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Construction, Chemicals

  • SQM targets H1 2017 for Cauchari Olaroz construction 05 May 2016

    The world’s largest producer of lithium from brines, Sociedad de Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) expects to bring online its joint venture Argentinian lithium project by 2019, with construction slated to begin in early 2017. The project is SQM’s first outside of Chile and comes as investment in Argentina has spiked following the election of centre-right president, Mauricio Macri. Read More

  • Albemarle to cease production of HBCD-based flame retardants 05 May 2016

    US chemicals producer Albemarle Corp. has announced it will discontinue the manufacture of the bromine-based HBCD line, in order to focus on more sustainable alternatives. The move is part of a strategy by Albemarle to reduce its exposure to brominated flame retardents, demand for which has continued to fall in recent times amid environmental concerns. Read More

  • Nigeria harbours billions worth of mineral resources 04 May 2016

    Authorities estimate the West African country could amass almost $25bn per year if it taps into its extensive mineral resources including magnesite, limestone, diatomite, ilmenite, rutile and many others. Read More

  • China accelerates upgrades to provincial calcium carbonate industry 03 May 2016

    Governments in the provinces of Zhejiang, Henan and Anhui in eastern China have been drawing attention to their achievements in enhancing their local calcium carbonate sectors, as revenues from China’s domestic mineral sector begin to tail off. Read More

  • Is China turning to become a fluorspar importer? 29 April 2016

    Trade Review: Exports for both acid and met grade fluorspar dropped significantly in Q1 2016, while HF acid trades remained steady against AlF3. China’s acidspar imports have increased by as much as 220% y-o-y, mainly from Vietnam, following four-digit growth in 2015 imports. Read More

  • Acquisitions save the day for Imerys in Q1 29 April 2016

    The French refractory producer saw an improvement of its financials in the first three months of the year despite the headwinds affecting most commodity markets, although the steel and ceramic proppants operations remained weak. Read More

  • Weak oil and gas sector hits Chemtura revenues 29 April 2016

    The bromine chemicals producer reported demand for drilling fluids as being down as the oil and gas sector continues to struggle. Read More

  • Solvay suspends soda ash production in Egypt 28 April 2016

    Despite the recent news out of China which indicated that soda ash prices were increasing on the back of renewed demand, Solvay has decided to idle one of its plants. This however is not due to muted market demand, but rather to the increasing cost of energy in Alexandria, Egypt. Read More

  • Lower prices take toll on Huntsman’s Q1 sales 28 April 2016

    The Texan supplier of pigments and chemicals suffered from depressed pricing conditions which reduced its revenues year-on-year, although earnings improved against the previous quarter and the company maintains it is on track to complete the divestment of its titanium dioxide (TiO2) business. Read More

  • China’s Q1 2016 graphite trades substantiate domestic inactivity 28 April 2016

    Trade Review: Statistics reveal the impact of slowing demand keeping Chinese producers from resuming operations post February’s Spring Festival shutdown; however spherical trades surge. Read More

  • Mexichem Q1 2016 results hit by industry headwinds 28 April 2016

    Leading fluorspar producer Mexichem has reported negative growth in its Q1 2016 results bearing the brunt of appreciation of US dollar against other currencies, decline in resin prices and weaker demand in the fluorspar business. The company’s shares have dropped following the blast at its VCM plant. Read More

  • IDTechEx ’16: Sensors a graphene end market to watch 28 April 2016

    Sensory devices are among a number of potentially fruitful markets for graphene, as the industry continues its drive to find a sustainable, scalable destination for the material. Read More

  • Northeast China injects more graphite investment 27 April 2016

    Local governments in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces are backing a new industrial park and mine developments, in the hope that public funding will attract private investment into the sector. Some have criticised the timing of the move, given that the region is already facing graphite oversupply. Read More

  • IDTechEx '16: Graphene continues to look to practical uses 27 April 2016

    The focus of the graphene industry has shifted from hyperbole about the potential of the 'miracle material' to more immediate uses in recent years, but participants remain optimistic about the potential for further applications to come online as the substance moves towards mass production. Read More

