Alumina features

  • Out of the melting pot: A year of change in refractories IM September 2018

    After a year of reorganization and changing narratives in the refractories industry – from significant M&A activity to raw material price spikes, and from booming end-market demand to uncertainties in global trade – Industrial Minerals correspondent Myles McCormick takes stock of a changed landscape for companies operating in the sector. Read More

  • Dissecting alumina supply IM September 2018

    The non-metallurgical alumina market is diverse and complex and, over the past year, its main sub-sectors have been under pressure from rising costs and hiccups in supply, limiting availability of white fused, alumina hydrate and calcined alumina to the wider market, independent consultant, Ted Dickson, discovers. Read More

  • AI faces slow grind in mineral processing IM July - August 2018

    Artificial intelligence and machine learning are at the forefront of digital solutions that could dramatically improve efficiency in the mineral processing sector. But mining companies have been reluctant to invest in the technology needed to revolutionize their operations. Read More

  • Feeling the rub: Asian abrasives continue to challenge Western suppliers IM March 2018

    Cheap Chinese alumina has been undercutting abrasives prices and output in North America and elsewhere for several years, but recent supply restrictions in China could reverse this trend, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly discovers. Read More

  • Feeling the heat: Bauxite and alumina under pressure IM February 2018

    China’s high-profile disruptions to industrial operations have wreaked havoc in the bauxite and alumina supply chains serving refractories end markets, taking prices to new highs. Read More

  • Alteo: Serving the speciality markets IM February 2018

    As non-metallurgical alumina markets are facing a combination of tight supply, high demand and rising prices, Industrial Minerals caught up with Gildas Fontaine, marketing, business development and communication director at France-based speciality alumina supplier Alteo, to discuss what is in store for calcined alumina and the future prospects of global speciality markets. Read More

  • Separation anxiety: Ceramic membranes seek commercial niche IM February 2018

    While porous ceramic membranes for nanofiltration of liquids have been widely adopted, take-up of dense ceramic membranes for gas separation has been relatively slow to follow. IM Correspondent Rose Pengelly looks into this lesser known corner of the technical ceramics industry and discovers some of its most promising applications. Read More

  • 2017: The year of the supply squeeze IM December 2017-January 2018

    If 2016 should be remembered with a shudder, then 2017 will be remembered as the year when it became harder to source minerals. The supply situation changed for many minerals in the markets that Industrial Minerals covers, not least because many producers were simply shut down by strict environmental laws in China, or found it harder to source materials due to demand-side challenges, consultant editor Siobhan Lismore-Scott writes. Read More

  • Not a Cinderella story: Half a century of Industrial Minerals IM September 2017

    Long dismissed as the Cinderella of the commodities world, industrial minerals were regarded as high bulk, low value for most outside the network which makes up our world. But after 50 years IM is looking forward to a glittering future - and so are those at the top of the industrial minerals tree, interviewed in turn about the changing face of the industry. Read More

  • A rock and a hard place IM September 2017

    Demand for refractory products is evolving, forcing suppliers to upgrade their offers and processes to stay ahead of the game, while Chinese-origin raw materials are appreciating on the back of supply shortages, making productions costlier, Davide Ghilotti, IM Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Global Refractories: Facing the next production revolution IM September 2017

    One of the largest markets for industrial minerals, refractories are essential for producing steel, glass, ceramics, cement and lime and for many other processes requiring high temperatures. But as Richard Flook* explains, despite their crucial role, manufacturers of these products are facing significant challenges from changing global trends. Read More

  • Indian refractories sector hopes rising steel tide will lift all boats IM September 2017

    Booming steel production has helped prop up demand for Indian refractories amid lacklustre demand from cement and foundries, but as Sunder Singh, IM Correspondent explains, the country’s relatively healthy market is attracting increased foreign competition. Read More

  • US exiting Paris Treaty not expected to impact minerals sector IM July-August 2017

    In the wake of President Trump’s announcement that the US will be pulling out of the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty, IM looks at the significance of this move and the possible impact this will have on the industrial minerals market. By Mark Rowe Read More

  • Innovation and conservatism in technical ceramics IM February 2017

    Technical ceramics are opening up new possibilities in everything from spaceships to dentistry, but the closed nature of the industry’s raw materials supply chain may be holding the sector back, Davide Ghilotti, Chief Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Pure genius? How new technology could shake up HPA supply IM February 2017

    High purity alumina is typically produced via an add-on stage to traditional alumina extraction from bauxite, but at least two companies are on the cusp of breaking into the material’s supply chain with revolutionary new processing methods, Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • World refractories industry: State of play in 2016 IM September 2016

    Jessica Roberts assesses the health of the refractory industry’s key consumers so far in 2016, and outlines longer term trends that look to influence the market this year and beyond. Read More

  • Bridging the Gulf IM July-August 2016

    As the US Geological Survey prepares to issue a special publication on the mineral resources of Iran, the international business community is kicking its heels in frustration about the snail’s pace of progress towards establishing trade links with the Islamic Republic, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, writes. Read More

  • Where the sun shines IM June 2016

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

  • Alumina advances in technical ceramics IM April 2016

    Alumina is the most widely used raw material in technical ceramics production, accounting for up to 80% of the total used. Jessica Roberts* looks at some of the key raw materials in advanced ceramics and their supply chains and outlines which sectors are poised for growth. Read More

  • Ceramics minerals: Taking the floor IM March 2016

    While technical ceramics may be a growing application for minerals such as kaolin and zircon, the majority of these are still consumed by traditional applications like construction and tiles. Kasia Patel, North American Editor, looks at some recent developments in the sector. Read More

