retardants continue to fire demand for MDH IM May 2015

    Modest end market growth and the gradual appearance of new competitor products for magnesium hydroxide-based fire safety solutions are unlikely to scupper the expansion of this market before 2019, IM discovers. Read More

  • Relative positioning: Magnesia producers adjust to new industry conditions IM May 2015

    With declining refractories consumption in key consuming sectors like steel and cement manufacturing, the balance of supply against demand is worrying many in the magnesia industry. Josie Shillito, Reporter, looks at the global trading picture and examines how magnesia companies are shifting their positions to adjust to new market dynamics. Read More

  • The silent treatment: How minerals are giving water a new lease of life IM May 2015

    With around 2m tonnes of sewage, industrial and agricultural waste discharged into the world’s waterways every day, it is crucial that wastewater is treated thoroughly. Liz Gyekye, Chief Reporter, examines how minerals form a key part of many wastewater treatment systems. Read More

  • New projects set to boost Russian magnesia production IM May 2015

    Russia has historically depended on imports of magnesia for its refractories and other downstream industries, but the development of new projects in Siberia, the Far East and potentially North Korea could see the country become a net exporter of the mineral by 2020, Vladislav Vorotnikov, reveals. Read More

  • China adapts to ‘new normal’ of dwindling high grade phosphate reserves IM May 2015

    The decline in the amount of mineable high grade phosphate rock in China has prompted the country’s government to look at new ways of conserving its resources, which have included export quotas, cuts to domestic taxes and processing innovation – but more will need to be done to protect the industry from becoming uncompetitive in the next decade. Read More

  • India’s soda ash industry revs up on economic growth IM April 2015

    With installed capacity of around 3m tpa, India is already a significant producer of soda ash for its own domestic needs. But its main market players have ambitions to go increasingly global, Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Turkey’s soda ash projects today, and how they got there IM April 2015

    Until 1979, Turkey was unaware that it was sitting on two of the largest deposits of trona ore, the main source of natural soda ash, in the world. Since then, the industry has moved in fits and starts to sit on the cusp of becoming a top contender in the global soda ash market. IM takes a look at the history of Turkey’s soda ash industry and how it hopes to develop in the future. Read More

  • REM: A song for Sonora IM April 2015

    UK AIM-listed Rare Earth Minerals Plc has taken Bacanora Minerals Ltd’s Sonora lithium project under its wing and is now singing, or rather shouting, from the top of the wall about the project’s credentials. Laura Syrett, Acting Editor, speaks to REM’s CEO, Kiran Morzaria, about his company’s ambitions for the Mexico-based deposit. Read More

  • Recharging lithium supply IM April 2015

    With much of the lithium industry transfixed by demand projections based on new market growth, James Sean Dickson, Reporter, examines the ability of the existing lithium suppliers to meet these forecasts. Read More

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