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  • 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

  • Lithium spot prices edge upward 29 April 2016

    The prices for lithium contracts agreed in Q2 2016 appear to be tracking the trajectory of spot prices, which continue to soar. 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

  • Carbo Ceramics Q1 results reveal 122% slide in revenue 28 April 2016

    The latest round of results from Carbo Ceramics makes for sombre reading. The company has worked hard to realign with muted market demand for its products, and says it expects the depressed market to continue. Carbo has idled plants and reduced expenditure where it could - and expects to spend six times less on capex in 2016. There is no forced optimism in these results - the company believes it may even have to raise additional capital over the course of the year. 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

  • Weak oil markets affect Baker Hughes’ Q1 2016 results 27 April 2016

    Slow activity in oil and gas hit hard Baker Hughes’ revenues, which fell across the board in all geographical areas served by the industrial machinery supplier, as further weakening is expected in Q2. Read More

  • Umicore to up NMC cathode materials output by 300% 27 April 2016

    The Belgian-based technology group is to boost its capacity for rechargeable battery cathode materials by three-fold in the next three years, the company announced today. Read More

  • US Silica results show impact of low drill activity as profits slide into red 27 April 2016

    North American proppant supplier US Silica Holdings Inc. today released its Q1 2016 results which show the impact of the sluggish drilling market. The company currently operates nine industrial sand production plants, for markets such as glass, and eight oil and gas sand production plants to supply silica (frac) sand for use in the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process. Read More

  • Tianqi Lithium plans for expansion 27 April 2016

    News that Tianqi is also planning to expand its hydroxide offering is not a major surprise as the company has aggressively grown in the last few years and is taking full advantage of the bullish market situation at the moment. It does mean, however, that there will be more capacity in China, to sate domestic demand. Read More

  • Ceramics Expo 2016: Growth in energy harvesting for ceramics picking up speed 27 April 2016

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

  • A tale of two producers: SQM-Rockwood spat illustrates rising lithium tensions 26 April 2016

    The neighbouring lithium suppliers have become embroiled in a squabble over Rockwood’s plans to increase output. But the roots of the enmity stretch far deeper. Read More

  • Halliburton-Baker Hughes merger blocked by DOJ lawsuit IM May 2016

    Takeover “risky, piecemeal and vague” Too many overlaps and competition issues Halliburton and Baker Hughes plan appeal Read More

  • SQM and Lithium Americas announce Argentinian JV IM May 2016

    First supporting of a junior by a senior market player SQM paid $25m for 50% stake Focus now on completing updated DFS Read More

  • Time to shine IM May 2016

    Siobhan Lismore-Scott, editor, highlights the features in this month's magazine which will inform and delight subscribers. 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

  • Argentina’s import restrictions – a threat to lithium industry growth? IM May 2016

    The South American nation is already an important supplier of lithium to the world market, but import controls coupled with high trade tariffs could undermine the country’s ambitions to expand this role, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • Grid energy storage: The next big thing for Li-ion? IM May 2016

    With the excitement around Li-ion battery technology showing no signs of waning, Myles McCormick, Reporter, spoke to industry experts about growth in what is likely to become one of its largest end-markets, grid energy storage. Read More

  • Russia seeks incentives for lithium development IM May 2016

    All of the lithium raw materials consumed by Russia are currently imported from abroad, but the country is looking at advancing a number of potential internal sources. However, the uncertainty of domestic demand growth and questions over how production would fit into the global lithium market could constrain new developments, Vladislav Vorotnikov, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • SQM: Outside the box; inside the triangle IM May 2016

    The embattled lithium major is looking to reform itself as it deals with the fallout from a number of allegations, Myles McCormick, Reporter, writes from the company’s operations in northern Chile. Read More

  • ¡Vámonos!: South America’s lithium rush IM May 2016

    As excitement abounds around the potential of the “lithium triangle”, Myles McCormick visits South America to investigate the hype. Read More

  • One stop battery shop: Eramet moves into lithium IM May 2016

    The French metals company is seeking to add lithium to its battery materials portfolio with the advancement of its Centenario-Ratones brine project in Salta, northern Argentina. Read More

  • Rockwood readies itself for SQM attempt to block lithium increase 25 April 2016

    Rockwood Lithium has responded to news that local rival Sociedad de Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) will seek to prevent the expansion of its lithium production in Chile, noting it will use “all recourses available” to respond to any doubts over its permit, Chilean daily La Tercera has reported. A tripling of its Chilean production by Rockwood could go some way to ease the supply shortage in lithium products expected over the next half decade. Read More

