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  • Chinese rare earths exports on the rise 25 May 2016

    Exports of Chinese rare earths products have surged in the early months of the new year, boosted by the scrapping of previously-applied export quotas. Read More

  • Graphene NanoChem secures supply to Myanmar’s oilfields 25 May 2016

    The nanotechnology provider will supply a graphene-based recovery additive to a Myanmar-based oil and gas company, to be used in its drilling operations. Read More

  • Bauxite Resources to explore Australian lithium option 25 May 2016

    The Australian bauxite miner is looking at possibilities to branch out into lithium. Read More

  • China needs to exploit own lithium reserves for EV - BYD 25 May 2016

    Industry commentators in China last month underlined that more domestic lithium resources are needed to support the vehicle electrification boom. Read More

  • Lithium 2016: This time it’s different? 25 May 2016

    While hyperbole risks lithium becoming another graphite, rare earths or uranium, with a spike followed quickly by a crash, some factors set this market apart. Read More

  • Lithium 2016: Questions raised over FMC hydroxide ramp up 25 May 2016

    The doubts relate to FMC’s access to the lithium carbonate volumes necessary for a ramp up of its lithium hydroxide output announced yesterday. The company has insisted it has the necessary resources, however. Read More

  • Third Energy given go-ahead to frack for gas in UK 24 May 2016

    Third Energy receiving the approval to frack for gas is a step forward for the company to start exploring the shale formation in northern England. It means that the company will need to secure a supply of proppants while it investigates the potential gas resources. Read More

  • FMC to triple lithium hydroxide output 24 May 2016

    The US-based lithium manufacturer is increasing its production by 300% in the next three years to meet fast-growing demand for battery products from the automotive industry. Read More

  • Talk From The Top: What those at the helm make of the last two years in industrial minerals markets IM June Issue

    While the majority of industrial mineral market participants are bracing themselves for another tough year, IM spoke to key industry players about adapting to current conditions and seeking out new markets. Read More

  • Halliburton and Baker Hughes to scrap merger IM June Issue

    Halliburton to pay $3.5bn break-up fee; working with antitrust authorities since 2014; rig count down affecting associated oilfield minerals Read More

  • Revamping the vermiculite industry IM June Issue

    Global production slowly declining; Operators seek more profitable applications Read More

  • Mineral health check – what do Q1 results say about the state of the industry? IM June Issue

    IM looks at first-quarter performances of the leading industrial mineral companies and what the financials say about the state of the sector. Read More

  • Where the sun shines IM June Issue

    The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is at last experiencing its heyday after decades spent at the periphery of the energy market. Read More

  • Technology the key to newcomers in lithium? IM June Issue

    Novel technology may be a key differentiating factor between junior lithium projects, according to industry experts. Read More

  • Driving it forward: Buses in the EV Boom IM June Issue

    Often overshadowed by the automotive industry, the electric bus industry is set to soar in the coming years, writes Myles McCormick, Reporter. Read More

  • Europe funds domestic rare earths mining project I2MINE IM June Issue

    An EU-funded project has developed innovative deep-mining strategies that are set to cut Europe’s dependence on the imported rare earth elements (RE) within four years, while also curbing environmental damage. Read More

  • Lithium-ion continues to charge up IM June Issue

    With the battery boom continuing, electric vehicles are set to account for 35% of automotives produced in 2040, leading even big oil to embrace green technology. Read More

  • Growth in energy harvesting for ceramics picking up speed IM June Issue

    The increased uptake of EVs and the growing interest in various types of battery components is fuelling demand for ceramics in energy harvesting, which so far has accounted for a fraction of the industry. Kasia Patel Read More

  • Price Briefing 13 – 20 May 2016 20 May 2016

    Spodumene prices set to follow lithium carbonate up; increased steel output boosts metspar prices. Read More