  • Graphite enquiries rise signals seasonal recovery 27 April 2016

    Market Commentary: Flake graphite trades surge moving into buying season as consumers replenish stocks; excess supply continues to daunt despite China closures Read More

  • Low sales deter DuPont’s Q1 2016 performance 27 April 2016

    US-based leading chemicals company has registered negative growth in its quarterly results as the company’s total sales dropped by 6% y-o-y- for the first quarter because of strong dollar and low trades; however 7% cut in operating expenses in 2015 mitigates the impact of weak results. Read More

  • Vietnamese cement maker orders grinding equipment 26 April 2016

    German machinery manufacturer Loesche Gmbh has secured a contract to supply Vietnamese producer Than Than Group Cement JSC with new equipment for its main plant. Read More

  • Mexichem optimistic on acidspar, fluorochemical industry conditions IM May 2016

    Transition to HFOs unlikely to impact acidspar Questions for GulfFluor’s AlF3 plant in GCC Solvay to use tailing for the graphite market Read More

  • UPDATE: Thyssenkrupp to supply clinker line to German cement maker 25 April 2016

    Thyssenkrupp AG has closed a deal to supply German cement manufacturer HeildelbergCement AG with a high-efficiency cement clinker production line for an undisclosed sum. Read More

  • How Australia’s silica industry is growing without fracking IM May 2016

    Unlike the US, Australia’s silica sand industry has not benefitted from a fracking boom. But as Cameron Perks*, IM Correspondent, explains, the country’s sand producers have a diverse range of expanding markets to choose from. Read More

  • Oman antimony roaster edges forward with first metal production 25 April 2016

    Strategic and Precious Metals Processing LLC (SPMP), the joint venture (JV) vessel building the roaster, announced the project’s latest progress as it seeks to bring online later this year an antimony ingot and powdered concentrates facility to be ramped up to a capacity of 20,000 tpa from 2018. Read More

  • Fluorspar enquiries surge entering seasonal buying period 22 April 2016

    Price Review: Increased trade enquiries for the fluorine material signal recovery as the buying season kicks off, with potential price increase despite excess supply in China; industry remains optimistic for H2 2016. Read More

  • Canada Fluorspar’s St Lawrence project inches forward 22 April 2016

    Much-awaited progress on the exploration company’s St Lawrence fluorspar mine, based in Newfoundland, Canada, has materialised as the project received the go ahead over construction of the mill and development of open pit mining, expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016. Read More

  • US’s antidumping probe to deviate China’s refrigerant trajectory 21 April 2016

    End-market update: Further probes into the alleged dumping of Chinese low-priced refrigerants such as R134a by the US is likely to push excessive capacities on to other potential markets until the phase out is accomplished. As long as the progress of the HFC phase down outside the US, Europe and Japan remains slow as fewer Non-Article 5 countries have taken a lead to develop alternative refrigerants, this means that low-cost supplies from China are likely to dominate the refrigerants market. Read More

  • Low zircon sales hit Iluka’s Q1 performance 21 April 2016

    Iluka Resources saw a sharp drop in turnover in Q1 2016 as sales of one of its flagship products, zircon, fell by 25%, while production volumes increased and multiple operations are being halted to reduce existing stocks. Read More

  • Australian Bauxite eyes opportunities for non-met market sales 19 April 2016

    Bauxite supplier Australian Bauxite is targeting customers outside of the metallurgical industry to capitalise on better pricing conditions in order to sidestep the oversupply of met-grade product on the market, the company told IM. Read More

  • India’s WPI for minerals drops by 2.5% in March 19 April 2016

    The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India released the official Wholesale Price Index for 'all commodities' indicating an overall drop of 0.85% in March as WPI inflation rate continues to stay in the deflationary zone. Index for minerals fell by 2.5% from last month on the back of weak commodity prices. Read More