  • SQM aims to block Rockwood expansion 22 April 2016

    Chilean lithium producer Sociedad de Quimica y Minera SA (SQM) will attempt to halt a planned lithium production increase by rival producer Rockwood Lithium, owed by US chemicals producer Albemarle Corp., according to the minutes of a March SQM board meeting seen this week by local business daily, Diario Financiero. Read More

  • Grid energy storage: The next big thing for Li-ion? 22 April 2016

    Though unlikely to rival the electric vehicle industry for size, grid energy storage is likely to become one of its largest end-markets for lithium-ion batteries. Questions remain as to what size the market will reach, however. Read More

  • Select Sands starts silica sand production at US site 20 April 2016

    Production of silica sands has started at TSX-listed Select Sands Corp.’s Sandtown deposit in Arkansas, US. As the company aims to become a premium supplier to the industrial and oilfield sectors, limited production is taking pace to fulfil purchase orders for Tier 1 sand into industrial markets, as sand suppliers look to other sectors to combat the oil and gas downturn. Read More

  • MagMin 2016: Networking talks reveal the true nature of magnesia industry 18 April 2016

    While papers at this year's MagMin conference focused on the potential positives of the industry, despite a lagging steel sector, talks during the networking sessions among Chinese delegates revealed the real impact of environmental protection orders and how the secret trade in export licences meant magnesia companies could report a profit without mining an ounce of the material. Read More

  • Fairmount Santrol launches environmentally-friendly coated sand for foundries 18 April 2016

    With the prolonged downturn in the oil and gas sector forcing silica (frac) sand suppliers to cut production or shut their doors completely, diverse suppliers such as Fairmount are better positioned to remain profitable, with the option to focus on supply and technology to other markets such as the foundry and glass sectors. Read More

  • Market balance on the horizon for oil and gas, says IEA 14 April 2016

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published its Oil Market Report (OMR) for April, and while it expects oil demand to continue increasing, growth is occurring at a slower pace. This, coupled with production cuts, is likely to create market balance and have a positive impact on prices in the second half of 2016. However, a recovery is likely to take slightly longer to trickle down to oilfield mineral producers of barite, bentonite and frac sand. Read More

  • BASF receives battery material licence from CAMX 13 April 2016

    BASF has obtained a licence for a patented cathode material, which it says is capable of increasing the energy density of Li-ion batteries. With the uptake of EVs by the general public having been slower than initially expected, the development of this cathode is good news for car manufacturers in the space – and raw material suppliers such as graphite, lithium and nickel companies – as it will help to extend the range of vehicles. Read More

  • Lithium Americas and TOLSA form JV to target clay markets 12 April 2016

    Hectatone Inc., a subsidiary of Lithium Americas Corp., has entered into a strategic alliance with TOLSA S.A. The companies will work together, targeting the global clay minerals markets and collaborating in a number of different areas. The potential alliance exemplifies how producers are turning to other, niche, markets as demand flags in the oil and gas drilling markets Read More

  • Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton clash over fracking 12 April 2016

    Sanders and Clinton, who are both campaigning to for the US Democratic presidential nomination, clashed over fracking yesterday ahead of the New York primary vote. With Sanders calling for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the oil and gas sector and suppliers of oilfield minerals such as barite, bentonite and silica sand are likely to be keeping a close eye on the presidential race. 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

  • LWP reports positive test results for fly ash proppant 11 April 2016

    According to LWP, recent test work carried out on fly ash-based proppants produced at its pilot manufacturing plant in Australia has shown that the material can compete with ceramic proppants – usually manufactured from a mixture of kaolin and bauxite – in terms of quality, but with a lower price tag that competes with frac sand. Read More

  • China’s lithium carbonate producers report eightfold increase in profits 11 April 2016

    Both Tianqi and Ganfeng have seen earnings skyrocket in the first quarter of this year, owing to higher lithium prices driven by demand for the batteries sector, while fears that demand will significantly outpace supply this year is fueling frenzied buying activity. Read More

  • China outlines fresh plans for rare earths production controls and storage 11 April 2016

    The country’s government has come up with yet another round of measures aimed at bringing its rare earths sector to heel, as mining and smelting companies report declining profits while downstream manufacturers report rising sales. Read More

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