Renshou County, Sichuan Province,
is the largest refractory base in southwest China. A year ago,
there were 67 refractory companies operating in the province
alongside three chemical companies and five ceramic companies,
which held a cumulative value of Chinese renminbi (Rmb) 4.9bn
($800m*) in 2013 and a tax revenue of Rmb 170m ($27.7m).
Today, there are 14 consolidated
The shutdowns have taken place over
the last year as part of a governmental plan to eliminate the
backward industry practices as well as tackling the many
complaints from local residents regarding the serious dust,
smoke, water and noise pollution created by the refractory
businesses. The process has seen 22 chimneys demolished in the
last year. In total, 51 chimneys have been knocked down.
The rest are expected to be
destroyed after the respective companies finish their plant
upgrades, Yong Tan, secretary of the local county Party
Committee, told local reporters.
Local government officials have
also shut down 22 refractory companies in total with less than
20,000 tpa capacity. Every single down drought kiln, of which
there are 37, has been shut down and all tunnel kilns have
There has also been a move towards
making energy cleaner. All coal-fired plants are to convert to
New companies and new
Zhixin Cai, of Danlu Refractory,
and Xueliang Deng, of Xiangyu Special Steel Refractory,
together invested Rmb 5m ($816,320) to build a 3,000
square-metre factory with a gas tunnel kiln production line of
98 meters, producing a total of 32,000 tpa of high end
In the past, the two companies
combined had an output of 17,000 tpa of solid bricks, which
were manufactured using down drought kilns.
The new products can be sold at
between Rmb 5000-7000/tonne ($816-$1,143/tonne), which is a
premium to other companies which sell products around Rmb
Solving the various pollution problems, upgrading new
equipment and investing in recycling has proven to be a factor
in driving up revenues as this year refractory companies are
forecasting a Rmb 6bn ($979,878) turnover and Rmb 280m ($45.7m)
in tax revenues.
Refractories China News Review
Sichuan Province shows gains
Sichuan Province showed that it had
made some capital gains off the back of a growing refractory
industry for the period between January to August 2014.
Total turnover was at Rmb 4.7bn
($7.67m), up 23.7% y-o-y. Tax revenue, of Rmb 525m ($85.7m),
was up 17.16%. Profit across the Sichuan refractory industry,
of Rmb 319m ($52m), was up 24% on the previous year.
Elsewhere, in Zibo City, Shandong
Province, also one of the largest refractory bases in China,
announced on 17 October that it would stop all coal-fired
refractory production, in response to growing dissent about the
Province’s air pollution.
This dramatic move is expected to
be approved by the end of November. Refractory companies which
do not comply will not be allowed to ever produce again,
reporters covering the announcement explained.
China’s Dalian Morgan Refractory Co starts
production at Liaoning plant
China’s Dalian Morgan
Refractory Co. has started production of refractory castable
materials at its new plant in Pulandian, Liaoning Province,
The company, a joint venture (JV)
between UK-based Morgan Advanced Materials and Bengang Group
Dalian Refractory Factory, said that the plant is 100 metres
squared and has required a Rmb 100m ($16.3m) investment.
Dalian Morgan Refractory has been
working towards completing the first phase of the plant this
year, which includes the refractory castables facility as well
as a research and development centre.
Construction of the second phase of
the plant will begin in 2015, the company said.
Random refractory product
inspections took place across Liaoning Province in October,
which were carried out by provincial government officials. The
inspections chose 17 producers across the province and of
these, only one batch did not pass.
Alumina bricks, clay bricks and
magnesia bricks were inspected by the officials.
There are 89 batches of products in
53 companies in five counties, which could have been
Liaoning province hosts the Chinese
companies known to be among the largest refractory producers in
the country, including Haicheng Houying, Huayu, Yingkou
Qinghua, Jinlong and Liaoning Zhongxing.