  • Bauxite: Bearing the brunt of shrinking refractories demand IM February 2016

    Ructions in the global commodities markets have wrought havoc with demand for both metallurgical and non-metallurgical grades of bauxite. While the demise of the former, used for the production of alumina for aluminium metal, has been well documented, the slowdown in the refractory grade bauxite sector has been less obtrusive. IM’s Acting Editor, Laura Syrett, spoke to the industry about how it is dealing with the downturn in refractories consumption. Read More

  • Oilfield minerals: Year in Review 2015 IM January 2016

    A roundup of the year's main events in the global oilfield minerals industries. 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Shaking up Shanxi’s bauxite industry IM February 2015

    China’s Shanxi province is the world’s biggest producer of refractory grade bauxite, but it is also one of the most corrupt and dysfunctional regions in the country. Albert Li, Shanghai Analyst and Laura Syrett, Prices Editor, examine the problems the region is facing and the measures being taken to reform the sector. Read More

  • Innovation and new markets heat up demand for technical ceramics IM February 2015

    Specific consumption of refractories in the steel, glass and cement industries has been steadily declining worldwide, while the market has increasingly shifted towards higher quality products. Antonio Torrisi explores how advanced technical ceramics can benefit from new market trends globally. Read More

  • Bauxite and Alumina: Year in Review 2014 IM January 2015

    Antonio Torrisi tracks the highs and lows of the bauxite and alumina industry in 2014 Read More

  • IM prices January 2015 IM January 2015

    External pressure on bentonite and bauxite prices to continue in 2015 Read More

  • Pressures in Asian markets squeeze refractory and chemical minerals IM December 2014

    Global increases for calcium carbonate and kaolin Refractory minerals under strain in China Read More

  • Australia: End of the mining gloom? IM December 2014

    The downturn of the global “commodities supercyle” and slowing raw material demand in China has been felt keenly in Australia’s resources sector. But while proponents of Australian mining admit the industry isn’t quite as mighty as it used to be, they say that there are still plenty of reasons to be positive Down Under, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor and Laura Syrett, Prices Editor, discover. Read More

  • South East Asia: Room to grow IM December 2014

    Although regulatory difficulties in the past may have discouraged foreign investment, South East Asia is being touted as a region ripe for development with many underexploited resources and demand for industrial minerals in a variety of markets including refractories, glass, ceramics, construction and proppants. Andrew Scogings, IM Correspondant, Kasia Patel, Deputy Editor, and Tran Kim Phuong, Contributor Read More

  • Prime Meridian enters global market with ceramics proppants buy IM December 2014

    The Canadian junior hopes to gain a strategic foothold in the region through the majority acquisition and expansion of Indian ceramics proppants producer, Hallmark. Kasia Patel, Deputy Editor Read More

  • Diary Dates IM October 2014 issue

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  • Raw materials trends in refractories IM September 2014

    Over the last two years IM has reported on the shifting trends in the refractories industry, with China looking to reduce wastage and increase energy efficiency. Ted Dickson* explores these various trends and asks – how will this shift impact raw material supply? Read More

  • Prices lag rising consumption in industrial markets while speciality grades look up IM June 2014

    Bauxite values stable following Q1 price rises; Paper grade kaolin prices increase as costs bite; Rutile “tough” business in China-led market Read More

  • Andalusite sees demand fire up in refractories IM May 2014 issue

    As conventional raw minerals for refractories are becoming scarcer and more expensive, Antonio Torrisi, Reporter, discovers how andalusite might meet more demand in refractory markets. Read More

  • The Great Occasion IM April 2014 issue

    The Industrial Minerals Congress launched 40 years ago, in 1974, and was attended by over 400 delegates from 36 different countries. As we prepare for the 22nd Congress, which will be held in Vancouver this month, IM approached several industry leaders and asked each of them the same five questions to get their perspectives on how the market has changed. Siobhan Lismore-Scott, Editor Read More

  • LKAB Minerals looks to sustainability IM March 2014 issue

    LKAB Minerals highlighted the issue of sustainability in refractories at a number of events in the last 12 months, emphasising the need for renewable energy and more recycling. Read More

  • Chromite conundrum: how to bring demand back into an abating market IM February 2014 issue

    South Africa, the world’s leading producer of chromite, has seen its mining sector threatened by strikes and demonstrations since 2012, resulting in the death of 34 miners following clashes at a platinum mine. As calm returns to the sector, Antonio Torrisi, Graduate Reporter, investigates the nation’s chromite supply situation. Read More

  • Chinese New Year fails to boost mineral markets IM February 2014 issue

    Fluorspar, iodine and lithium prices sink; Magnesia markets slow to pick up in January Read More

  • Alumina and its many uses IM February 2014 issue

    Despite a well-documented fall in demand for alumina from the refractories market, other applications such as flame retardants and water treatment have remained stable. Read More

  • Proppant potential for bauxite IM February 2014 issue

    The shale gale and dash for gas continues unabated, and with it increasing demand for proppants required in hydraulic fracturing operations. It’s a golden opportunity for proppant feedstock suppliers - silica sand, bauxite, kaolin - to pursue this growth market. But the key questions are: Which material makes the grade? Where else outside the US is the market likely to catch fire? Read More

  • Infographic: Refractories - from mine to market IM September 2013

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  • Sourcing refractory raw materials IM September 2013

    Capital Refractories’ group supply chain manager, Chris Wragg, examines the challenges of global sourcing refractory raw materials for a medium sized international company Read More

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