Features

  • Paper thin markets? A look at PCC in paper IM April 2019

    Paper markets may be changing but the minerals used within them are still being used in the same way. Ian Wilson takes a look at precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and discuses producer developments in 2019. Read More

  • Positive outlook for kaolin in ceramics IM April 2019

    The mineral kaolinite was named after a hillside near the village of Gaoling in Jiangxi province, China, where the clay was traditionally mined to supply the nearby famous porcelain factories in Jingdezhen. Today, as Ian Wilson* and Frank Hart ** discover, China is just as important in the kaolin - and indeed the ceramics - industry. Read More

  • The ‘odd man out’ turning round Dalmia-OCL’s fortunes IM April 2019

    Sameer Nagpal has been charged with turning Indian refractories producer Dalmia-OCL into an international brand and he is convinced he can do it. Read More

  • Squeezed margins: how are derivatives producers making cheap products despite iodine price increases? IM April 2019

    Steep increases in price of the raw material have squeezed margins among iodine derivatives producers, while some companies are reported to be producing very cheap derivatives in a bid to gain market share, Michael Greenfield, Market Reporter, finds. Read More

  • Clay time: Should pharmaceuticals take a closer look at bentonite? IM April 2019

    Widely used in industrial applications, pharmaceuticals make up a relatively modest proportion of bentonite’s end markets – a situation which could change with more research and advances in technology, Rose Pengelly, Correspondent, finds. Read More

  • India banks on ceramics IM April 2019

    The Indian ceramics industry has made steady progress in the past few years on the back of a growing middle class and several governmental schemes to boost the industry, as correspondent Sunder Singh discovered at India’s recent Ceramics Asia event. Read More

  • VV Minerals boss says canalisation will hurt mineral sand miners IM March 2019

    The chief executive of VV Minerals tells Fastmarkets that restrictions on private exports of mineral sands will be bad for production. Read More

  • Supercharging lithium extraction through custom chemistry IM March 2019

    “For us, customization is essential,” ArrMaz chief executive officer Dave Keselica, tell Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin, as his company spearheads a molecule-by-molecule drive to recover every bit of lithium the company’s customers pull out of the ground. Read More

  • A closed shop? Examining the HPQ supply chain IM March 2019

    The global high-purity quartz market remains as tightly controlled as ever, despite efforts by China, junior companies and synthetic material producers to open up the supply chain, correspondent Rose Pengelly writes. Read More

  • Charging up: Lithium market outlook IM March 2019

    Cold water was thrown on the lithium market in 2018, with prices falling and lithium miners’ equity prices declining alongside. Fastmarkets IM believes the price weakness was front-loaded, with the market deleveraging into the prospect of two to three years of supply surplus. Read More

  • Hole in the ground: Is the lack of exploration storing up trouble for the future? IM March 2019

    An uptick in mineral exploration financing since 2017 is welcome but may not be enough to undo years of under-investment in identifying new economic deposits, correspondent Rose Pengelly finds. Read More

  • Going against the grain: Titanium and zirconium supply and demand IM February 2019

    Cameron Perks, IM correspondent, looks back at the events that shaped the titanium and zirconium industries in 2018 and looks forward to what may play out in 2019 Read More

  • Will the Chinese supply crisis continue during the Year of the Pig? IM February 2019

    Refractories bounced back in 2018, driving demand for bauxite and alumina raw materials, but the market continues to face what is becoming a perennial state of crisis affecting supply from China. Read More

  • Building on silica sand: Vietnam’s glass industry IM February 2019

    Vietnam has ambitions to become one of Asia’s biggest glass exporters. Tran Kim Phuong looks at how the country is trying to achieve this by exploiting its high quality domestic silica sand reserves. Read More