  • SQM boosted by 30% lithium price rise in Q1 19 May 2016

    Overall income for Chilean lithium, potash, iodine and nitrates producer Sociedad Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) fell by 18% y-o-y, the result of weaker potash and iodine prices. A significant price rise in lithium coupled with increased volumes saw this sector post strong results, however, as demand for the battery mineral continues to rise. Read More

  • Spodumene prices set to rise as Galaxy brings material to open market 19 May 2016

    Previously sluggish, the entry of new players into the spodumene market should shift the price of the lithium ore upwards, tracking those of lithium carbonate and hydroxide. Operations at Galaxy Resources’ Mount Cattlin and Reed Industrial Minerals’ Mount Marion will begin shipments later this year, with the former being sold onto the open market. Read More

  • Solar energy: Harnessing the heat 19 May 2016

    The solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is at last experiencing its heyday after decades spent at the periphery of the energy market. With solar growing at arguably its fastest pace in history, the sector needs an ever-expanding supply chain, creating a plethora of business opportunities for raw material suppliers, including industrial minerals producers. Read More

  • Solvay teams up with new distributor 18 May 2016

    The Belgian chemicals supplier has appointed German-headquartered Merck KGaA as distributor of its line of Aquivion perfluorosulfonic (PFSA) acid products. Read More

  • Nissan announce Li-ion breakthrough 16 May 2016

    A new analysis method developed by Japanese automaker, Nissan Motor Co. will boost the performance of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and extend the driving range of electric vehicles, the company said. Read More

  • Albemarle considering sale of $3bn business unit 16 May 2016

    As part of efforts to pay off the $6bn expense involved in its move into the lithium business through its purchase of Rockwood Holdings Inc., US chemicals producer Albemarle is exploring the sale of its Chemetall business unit. The mooted divestment – reported by Bloomberg – would further hone Albemarle’s focus on its lithium business. Read More

  • Ontario Graphite to receive $80,000 in Great Lakes case 13 May 2016

    The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered that Great Lakes Graphite and two of its employees - former Ontario Graphite staff - pay for the motion filed by Ontario Graphite. While the company is happy with the court's decision, it will seek to recover further expenses from Great Lakes, who meanwhile said that the recent court decisions have not affected its business. Read More

  • Third Energy's fracking planning application recommended for approval 13 May 2016

    The North Yorkshire County Council has recommended UK-based Third Energy's planning application for the fracking of its KM8 well should be approved as England continues to push for developments in oil and gas. Read More

  • Rare earths stockpiling pushes up prices in China 13 May 2016

    Chinese domestic prices for almost all rare earth oxide products rose in April, though exports have yet to register a price hike. Opinions on the efficacy of the state-initiated stockpiling process vary, however. Read More

  • EU funds rare earths mining project to cut imports 13 May 2016

    An EU-funded project has developed innovative deep-mining strategies that are set to cut Europe’s dependence on the imported rare earth elements (REEs) within four years, while also curbing environmental damage. Read More

  • Questions raised over continued lithium price rise 12 May 2016

    Perspectives on demand-supply balance in the lithium market continue to drive debate as spot and contract prices maintain their upward trajectory. Read More

  • Lithium Australia to shift away from graphite with project sales 11 May 2016

    Recently rebranded from Cobre Montana NL to reflect its concentration to on lithium, ASX-listed Lithium Australia NL now plans to divest its graphite assets to hone its focus on its namesake mineral. Read More

  • Albemarle Q1 lithium revenue up 19% 11 May 2016

    Albemarle Corp., the Louisiana, US-based lithium major, has reported a year-on-year (y-o-y) lithium sales increase of 19% as it seeks to position itself to absorb 50% of incremental growth in lithium demand over the coming years. Read More

  • Chinese Do-Fluoride sees 2015 profit surge as EV demand grows 11 May 2016

    China-based Do-Fluoride reported an 828% increase in net profit as demand for its lithium products skyrocketed with increased uptake of EVs. The company expects to increase capacity over the next year but supply is anticipated to be tight out to 2017 as demand will continue to outstrip production in China. Read More