  • MagMin 2016: Terna Mag turnaround 19 April 2016

    The Greek miner only started shipping magnesite in 2014 and has already seen some of the most difficult conditions in the industry’s history. However, it believes that by building on its advantages and making a specific value proposition to the market, Terna Mag can successfully differentiate itself from its competitors. Read More

  • India’s mining output rebounds despite domestic turmoil 18 April 2016

    Following years of mining chaos, falling production and the global commodity crunch, India’s mineral sector has shown significant signs of recovery in the last fiscal year, further indicating a higher demand for raw materials domestically, while signalling a sustainable industrial recovery. The agriculture sector, in particular, is expected to gain from the impact of monsoons as the rural economy improves. Read More

  • APMDC to install beach sand mineral separation plant 18 April 2016

    The Indian state-owned mineral resources developer is aiming to set up a separation plant for beach sand minerals to produce value-added products for India’s domestic paints and pigments industry. However it remains unclear how much of an effect the project will have on the already oversupplied TiO2 market, as the timing and volume of production is still unknown. Read More

  • Graphite price recovery threatened by Chinese slowdown 18 April 2016

    Price Review: Graphite prices stand firm despite upward pressures; flake at lowest point in five years Read More

  • MagMin 2016: Chinese policies may help magnesia supply chain 14 April 2016

    Although the Chinese refractories industry is in a state of depression, which threatens to continue to hinder the supply/demand dynamic of magnesia markets, the central government is implementing policies which are intended to help prop up the lagging industry. Read More

  • India to monitor illegal mining using space technology 13 April 2016

    India has decided to safeguard its mineral wealth using indigenous space technology, following its amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 and the move to suspend illegal mining operations. Read More

  • Australian Bauxite closes non-met supply deal 13 April 2016

    Australian Bauxite Ltd has completed the first sale of non-met grade bauxite from its Tasmanian mine for use in the cement and fertiliser markets. The sale is significant, not only because it is rare to hear of deals in the cement-grade market, but because the company cited a higher price for non-met supply as the reason it is targeting that market. Non-met applications cover about 10% of Australia’s bauxite output. Read More

  • India’s APMDC to release barite tender this week 12 April 2016

    The long-awaited Indian barite tender is likely to be announced this week by Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. with a new set of terms to offer rights to mine and sell barite on a FOB India basis for a period of 12 months. Read More

  • Graphene NanoChem’s receives nod over debt restructuring 12 April 2016

    Graphene NanoChem Plc has received approval for the reformation of its short-term debt of $22.69m from its premier financier, which will allow the graphene producer to focus on harvesting high margin opportunities in oilfield chemicals and water treatment solutions. Read More

  • Ukrainian graphite gains from increased EU trades 11 April 2016

    Russian-Ukrainian tensions have realigned graphite trade routes for the latter as over three quarters of Ukraine’s production – accounted for by its sole producer – has been imported into the EU last year – a trend likely to continue in 2016. Read More

  • Malaysian bauxite mining ban extended 11 April 2016

    The existing ban on bauxite mining activities in Malaysia has been extended by three months to reduce high inventories and diminish pollution levels. Read More

  • Iofina’s iodine output drops 3% in Q1 11 April 2016

    London-listed iodine producer Iofina saw production decrease 3% on the back of brine supply challenges and seasonal difficulties during the winter months. To protect itself from future supply issues, the company is seeking to diversify its brine sources. Read More

  • First Graphite secures mining licence for Pandeniya project 08 April 2016

    The Australia-based vein graphite explorer has taken another step forward in the development of its Pandeniya project by securing a mining licence from the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau in Sri Lanka, further aiming to start mining operations this month. Read More

  • Production cuts in China push soda ash prices up 30% 08 April 2016

    With around 360,000 tpa soda ash coming offline in China over the past year, prices for the mineral have seen a 30% jump from their low point in 2015. Shandong Haihua Group’s dam failure and subsequent production halt also helped to buoy prices, although the company announced in March that it had now recovered all production lines. Read More

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