  • Prospects for ceramics shaping up nicely IM February 2019

    Whether you call them technical ceramics, engineering ceramics or advanced ceramics, these materials have advanced steadily through the past year, and 2019 holds a great deal of potential for more widespread adoption, notably in the high performance industrial arena, as Charlie Wallin reports. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Frac sand 04 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global frac sand market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Iodine 04 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global iodine market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Antimony trioxide 04 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global antimony trioxide market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Mineral sands 03 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global TiO2 feedstocks and zircon markets. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Rare earths 03 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global rare earths market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Lithium 03 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global lithium market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Fluorspar 02 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global fluorspar market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Graphite 02 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global graphite market. Read More

  • YEAR IN REVIEW 2018: Bauxite & alumina 02 January 2019

    A round-up of the year’s main events in the global bauxite and alumina markets. Read More

  • Unlocking the global graphite supply chain IM December 2018-January 2019

    The complexity of the graphite market is one of the main reasons why new producers struggle to establish profitable businesses in this sector, even if they manage get new mines into operation. Correspondent Rose Pengelly examines the intricacies of the graphite supply chain and considers who may be able to step in to help break China’s dominance. Read More

  • Industrial mineral juniors pay price for lack of market transparency IM December 2018-January 2019

    Funding remains a problem for almost all junior mining companies but, for industrial minerals developers, the market is particularly tough because new ways of raising money do not sit well with the sector’s opaque and illiquid pricing practices, which makes it harder to communicate value, Rose Pengelly reports. Read More

  • China’s magnesia: A year of restrictions and consolidation IM December 2018-January 2019

    Magnesia prices out of China have surged in 2018 following severe environmental restrictions. Carrie Shi, Fastmarkets IM market reporter, looks over the year of shutdowns and the effect on prices. Read More

  • Andalusite edges towards market stabilisation IM December 2018-January 2019

    Improved production in most mining areas is prompting hopes that andalusite supply tightness may ease in the near to mid term, but prices are expected to stay firm due to strong end markets. Read More

  • Bauxite, fused-alumina market in supply limbo in Q4 IM December 2018-January 2019

    The spreads in the bauxite market have been widening, while concerns over China's 2019 supply flow increase and keep brown-fused alumina (BFA) and white-fused alumina (WFA) prices stable. Read More

  • Year in Review 2018 IM December 2018-January 2019

    A round-up of all this year's events in the global industrial mineral sector. Read More

  • Sibelco benefits from China’s magnesia controls IM December 2018-January 2019

    Strict environmental regulation on magnesite and magnesia production in China has resulted in strong demand for imported products. Cameron Perks, Fastmarkets IM correspondent, looks at how Sibelco’s Australian operations are currently benefiting from this. Read More

  • Cautious optimism pervades dry bulk shipping sentiment but structural challenges ahead IM December 2018-January 2019

    The broad upward swing has been welcomed by the beleaguered sector but there is cause for caution, writes Will Fray, senior analyst at Maritime Strategies International. Read More

  • It’s complicated: How mineral scarcity and human ingenuity shape the world of TiO2 feedstocks IM October - November 2018

    Amid growing concern about the supply of titanium dioxide feedstocks, Fastmarkets examines the scarcity of these minerals and how processors are adapting to changes in availability. Read More

  • Old king coal: The next rare earths rush? IM October - November 2018

    With trade wars once again exacerbating concerns over critical mineral supplies, Fastmarkets correspondent Rose Pengelly looks at whether new technologies can make coal a viable alternative source of rare earths. Read More

  • Titanium dioxide market settles in for winter on a high plateau IM October - November 2018

    Prices have built steadily over the past year in titanium dioxide, and despite seasonal fluctuations and one-off events the outlook is for a period of stability lasting at least into early 2019. Read More

  • A colorful future – the rebound in iron oxide pigments IM October - November 2018

    As big players in the iron oxide pigment business reap the rewards of an upturn in the construction industry, Fastmarkets IM correspondent Myles McCormick takes a look at the state of the market. Read More

  • Crouching tiger: an overview of the Indian TiO2 industry IM October - November 2018

    Fastmarkets IM Correspondent Sunder Singh looks at India's titanium dioxide supply and demand dynamics, as well as the future of the industry. 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

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