Features

  • People and places IM October - November 2018

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  • Black Mountain to open Oklahoma frac sand facility IM October - November 2018

    The new frac sand capacity will come online in January 2019. Read More

  • No stopping strong global EV sales growth IM October - November 2018

    Chinese sales of new electric vehicles has rebounded in line with Fastmarkets' expectations following a temporary dip during a transition to new government subsidies. Read More

  • Rising fear of nationalization, increasing costs for mineral sand producers in India IM October - November 2018

    The cost of exporting mineral sands from India has increased with the release of new standard operating procedures in the country. Read More

  • Holding out fluor a hero IM October - November 2018

    The fluorspar market is currently undersupplied and in need of a new non-Chinese producer to bring relief to the tightness in Europe and North America - enter Canada Fluorspar Read More

  • The rise of the superabrasives IM September 2018

    Automotive manufacturers are demanding better accuracy and longer life from abrasive tools, and this has created an opportunity for a new family of high-performance synthetic abrasives, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly discovers. Read More

  • 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

  • Fluorspar market on edge as new participants step in IM September 2018

    Moves by Canada Fluorspar and Sepfluor to enter the global fluorspar market have raised questions about how this will affect the worldwide supply and demand dynamic, and how fluorspar prices may be affected. 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

  • Demanding supply IM September 2018

    Pollution regulations and their enforcement in China, coupled with the maturity of the steel and refractory industries, are causing a third major disturbance to the global magnesia market. Read More

  • Carol Jackson ‘We are going to be unstoppable’ IM September 2018

    In a quest to make HarbisonWalker International its customers’ ‘first and only call,’ Carol Jackson has pulled out all the stops. “We are not your old refractory company,” she tells Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin. Read More

  • Shifting sands IM July - August 2018

    Soaring frac sand demand is being met by a wave of new supply, but how will traditional sellers fare in a world where quantity, rather than quality, is king, William Clarke, Industrial Minerals reporter, asks. Read More

  • Vermiculite rising IM July - August 2018

    New supply from Uganda and Turkey pushed up global vermiculite production in 2017. Meanwhile, prices have increased out of the United States because customers are demanding higher grades. 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

  • How climate change policies affect the mineral industries IM July - August 2018

    Climate change policies have long been part of the conversation in the EU, which set strong 20% reduction targets for 2020, but as Vasili Nicoletopoulos* discusses, the push to go green has had an impact on the mining industry worldwide. Read More

  • ‘Two lions’: The modern borate duopoly IM May - June 2018

    Two behemoths supply the bulk of the world borates market, making for a highly concentrated industry. Myles McCormick, IM correspondent, reports on the tussle between the major players, the current dearth of exploration and innovative efforts to increase demand. Read More

  • Lithium: a Chinese affair IM May - June 2018

    Demand for lithium compounds has accelerated in recent years while China moves to decarbonise its economy. The pipeline for new lithium supply to meet demand largely in Asia remains slow but fears of oversupply are emerging, Martim Facada reports. Read More

  • UNDERSUPPLIED: Soda ash demand outstripping output IM May - June 2018

    It’s a finite balance between supply just meeting demand and moving to an undersupplied market. Demand in the primary end-use market for soda ash - glass - is strong and there is no new soda ash capacity scheduled to come online to meet growing demand, which means the market could be faced with higher prices for the raw material, Michael Greenfield, Industrial Minerals reporter, has found. Read More

  • On the slate IM May - June 2018

    Rising construction activity and increasing usage in coatings and fillers have helped drive a turnaround in the global slate industry, Rose Pengelly, IM Correspondent, discovers. Read More

  • Growing panes: will smart glass stimulate mineral demand? IM May - June 2018

    As modern architecture increasingly looks to smart glass for its unique, functional and environmentally friendly properties, Industrial Minerals correspondent Cameron Perks takes a look at how this may stimulate demand for glass minerals, as well as certain metal oxides. Read More

  • Refractories industry remains cool under pressure IM April 2018

    The world’s refractories manufacturers are proving resilient, despite mounting pressures on the sector. How is this most traditional of industries adapting to unpredictable circumstances? Read More

  • A growth trajectory: ceramics markets look to Asia IM April 2018

    The ceramics industry registered a dip in trade and production following the global economic downturn in 2008. But, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Sunder Singh finds, trade in Asia is now picking up, which is putting renewed pressure on kaolin, zircon, bentonite and other ceramics markets. Read More

  • Magnesia: market tightness continues to bite IM April 2018

    Magnesia markets have been severely disrupted by the environmental measures undertaken by the Chinese government in 2017 and into 2018. Production at many sites remains shut in and there is a great deal of uncertainty as to when - and indeed whether - all sites will restart, Davide Ghilotti, deputy editor, discovers Read More

  • Prospects in packaging IM April 2018

    Digitization is continuing to drive change across many sectors worldwide, fueling a steady decline in writing and printing paper with the rise of e-readers, smart phones and calls for paperless offices. Although this has caused consolidation in the paper industry among some of the largest producing regions, there are still growth opportunities for paper manufacturers and their raw materials suppliers in less mature markets and in packaging products. Read More