Magnesia quota bid
discussed in meeting
The China Chamber of Commerce of
Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters (CCCMC)
held a meeting in October with industry and government
officials in Shenyang to discuss the magnesia market in
The meeting was to decide the H1
2015 quota bid.
Government officials, including
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), the
Department of Commerce of Liaoning Province and Liaoning
Provincial Industrial Special Resources Protection Office,
analysed 2014 exports and the market trends for magnesite,
brucite and magnesia products.
MTI denies Minteq Suzhou
plant closure rumours
Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTI),
the parent company of refractories manufacturer Minteq
International, has strongly denied rumours that it plans to
close the company’s manufacturing facility in
Suzhou, eastern China.
"[MTI] does not have any plans to
close the facility. Any reports to the contrary are incorrect,"
Rick Honey, vice president for investor relations at MTI, told
The response followed the publication of reports in IM that
Minteq International (Suzhou) Co. Ltd would be wound down in
the face of challenging market conditions in China and
MTI’s strategy to move away from refractories
manufacturing towards maintenance and technology
ROW Refractories News Review
RHI halts acquisition of magnesite
plant and mining rights in Turkey
manufacturer RHI AG announced in October that it will not
pursue the acquisition of rights to mine magnesite in Erzurum,
The company explained that it
halted its purchase of the rights, as contractual conditions
required by Magnesit Anonim Sirketi, RHI’s Turkish
subsidiary, were not met.
The contract signed between
Magnesit Anonim and Turkish Cihan Group included the purchase
of a magnesite power plant, and provided different contractual
conditions to complete the transaction.
RHI told IM that it looked into the
potential acquisition of the magnesite asset in Turkey as part
of its strategy to increase its level of self-sufficiency for
raw material supply.
According to Cihan Group, magnesite
reserves in Erzurum and Erzincan amount to 10-15m tonnes, and
the production plant built by Trabzon Mining can produce
sintered magnesia in a rotary kiln at 1,800-2,000ûC, by
firing natural magnesite.
Cihan Group estimated production
capacity at the plant to amount to 100,000 tpa.
QMAG cuts personnel to save
costs at Australian magnesite mine
Australian magnesia producer,
Queensland Magnesia (QMAG) has cut 16 workers at its magnesia
business unit in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.
The company said that the move will
allow it to remain globally competitive in its magnesia
QMAG’s parent company, explained that it has
focused on reducing operating costs and improving volumes and
sales in the company’s magnesia business unit
since its acquisition in 2012, in order to guarantee long-term
"We’ve also had to
change staffing numbers giving consideration to the needs of
the operation and ensure its long term viability," Campbell
Jones, Sibelco’s CEO, said in a statement.
"The Sibelco QMAG business is now
well positioned to compete on the international market and
continue as a long term employer in the Rockhampton region,"
Others have questioned the
redundancies, however. According to the Australian
Workers’ Union, Sibelco hired new workers at about
the same time it made the long term employees redundant.
Nepal Orind Magnesite
future looks shaky as Minister delays plans
Local media sources in Nepal are
suggesting that the government’s plan to hand over
management of Nepal Orind Magnesite to a major shareholder
could be cancelled.
Khetan Group is one of three equity
partners of the state-controlled firm and, according to the
Kantipur, it was close to reopening Nepal
Orind’s magnesite plant. However, Nepalese
Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet is rumoured to be delaying the
plan to open.
"I have intervened in the decision
to hand over the factory’s management to the
Khetan Group after finding out that the deal would result in a
loss to the government," Minister Basnet told reporters during
a visit to the factory site.
The Nepal government owns 75%,
Khetan Group 12.5% and Orissa Industries 12.5% of the
Orind Magnesite stopped production
of magnesite in 2001, due to technical problems and lack of
competitiveness with Chinese producers in the Indian
The factory was opened in 1979 and
only produced talc powder, despite having a deadburned magnesia
(DBM) production capacity of 50,000 tpa.
*Conversions made October