Industrial Minerals TV: 19 April 2013

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Published: Thursday, 25 April 2013

Refractory mineral demand set to rise; fracking not major cause of earthquakes

On this week’s show, China's flake graphite industry could be consolidated within the next five years following a model established in the country’s amorphous sector, which has begun to incorporate small private producers into larger mining firms.

Demand for refractory minerals such as alumina, andalusite, bauxite, graphite, magnesia and zircon is expected to increase during 2012 in line with a 2.9% uptick in global steel use. According to the latest worldsteel short range outlook for 2013 and 2014, this growth will continue into next year, with steel demand rising a further 3.2% to reach 1.5 billion tonnes.

French minerals conglomerate Imerys has announced the purchase of Texas-headquartered PyraMax Ceramics. The acquisition means Imerys will now own a new 200,000 square foot proppants facility in Georgia, US, which the company says will be gradually ramped up to produce 225,000 tonnes of proppants per year by the end of 2014.

Group DF, a collection of companies chaired by Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash, has confirmed that a 120,000 tpa sulphate-route TiO2 pigment plant will be constructed at its Crimea TITAN facilities near the Black Sea coast in Ukraine.

And finally, UK scientists studying earthquakes caused by human activities such as mining and oil drilling have concluded that hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas is not a major cause of tremors. Research published by a team from Durham University in the Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology suggested that most fracking events only release the same amount of energy as a human jumping off a ladder – great news for the fracking industry.