  • Filling the void: calcium carbonate markets look to grow IM April 2018

    Consumption of mineral filler is growing rapidly, with the market forecast to grow to a worldwide total value of $62.54 billion by 2024, according to some estimates, with global economic growth supporting expansion of the paper, plastics, rubber, paints and construction industries. Industrial Minerals explores the key drivers of this growth, and asks what makes calcium carbonate so attractive as a filler? Read More

  • Whiter than white? Global talc developments IM March 2018

    China is still the world’s largest producer of talc but its influence after 50 years of dominating high-quality white talc is starting to wane, UK consultant Ian Wilson discovers. Read More

  • Li-ion batteries and the years ahead IM March 2018

    Lithium-ion batteries are set to lead the decarbonization of the world’s economy after a technological revolution in recent years. Martim Facada looks at the evolution of the battery industry and its relationship with the most critical raw materials: lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite. 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

  • On the way up: Industrial minerals in India IM March 2018

    India has recorded economic growth of around 7% per year in the past three years. But while it has significant resources of some of the most widely used industrial minerals, this sector has shown only modest growth, as Industrial Minerals correspondent Sunder Singh discovers. Read More

  • The sun shines bright on high-purity quartz IM March 2018

    With the United States gearing up to create a domestic solar cell industry to rival that in China, Industrial Minerals correspondent Cameron Perks asks what effect this will have on domestic suppliers of high-purity quartz. 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

  • Argex primed to pave the way in low-cost TiO2 processing IM February 2018

    Environmental regulations in China are adding further pressure on sulfate-route pigment producers in favor of chloride-route production. This paves the way for further process innovation and investment, as well as opening up potential new sources for feedstock, IM correspondent Cameron Perks discovers. Read More

  • Junior mining: Banking on bargains IM February 2018

    As the mining sector looks forward to further recovery in 2018, Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly, Correspondent, looks at some of the businesses poised to gain from the expected upswing. 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

  • The sands of time: TiO2 feedstocks to 2020 IM February 2018

    The balance in the market for titanium dioxide (TiO2) feedstock has been in constant flux throughout history, and 2017 was no exception. Industrial Minerals Correspondent Cameron Perks takes a look at supply, demand, and prices throughout 2017, as well as what we should look out for as we approach 2020. 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

  • Back to black IM October-November 2017

    The graphite industry has gone through a year marked by abrupt changes in supply patterns and market prices - various factors shook up the sector after years of weakness. Demand from refractories and batteries is growing, injecting new hope to the industry, Industrial Minerals deputy editor, Davide Ghilotti writes. 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

  • Microwave treatment offers greener option for graphite processing IM December 2017-January 2018

    Microwave irradiation has recently emerged as a promising method to process high-grade natural graphite from mineral ores in a way that is less environmentally damaging than many conventional beneficiation techniques, Industrial Minerals correspondent Rose Pengelly discovers. Read More

  • RHI Magnesita: Brick by brick consolidation IM December 2017-January 2018

    The merger between RHI and Magnesita ‘makes sense’ because the refractory industry tends toward consolidation, while raw material shortages in China may lead supply to diversify elsewhere, according to the new company’s chief executive officer, Stefan Borgas. Read More

  • Andalusite market tightens up IM December 2017-January 2018

    Market patterns in the andalusite trade are likely to change next year because suppliers are fixing shorter contracts while demand is high and output is limited - prices are set to increase. Read More

  • The dragon loosens its hold: magnesia supply developments outside of China IM December 2017-January 2018

    With Chinese magnesia supply dwindling, or ceasing altogether in some markets, consultant Ian Wilson, discusses the supply situation outside of China. Read More

  • Woolly topic: The challenges of analysing artificial fibres IM October-November 2017

    Mineral wools are artificial fibres typically made from spinning or drawing molten minerals and widely used as insulating and building material, in close proximity to humans. Here, three experts* on chemical analysis of mineral wool outline some of the most important considerations when evaluating these products for safe use in everyday applications. Read More

  • The end is nigh: A bleak future for Bolivian antimony IM October-November 2017

    Producers foresee little prospect for continued antimony operations in a country that once was a major player in the industry, as regulations strangle business, writes Myles McCormick, IM Correspondent, from La Paz. Read More

  • Genie in a bottleneck: How a supply squeeze has worked magic for TiO2 IM October-November 2017

    As environmental inspections cut Chinese titanium dioxide output and producers elsewhere in the world fail to pick up the slack, prices for the pigment chemical have staged a surprise turnaround, William Clarke, IM Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Zircon 101: where will new demand come from? IM October-November 2017

    Zircon is important - and some would argue irreplaceable - in markets such as ceramics, which accounts for around 50% of demand. But, as Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, discovers, there are new sources of interest within that same industry - and demand projections vary wildly. Read More

  • A Chinese squeeze? Fluorspar industry governed by uncertainty IM October-November 2017

    China is the largest producer and consumer of fluorspar, but supply has been curtailed due to draconian environmental legislation, which has pushed up prices. Will this give new producers in Vietnam, Canada and Afghanistan a chance to swoop in and further alter the supply mix? IM Consultant Editor, Siobhan Lismore-Scott, reports. 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

  • Flame tamers: Brucite, huntite and hydromagnesite IM September 2017

    Magnesium minerals boast several unique properties which make them superlative flame retardants, but as Ian Wilson, Consultant*, explains, despite their wide application many of these minerals are only recovered in a handful of places across the world. 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

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