  • Proppants outlook remains negative as oil discoveries drop 10 May 2016

    No respite is expected in proppants sales as exploration activity in the oil industry continues to slow down, with discoveries hitting a 60-year low in 2015. Read More

  • Fairmount Santrol reports Q1 loss as proppant volumes and prices fall 10 May 2016

    Revenue for the frac sand supplier more than halved y-o-y as the oil and gas sector remains challenging for oilfield mineral suppliers. However, on a sequential basis the company increased both revenue and narrowed its net loss as it focused on cost cutting, including another staff reduction of 10%, bringing its total workforce reductions to 40% since 2015. Fairmount believes it is now appropriately staffed to deal with the current difficult market environment. Read More

  • Double-digit growth expected in silicon carbide 06 May 2016

    The global silicon carbide market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 15.3% in the six years to 2019, according to latest forecasts. Read More

  • Toyota heralds breakthrough in magnesium battery technology 06 May 2016

    Researchers at the Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) claim advances in magnesium batteries may lead to their eventual replacement of lithium-ion. This process could take decades, however, if it happens at all. Read More

  • Lithium contract prices unlikely to reach spot levels, insist market participants 06 May 2016

    As the price of lithium continues to escalate on spot basis, buyers of lithium compounds have warned that should contract prices reach spot levels, it runs the risk of “killing electrification” and cannot be permitted to happen. Read More

  • Tesla to up production five-fold by 2018 05 May 2016

    Tesla has committed to increase the number of units it produces annually to 500,000 over the next two years, which would further fuel demand for lithium batteries in a tight market, as output forecasts for 2016 are maintained and car orders are growing. Read More

  • 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

  • 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

  • Halliburton’s Q1 loss deepens with oil market downturn 03 May 2016

    US-based Halliburton, which provides services and oilfield minerals such as barite and bentonite to the oil and gas sector, saw its loss deepen in the first quarter as business becomes unsustainable for many of its end users. The effects of job and cost cutting by E&P companies will be further felt during the course of 2016, leading Halliburton to revaluate its business and take a $2.1bn hit in impairments and severance costs. Read More

  • First Bauxite bets on ceramic proppants despite industry weakness 03 May 2016

    Some operators remain determined to develop new projects to supply the ceramic proppants market despite the oil and gas rig count has plummeted and prices have dropped. Read More

  • Lynas Corp. ceases sales of heavy rare earths 03 May 2016

    The rare earths producer is taking its heavy rare earth products off the market as it faces “a very bad year” with NdPr prices below the levels seen this time last year. Read More

  • Turnover slowdown for Solvay in Q1 03 May 2016

    Solvay’s quarterly performance was affected by lower average pricing conditions as its operations related to oil and gas markets remained weak, while end markets including aerospace and automotive boosted demand for structural composite and polymer materials. Read More

  • Longmont Colorado fracking ban struck down by Supreme Court 02 May 2016

    The fracking ban in Colorado's city of Longmont was added to the City Charter in 2012 on the basis that city regulations pertaining to oil and gas drilling activity were not stringent enough. However, the ban was challenged by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association at the end of last year and has now been deemed invalid by the Supreme Court. Read More

  • Nemaska to produce 29,000 tonnes lithium concentrate by Q3 02 May 2016

    TSX-V-listed Nemaska Lithium has purchased a new self-contained dense media separation portable mill which will be used to process a mine-representative bulk sample from its Whabouchi lithium mine in Quebec, Canada. Read More

  • Halliburton and Baker Hughes to scrap merger 02 May 2016

    Halliburton will pay Baker Hughes a $3.5bn break-up fee as both companies finally walk away from the proposed takeover. While the merger has faced increased scrutiny since it was first announced in November 2014, both companies have offered a number of divestitures and continually reiterated the benefits of a combined business, both for shareholders and the market. However, the US DOJ’s civil antitrust lawsuit launched at the start of April to prevent the transaction – and the hint that other antitrust authorities may be leaning the same way – appear to have been too much to overcome. Read More